Custoza is the DOC for white wines of the area. Named for the town that hosted one of the epic battles of the Italian Risorgimento, this is a fruity, serene, food-friendly wine produced with the same blend of grapes grown for Soave, dominated by the local Garganega, with the addition of the rare Trebbianello. The rich aromatics and mildly spicy finish are excellent counterpoint to delicate fish dishes as well as substantial pasta and white meat.
About this wine producer: Gianni Piccoli is as stubborn as he is modest and self-effacing, with no interest in following the easy paths to guaranteed market share if they mean compromising his principles. He and his sons Mattia, Andrea, and Stefano simply make the best wine in Bardolino. Which is how they find the best customers. Corte Gardoni was established in 1980, when Gianni decided that his beautiful grapes – carefully farmed at low yields on the stony slopes of the moraine in Valeggio sul Mincio – would no longer be sold in bulk, to be blended anonymously in the vats of industrial wineries like Bolla and Folonari that still dominate Bardolino. Building a winery was a risky undertaking in a region that had such little prestige, but Gianni Piccoli never looked back. Today, under the direction of his son Mattia, Corte Gardoni supplies the finest Bardolino and Custoza to nearly every Michelin starred restaurant in Italy.