Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Gambellara, dry white wine from the veneto region of north east Italy. Based on garganega grapes (a minimum of 80%, with 20% of trebbiano di Soave or Trebbiano Toscano (verdicchio)), it is produced in the townships of Gambellara, Montebello Vicentino, Montorso, and Zermeghedo, only a short distance from soave but in the neighbouring province of Vicenza rather than that of Verona. Gambellara is tiny compared to its neighbour: based on about 600 ha compared with Soave’s 5,645 ha/13,943 acres in 2012 but with generally more Garganega and lower yields. Since the enlargement of the prosecco zone, much of Garganega planted on the plains to the south of the town of Gambellara have been replaced with glera, to capitalize on Prosecco’s ongoing success. So hillside vineyards represent a healthy 60% of the Gambellara total. Although much Gambellara is as bland as the vast majority of Soave, several producers with vineyard holdings in the hills have turned to quality rather than quantity. The biodynamic La Biancara Estate, for example, which espouses fermentation on skins, has helped change the perception, even if it cites igt rather than Gambellara on the labels of some of its wines, not least because of a quality control system unwilling to recognize the wines as typical. A good Gambellara is characterized by notes of camomile and yellow fruits, while taking on honeyed smoky notes after several years in the bottle.