Bardolino: The dry red from the south
Bardolino is the recommended wine of choice and not just for visitors. It's one of the most celebrated wines of Lake Garda, where the locals of Bardolino also enjoy its light and fruity taste.
It is cultivated in the vineyards of Bardolino, as well as in the districts between Valeggio sul Mincio, Torri del Benaco and the Adige. The Wine Route on Lake Garda, the Strada del Vino, offers 70 kilometres of picturesque views and over 40 winegrowers. Most of them sell their wine directly from their estate and provide many opportunities for tasting.
Today Bardolino is produced by many different winegrowers, and available in different quality. They make the wine from two grape varieties: 35 to 65 per cent from Corvina Veronese and 10 to 40 per cent from Rondinella. Winemakers are allowed to add a maximum of 20 per cent of other grape varieties also. Bardolino is very similar to Valpolicella which is from the nearby wine-growing area with the same name.
DOC Classico and DOCG Classico Superiore
Probably the best Bardolino is the DOC Classico. This level of quality gets awarded when the grapes are grown, pressed and bottled in the heartland between the communes of Bardolino, Lazise and Affi.
The DOCG Classico Superiore label is only given when the wine has undergone stricter processes. The alcohol content must be at least 11 per cent, the yield per hectare should not exceed 9 tons, and the wine production must meet particular specifications.
The colour of Bardolino is ruby red and becomes garnet red when ripe. Its taste is fruity and dry, sometimes slightly sparkling and is best drunk young (as Novello) and chilled. It is also available as rosé wine Chiaretto. A popular aperitivo, especially in Lazise, is the Chiarè - a drink with Bardolino Chiaretto Spumante as the main ingredient.