We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: North-East - White (Veneto, including Soave)

Winner Details

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

2019 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 5      COMMENDED: 5
2018 GOLD: 1      SILVER: 4      BRONZE: 5      COMMENDED: 4

No question what the big hitters are in this part of the competition: Pinot Grigio and Soave. It’s safe to say that our tasters probably enjoy tasting the former more than the latter, but actually we found some really good examples of PG here this year. And Alpha Zeta’s Terrapieno deservedly picked up a Trophy as a Perfect (if pricey) Pub Partner.

Soave did what it always did – two Golds: one cheap and one more expensive. And as happens nine years out of 10, the ‘expensive’ one went to Pieropan. Frankly they might just as well change the wine’s name to La Rocca Gold.

Outside of these two big beasts the rest of the Veneto slightly underperformed this year, although it was good to see a decent entry come in as the wineries recovered from 2017’s Frost-ocalypse, and overall the tasters liked the fresh, lifted style of the wines.


‘The offering was split in two. One style was more traditional, clean winemaking, where intensity came from low yields and lees contact – these were the best examples. The other style was more “New World”, more modern with toasty oak and a bit more extraction. They were worse value and had more technical faults.’ Mattia Mazzi, The River Cafe

‘The Pinot Grigios are improving. I’m happy with what we tasted here. There were some interesting wines, and the prices were good.’ Roberto Sanchez, Sexy Fish

‘At the higher price points, we found quite an elegant style. They had an edge over the cheaper examples. You could definitely upsell some of these to guests with a deeper pocket.’ Raphael Thierry, Street XO

‘Pinot Grigio became famous because it was tasteless, and you didn’t need to think too much, while Pinot Gris made in the Alsatian style is a much heftier wine to contemplate. These straddled both camps nicely. You get good typicity, and they’re making them to a formula that people like.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘Even the oaky Soaves were balanced and quite elegant. They have nice acidity, the balance is quite good, and they’re drinkable right now.’ Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection

‘This is one of the most consistent flights we had. We weren’t tasting any cheap Soaves. We were tasting wines from people that aspired to making serious wine. There was a uniformity, a pithiness, but each producer was making a slightly different style, which is what you want.’ Hamish Anderson, team leader


Award winners

Found 18 wines

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

Alpha Zeta, Terrapieno, Pinot Grigio 2018, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner By the glass

‘This has a lovely aromatic profile,’ began Raphael Thierry of Street XO on encountering this clear Gold winner, going on to describe ‘melon, apple and white flowers, leading to a nice, fresh texture and a long finish’. Sexy Fish’s Roberto Sanchez praised its ‘apricot, peach and lime notes’, finding it to be ‘really beautifully balanced and well structured’. ‘Perfect for cheese and English charcuterie – think a ploughman’s lunch on a sunny day in the country,’ concluded Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn.

£8.87 Liberty Wines

Villa Mattielli, Campolungo, Soave Classico Superiore 2017, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

This ‘rich and textured’ Soave took home a Gold medal for ‘bright acidity with some pineapple and melon notes’, according to team leader Andres Ituarte, while Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks described it as ‘fresh and mineral, with some oily, smoked characteristics’. Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish added praise for its ‘spicy nose, leading to a richer style on the palate’, and described ‘honeycomb, tangerine, and some spiciness, with a nutty finish’.

£11.75 Top Selection

Pieropan, La Rocca, Soave Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

As this took its rightful place on the Gold podium, impressed team leader Hamish Anderson called it ‘toasty and young, leading to a warm, savoury and complex palate, with nuts, lemon and beeswax’. Fellow team leader Andres Ituarte, meanwhile, spoke highly of its ‘rich style, nutty and ripe, with some well-integrated fruit and balanced acids, not to mention a long, toasty finish – making it perfect with salted cod or Dungeness crab’.

£20.02 Liberty Wines

The Wine People, Frederico Collezione, Pinot Grigio 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh, light and easy drinking, with nice texture and a long finish,’ described Roberto Sanchez of Sexy Fish, adding: ‘You’d want to keep drinking this until the end of the meal.’ ‘A very nice food wine,’ concluded team leader Angela Reddin.

£6.25 Frederic Robinson

Cantina di Custoza, Custoza Superiore Custodia 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘The nutty, buttery nose is laced with both ripe and candied lemon,’ began The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi, who went on to describe a palate that was ‘fresh, but with a mouth-coating texture, well-integrated oak flavours and a long, pleasant, saline finish’.

£9.90 Eurowines

Suavia, Monte Carbonare, Soave Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Almonds, spice and fresh flowers on a very lifted and pure nose,’ began team leader Hamish Anderson, who went on to describe a palate that was ‘supple and nutty, with lemon and lime’.

£15.49 Bibendum

Riondo, Castelforte, Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Refreshing and pleasant, with some melon flavour, and a bit of creaminess,’ began Raphael Thierry of Street XO, while team leader Angela Reddin described ‘great typicity of pear fruit, with some spice characters too’.

£6.12 Forth Wines, Moreno Wines, Inverarity Morton

Pieropan, Calvarino, Soave Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Delicious, balanced and food friendly,’ summarised team leader Nigel Lister, who described ‘elegant peach fruit aromas with hints of honey, leading to some floral, honeysuckle notes on the palate’. ‘Great texture, with a hint of spice,’ added Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish.

£15.27 Liberty Wines

Prà, Staforte, Soave Classico 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A fresh nose with lemon and a nuttiness leads to a pure and refreshing palate, with fresh lemon juice, lime leaf and some savoury nuance,’ said team leader Hamish Anderson.

£14.60 Boutinot

C&C, Zimor, Organic Pinot Grigio 2018, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

For Raphael Thierry of Street XO, this was ‘creamy, with bright, ripe fruit, showing melon, apple and a hint of lime, leading to a long, clean finish’.

£9.43 C&C SRL

Anselmi, Capitel Croce 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A complex, aromatic wine, and creamy, too, with toasted notes of almonds, vanilla and a hint of honey too,’ thought Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair.

£17.23 Enotria&Coe

Anselmi, San Vincenzo 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A very expressive wine, with sweet papaya and mango notes, and great for Thai or spicy Indian food,’ thought Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants.

£11.37 Enotria&Coe

Suavia, Soave Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Markus Dilger of Dilger Sommelier Selection described aromas of ‘melon, apricot and almond, as well as a floral element’, going on to find ‘fresh acidity on the palate, with some green apple notes’.

£11.42 Bibendum

Ca' Rugate, San Michele, Soave Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Novità, Pinot Grigio 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Musella, Bianco del Drago 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.40 Armit

Cantina di Custoza, Custoza Val dei Molini 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.55 Eurowines

Anselmi, Capitel Foscarino 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.24 Enotria&Coe


Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.