The Piccoli family's Custoza Greoto is a blend of 40% Garganega; the noble white grape of the Veneto, with 20% Trebbiano, 20% Trebbianello (an autochthonous clone, unique to their vineyard, according to Stefano), 10% Cortese, and the remaining 10% "various local vines", fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. Make sure you use a good glass — this pale yellow gold wine is a textbook example of how wine evolves in the glass after it's poured. Floral and tree fruit aromas, including apple blossoms, peach skin, and ripe Bosc pears, intermingle with warm almonds, basil, dried honeycomb, and chamomile as the wine spends time in the glass. On the palate, the wine is dry, but with a luscious, silky texture and orchard fruit flavors that echo the nose. The overall impression is one of mouth-filling, sunny opulence wrapped around a cleansing calcareous mineral core.
About this wine producer: Gianni Piccoli was as stubborn as he was 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.