Spring is coming: This Custoza Superiore has style

Granted, Custoza does not have the best reputation. For decades high yield and an on average low quality were responsible for the wine’s rather poor standing. This trend is starting to change and Custoza now exists in a variety of qualities. Last December, I received a bottle of 2013 Cantina Gorgo Summa Custoza Superiore DOC as gift. Spring is coming and this white wine should definitely be on your to-buy list. It has style and is a perfect choice for warm evenings on the porch.

Bianco di Custoza, which is often simply called Custoza, is a white wine of Italy’s Veneto region. First created in 1963 by Cavalchina which began calling their white win Custoza. Calvachina produced this wine with a blend of Garganega, Trebbiano and Cortese which is called Bianca Fernanda in Veneto. Eight years passed before the Custoza DOC was established.  Custoza has become an iconic white of North-Eastern Italy, even though its reputation suffered in the 1980s and 90s when the majority of available Custoza was of rather poor quality. The situation is not so bad anymore and the market offers some excellent Bianco di Custoza these days. An increasing number of Custoza is being produced from old vines which can be 40+ years old.

Custoza is always a blend and up to elven white varieties are permitted by the DOC regulations but the three varieties that Calavachina used back in the days are still used predominantly. Next to Bianca Fernanda, an autochthonous variety from Piedmont, Trebbiano and Garganega, the star of the classic Soave DOC, Trebbianello is used to produce Custoza. Next to the common dry style, Custoza may also exist in sparkling (Custoza Spumante) and sweet (Custoza passito) styles. The area of production is very similar to the one of Bardolino DOC and often Custoza is described as the white equivalent of Bardolino. A light textured, calcium-rich soil consisting of humus and and rock fragments is typical for this territory.


Vineyards in Sommacampagna. Photo by simone. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Cantina Gorgo is located east of Lake Garda and was founded in 1973 in Sommacampagna in the province of Verona. The estate originally had a vineyard area of 22 hectares which had slowly been increased to about 60 hectares.  Cantina Gorgo is owned and managed by Roberto Bricolo who favors a traditional approach when it comes to viticulture. This includes using organic fertilizers instead of pesticides.

Summa is the only Custoza Superiore which the winery produces. However, they produce another high-quality Custoza, San Michelin. But let’s get back to the 2013 Summa.

Tasting Notes: 2013 Cantina Gorgo Summa Bianco di Custoza Superiore DOC

http://vinoinlove.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2013-Cantina-Gorgo-Summa-Custoza-Superiore-DOC.jpgSumma is a blend of 40% Garganega, 30% Bianca Fernanda, 5% Riesling Italico. The other 25% are composed of Trebbiano, Trebbianello and other varieties which vary depending on the vintage. The vines are between 50 to 60 years old. A late harvest is conducted in the first week of October. Afterwards, the grapes get fermented all together with stops on natural yeast. This process concludes in May and then the wine ages in stainless steel tanks. The wine’s appellation is Custoza Superiore DOC.

In the glass, Summa has a beautiful straw-yellow color. 13% is the label-listed alcohol by volume. The nose is a wonderful mix of flowers and fruits with aromas of white peaches, mango, acacia and jasmine.  On the palate, Summa is dry, round, quite mineral with a full body. Notes of ripe fruit. A smooth Custoza Superiore of good balance. Nice sapidity and lingering aftertaste.

4 / 5 stars      

A bottle of 2013 Summa retails in Munich for about €10. Excellent wine with an outstanding price-quality ratio. If you stumble over this Custoza Superior then buy it by the case and enjoy it over the upcoming spring days. If you don’t find it then give other Custoza Superiore a try. Maybe you’ll find one which you like as much as I like the Cantina Gorgo Summa.

Site Update

I want to end this post with a short info regarding the theme of Vino in Love: As you might recall from my last post, I was still unsure whether I’ll go with the new Twenty Fifteen theme or not. As you have probably noticed, I decided against it. After all, the theme was quite limiting and I did not like the design too much. Instead, I have settled for a different theme which loads faster and offers more customisability. Just like Twenty Fifteen, it is fully responsive which means that you can enjoy Vino in Love not only on your PC but also on your smartphone and tablet.


During my ‘creative absence’, as I like to call it, I thought about moving back to WordPress.com but I had a gut feeling that told me not to. Instead, I felt it was better to improve the existing site with features that WordPress.com users should be familiar. One of them is the so-called “Like button”, which is available on new posts. Adding a like button was suggested by fellow blogger and friend Anatoli (Talk A Vino). Make sure to subscribe to his blog if you haven’t done so already. Thanks again for this suggestion, Anatoli!

The last change I want to mention today is a minor one but one that I personally like a lot and wish that other blogs would use, too: The ability to edit your own comments. Not being able to correct typos has always been something that bothered me about WordPress.com.

I hope you like the way Vino in Love looks now. Even though I don’t plan to change the theme again any time soon, feedback is always appreciated. Small adjustments are always possible.



6 comments on “Spring is coming: This Custoza Superiore has style”

  1. Suzanne Reply

    I really like the look of your blog, it very nice, it’s clear and easy to read. Like it a lot. The wine sounds great too, I am not or have had experience with this wine but it does sound like a very nice drinkable wine for Spring.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thank you so much Suzanne 🙂 I’m so glad you like the new theme.

      In the past, I had had mixed experiences with Bianco di Custoza but some have really surprised me. The Cantina Gorgo Summa is one of the better ones which I have tried so far. Cheers!

  2. talkavino Reply

    Julian, thank you for your kind words!
    I like the new theme – it is clean and simple, so I definitely support this change 🙂 Glad to see the “like” reappearing – I think it is a good feature for the people to acknowledge that they read the post even without leaving the comment.
    The wine sounds very interesting – I have to admit that I never even heard of Custoza before, so now I’m definitely intrigued. According to Wine Searcher, Summa is not available in US, however, it seems that I can find Cavalchina – do you recommend trying it?

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Cavalchina is one of those bigger players in Custoza with an annual production of more than 600.000 bottles. They also bought vineyards in the Valpolicella where they nowadays make small quantities of Amarone. I personally don’t like this approach too much of mass-producing wine and it is one of the reasons why Custoza had for a long time this reputation of being just a simple table wine.

      I tried the Cavalchina Amedeo Custoza Superiore and their base Custoza at a trade fair over two years ago. Amedeo wasn’t bad and the winery only makes a few thousand bottles of it. The regular Custoza did not impress me if I remember correctly. This reminds me that I should retry the Amedeo since it’s been too long. They sell it everywhere here in Munich.

      If the Amedeo is reasonably proceed and available near you then I’d say give it a try 🙂 Cheers!

  3. Sean P. Reply

    Frankly, I never tried Cudtoza but grape-wise it sounds a little like a mix of Soave and Gavi.

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