The southern banks of the endlessly beautiful Lake Garda in Italy are not a difficult place to love. Far from it, in fact: this is a part of this wonderful country which has consistently stolen the hearts of travellers for hundreds of years. It should come as little surprise, therefore, that the winemakers and growers who tend and cultivate the vines here have just as much adoration as anybody for this region, and they are keen to share their passion for this land with the wider world.

Cantina di Custoza was set up back in 1968 to do exactly this - to show the world that there’s more to Italian wine than the most famous appellations of Tuscany and that with the winning combination of amazing soils, real passion, time-honoured tradition, and forward-thinking innovation never fails to bring about astounding results.

Here at The Wine Gallery, we constantly impressed by the quality of produce coming out of the world’s great wine co-operatives. There’s something wonderful about groups of dedicated winemakers putting competition aside, and uniting over a shared goal of making genuinely game-changing wines. Cantina di Custoza is no exception; with over 290 grape growers and dozens of vintners coming together to share the very best of what they grow and what they do, this co-op winery has been able to carry the torch for Lake Garda wines for several decades and counting. It really is a brilliantly juxtaposed operation, too.

On the one hand, you have some of the oldest vineyards in Italy being used for Cantina di Custoza wines (some of the vines are the direct ancestors of those planted by the Romans, and by the Etruscans before them), and on the other, you have some seriously state of the art wine tech going on behind the scenes. As you might expect, the bottles which leave the winery perfectly embody these contrasts, and end up capturing the best of both worlds by balancing tradition with new trends in viticulture, and by playing off the classical with the contemporary. Truly stunning wines, and a fantastic testament to one of Italy’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

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