The lake has a moderating effect on the climate, and this helps grapes to ripen and concentrate their aromas. Around the lake you can find refreshing Chiaretto rose (from Bardolino and Valtenesi) as well as fragrant white Lugana and Soave.
Wine lovers can enjoy the diverse wines of the DOC Garda with typical dishes like pappardelle con i fagioli or yota, a hearty stew.
It wouldn’t be an Italian holiday without a pasta dish or two and you won’t be disappointed here. A popular choice is a plate of rich and hearty tortellini stuffed with meat. Alternatively, try the salada meat – a traditional Trentino speciality that’s made by flavouring lean beef rump with spices and herbs and then serving it raw or cooked.
The food of Lake Garda reflects the culinary traditions and delights of the three northern Italian regions that border it. Expect dishes that showcase the best of local ingredients and foodstuffs, including fragrant polenta served grilled or soft and creamy. This versatile ingredient is also used in dishes such as yota, a hearty stew that’s typical of the region and is usually served with beans, potatoes, sauerkraut and garlic. Cheese lovers will be in heaven too, as Lake Garda is home to dozens of small dairy farms that produce their own distinctive cheeses. Look out for the Formagella di Tremosine, which has a delicate and fragrant taste and is produced on the Tremosine plateau.
Fillet of Perch
For a simple dish that truly showcases the flavors of lake Garda, try this dish featuring cooked pike and an aromatic anchovy-based sauce. It is often served with polenta and pairs well with local white wines.
Salt and pepper the fish to taste and season with thyme. Heat butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the filets. Cook each side until golden brown.
Located between the rolling hills of Lombardy, the alpine mountains of Trentino-Alto Adige and the crystal blue waters of Veneto, this unique area is home to medieval castles, quaint lakeside villages and vineyards that produce wines with their own special flavor profiles. The area’s light red Bardolino and refreshing Chiaretto rosatos are made from native grape varieties, while the easy-drinking white Custoza is typically blended from nine allowable varieties. These wines grow on the morainic soil created by the glaciers that carved out the lake and express mineral notes of chalk, crushed stone and iron.
In addition to its enchanting natural scenery, the area around Lake Garda is rich in culture. The area is home to many medieval castles, villas, historical and religious buildings. There are also many cycling routes that can be enjoyed by those looking to relax while taking in the beautiful panorama. Some of the typical products that can be found around the region include pickled dried common bleak (alborella), lake fish such as whitefish (coregone) and mutton sausage (cortese) and PDO products like Grana Padano, Provolone Valpadano and Lake Garda extra virgin olive oil.
The vineyards around the lake produce wines with a variety of flavors, ranging from light and mineral Bardolino reds to refreshing Chiaretto roses from both the Bardolino and Valtenesi areas. Lugana DOC wine, which is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, has a soft and delicate style that pairs well with the local dishes such as grilled lavarello. The wine also ages well, allowing the fruit and citrus aromas to develop into notes of hazelnut and spice.
In this agritourism destination known for its world-renowned cuisine, visitors can sample everything from black ink risotto with fresh local sardines to buttery polenta sprinkled with grated local alpine cheese and lake fish drizzled with special Garda DOC olive oil. Lemons grow here as well, and the zesty fruit flavors shine in dishes from the first course to dessert.
Episode 484 of I’ll Drink to That takes a deep dive into wineries around Lake Garda, including the impressive offerings of Vigneti Villabella and Azienda Ricchi. Geoffrey Dean visits both and finds a lot to love about these wines.
With its high-altitude, cool nighttime temperatures, and constant daytime breezes, Lake Garda is an ideal location for grapes. Vines have grown here for thousands of years, and different varieties have been adapted to the local climate over time. Today, the area produces both international and local varietals that produce luscious wines that pair perfectly with food.wein gardasee