Garda DOC Wines & Piave DOP Cheese: The Perfect Pairing

Garda DOC Wines & Piave DOP Cheese: The Perfect Pairing


In Italian cuisine, two things always go hand in hand: wine and cheese. Garda DOC wine and Piave DOP cheese are the perfect pairing, where one compliments the other like an old friendship. From the shores of Lake Garda and the breathtaking Dolomite mountains, this duo is a match made in Northern Italy.

The two have histories intertwined with tradition and dedication. The Garda DOC consortium has been protecting its winemaking traditions since 1996 on Lake Garda – Italy’s largest body of water – while Piave DOP cheese production dates back to 1960, when it was first made in small batches for cheese lovers in the region, and gained DOP status in 2010.



Grown across over 31,100 hectares in Northern Italy, Garda DOC Spumante, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wines are perfected by the cool dry breezes and the moderate climate of the nearby lake. This atmosphere is responsible for making the ripened, well-balanced wines of Garda DOC. Meanwhile, northeast of Lake Garda lie the Dolomite mountains of Belluno, where the alpine environment makes Piave DOP cheese so delectable. Piave DOP cheese has the intense, full-bodied flavor of this land, which grows as it matures and preserves a special taste that makes it absolutely unique. When it comes to enjoying a glass of Garda DOC wine alongside a bite of Piave DOP cheese, these specific natural climates are to thank. 

Mother nature isn’t the only one to appreciate though – it’s the dedication and resilience of wine and cheese makers that see these complex processes through. Behind every bite of intense, full-bodied Piave DOP cheese and sip of fresh Garda DOC wine is a precise production method. Fresh or mature, Piave DOP is a genuine food, easy to digest and with a high energy value – a vehicle for important nutritional elements that are essential for all ages. It is a highly allergy-tolerant product because, thanks to the traditional production and ripening process, Piave DOP contains no lactose and is naturally gluten-free. The perfect pairing comes to life after months of maturing and thousands of grapes harvested. 




The newly redefined Garda DOC centers on spumante, or sparkling wine
. Over the course of its history, Garda has adapted to the styles of the time – particularly when it comes to winemaking. When modern consumers developed a penchant for bubbly, local producers embraced the production of a fresh, effervescent sparkling wine. This spurred the Garda DOC Consortium to amend the appellation’s regulations and add a spumante to the Garda DOC label. Treat your taste buds to Garda DOC spumante in a sweetness range from Brut Nature to Demi-Sec – it's a refreshing complement to just about any gathering.

Known for its versatility – both sparkling and still – Chardonnay is one of the most famous grapes in the world. In the Garda area, the Chardonnay grape has found an ideal microclimate to thrive, where predominantly calcareous soils lend hints of white pulp fruit and citrus. In the glass, the expression of Chardonnay Garda DOC bears a beautiful saline connotation which makes every sip a wonderful experience. Garda DOC Chardonnay pairs perfectly with traditional lakeside dishes like risotto with lake fish, fragrant pasta dishes with vegetables, and even pizza.

Of the 31,100 hectares of Garda DOC, 3,340 are dedicated to Pinot Grigio, with 28 producers associated to the consortium. More than half of these producers are located in the Verona area, while the rest are divided between Brescia and Mantua. Of these, 26 have chosen to vinify it in purity and better enhance its expressiveness. While little is known about the arrival date of the original Bourgogne grape, legend says that it was Napoleon himself who introduced it to the area. Pinot Grigio is highly adaptable to the pedoclimatic environment, favoring the calcareous soils. Both modern and long-lived, Garda DOC Pinot Grigio is perfectly enjoyed as an aperitivo, or with sea fish appetizers.



From table to grating, Piave DOP cheeses pair perfectly with Garda DOC wines because of their distinguished range of flavor. Aromas reminiscent of alpine herbs and flowers bring each Piave DOP cheese to life.

Piave DOP ages available in the United States are Mezzano (61/180 days), Vecchio (>180 days), and Vecchio Selezione Oro (>12 months). While Piave DOP Mezzano bears a milky aroma, reminiscent of melted butter and whey, Piave DOP Vecchio is characterized by sweet and savory notes enriched with toasted sensations. Piave DOP Vecchio Selezione Oro reveals a remarkable complexity of olfactory sensations, including vegetal scents, fruity notes ranging from nuts to ripe tropical fruit, and a flavor that excellently balances sweetness and savoriness.

The range of Piave DOP cheeses leaves plenty of choices for all palettes and can be paired with Garda DOC wine in a number of ways!



Take a taste of Northern Italy’s hilly vineyards and mountains with this perfect pairing. To see why Garda DOC wine and Piave DOP cheese are a natural match, try them side-by-side, either in their simplest form or in a delicious and easy-to-master Cheese & Pepper Spaghetti recipe.