Lake Garda is well known throughout the world especially for the resort area of Sirmione. We had the delightful opportunity to visit this area in conjunction with a winery visit and private boat ride on the lake.
The winery is the vision of Ambra and Franco Tiraboschi and they have created an agriturismo that was a wonderful visit. They have spent a ton of money creating a state of the art winery with a spectacular tasting room. The wines feature the turbiana grape, the local word for trebbiano. Grown on heavy clay soil, the wine is an expression of minerality. The white wines of Lugana are worth the search.
We also had what many said was the best meal of the tour.
Our menu: appetizers of local salami, toasted bruschetta, omelette with greens, vegetables au gratin; 1st course: a very local dish called pinzimonio, a selection of raw vegetables accompanied by Garda olive oil and balsamic vinegar; roast meat as the main course; dessert: crostata, accompanied by their passito wine, and coffee with grappa.
Our winery visit was followed by a tour of the lower lake on a private boat from which we could see the Roman ruins of Catullo’s villa at the tip of Sirmione.
We returned to our hotel for our farewell dinner and the chefs outdid themselves:
our menu: appetizers: parma ham served with figs and walnuts, bite size rolls of Bresaola and soft cheese, puff pastry with vegetables and a parmesan sauce, chicory pie with tomato sauce; first course: risotto with porcini mushrooms and lasagna with taleggio cheese, leeks and a cream of zucchini sauce; main course: filet of sea bass in a crust of potatoes, black olives, rosemary served with sautéed vegetables; dessert of creme brulée.
I think it is safe to say that we were all impressed by the quality and diversity of wines from Lombardy- from the reds of Valtellina to the sparkling wines of Franciacorta and the crisp still whites of Lugana. Add to this the spectacular Alps as the background and the beauty of the lakes and we can’t wait to bring another group to this charmed area.