food and wine,  Veneto

Chiaretto di Bardolino Classico and Grilled Shrimp

Chiaretto: Light, Crisp and Versatile

It’s a revolution!  Rosé has become a culture or a way of life, and many just cannot get enough of this pink juice. From France, Germany, Austria and New Zealand to Napa, Long Island, Washington and Oregon, there is a style of rosé, rosato or rosado to suit every palate and budget. Chiaretto is how Italians do rosé.

Chiaretto is produced in Bardolino, which is in Northern Italy, along the shores of Lake Garda, approximately 25 kilometers from Verona.  Chiaretto dates back to the 19th century and was one of the first Italian appellations to receive DOC status (1968). The Bardolino area of wine production includes the hilly area on the eastern side of Lake Garda.  The Bardolino Classico sub-zone refers to the historic area around Bardolino including the villages Garda, Costermano, Affi, Cavaion Veronese, Lazise and, of course, Bardolino.  The winds from the mountain ranges (Monte Baldo) moderate the climate, while the glacial morainic soil leads to the production of wines with character and minerality. The mountains, hills, and the morainic soil provide the perfect viticultural trifecta to deliver a high quality wines.  

What makes Chiaretto distinctive? Chiaretto is distinctive in appearance and taste.  This Bardolino rosé is produced mainly from the Corvina grape, although other grapes may be added. As we know, rosé, which can be produced using many different varietals, is made by controlling the amount of time the juice is in contact with the grape skins.  Naturally then, more skin-contact will result in a darker rosé and less skin-contact time results in a lighter rosé. The latter is what we find in Chiaretto di Bardolino.  Chiaretto has a pale pink color.  It is known to be “a lighter shade of pale,” which is in harmony with its name.  Chiaro, denotes a pale color in Italian.  In terms of taste, Chiaretto Classico wines are characterized by their distinct minerality and spicy-salty taste, or salato.

Chiaretto Wining Hour

Tenuta La Presa
I had the pleasure of visiting Tenuta La Presa’s beautiful estate in Caprino Veronese a few months ago. Tenuta La Presa has vineyards in Verona on the hills near the Adige Valley.  The breezes coming from the Adige Valley and Lake Garda, along with the solid and rich moranic soils lead to expressive, high quality wines.  Along with their wine production, Tenuta La Presa offers awesome hospitality in their villas and farmhouse.  The views are spectacular.

Agriturismo at Tenuta La Presa 

Vineyards at Tenuta La Presa

Beautiful Backdrop at Tenuta La Presa

As part of a fantastic press tour with the Consorzio Tutela Vino Barolino, Tenuta La Presa was one of the many stops along La Strada del Vino Bardolino. At La Presa, I had a full tour of the estate, the vineyards, the cellars, production rooms and, of course, an in-depth tasting of their wines-whites, reds and sparkling.  Their hospitality was spectacular and I was able to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the regional wines.

The Owners & Family of Tenuta La Presa

I tasted several of their wines, including their Bardolino Chiaretto.  Tenuta La Presa Baldovino Bardolino Chiaretto is made from 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 10% of other varieties, which had a short maceration of 12-24 hours.  After pressing and fermentation, the wine is aged in stainless steel for about 3 months.  La Presa Chiaretto is a light, pale rose color, with intense citrus fruit and floral aromas of white peach, grapefruit, and rose. The palate is fresh and savory.  Excellent structure, tannic and spicy, persistent finish. 13% ABV.

Pale Pink Color of La Presa Baldovino Bardolino Chiaretto

Tenuta La Presa Chiaretto Baldovino Chiaretto is excellent as an aperitivo, but versatile enough to be paired with salads, fish, seafood, pastas and meats. The second time around at home, I paired La Presa Chiaretto with grilled shrimp.

Le Ginestre
While in Bardolino, we also had the opportunity to interact with the winemaker at Le Ginestre and taste their Chiaretto Classico as well. Le Ginestre is located about 2 km from Lake Garda, in the town of Lazise, which places it in the Classico area.

L’azienda Le Ginestre
Le Ginestre Chiaretto Classico, crafted by Marco Ruffato, is made from 80% Corvina, with small percentages of Rondinella, Molinara and Corvinone.  This Chiaretto is pale rose-pink with coral flecks.  It has aromas of white fruit and spice.  The palate is crisp and tart with citrus grapefruit and herbs.  Aged in steel. Long finish, great minerality and bright acidity.  Enjoyable on its own or with fish and seafood.  I also paired Le Ginestre Chiaretto Classico with grilled shrimp.

Chiaretto di Bardolino is truly a “refined, elegant and versatile wine.”  #DiscoverChiaretto
For more information on this delightful Italian dry rosé known as Chiaretto di Bardolino, visit Consorzio Tutela Vino Bardolino DOC. 

Join me and my fellow writers in the #ItalianFWT group to discover even more about Chiaretto di Bardolino on Twitter, Saturday July 7 at 11 am/EST.  Here’s what we’ll talk about:

  • Jennifer at Vino Travels will share “Lake Garda says Hooray for Rosé with Chiaretto””
  • Mike at Life At Table will share “Rosé Fatigue? Try Chiaretto”
  • Li at The Wining Hour will share “Chiaretto Classico and Grilled Shrimp”
  • Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Cam will share “Chiaretto Poured with Local Catches”
  • Gwen at Wine Predator will share “The Key to Italian Rose? Chiaretto!”
  • Lynn at Savor the Harvest will share “An Italian Surprise You must get to Know #ItalianFWT”
  • Wendy Klik at A Day in the Life on a Farm  will share “A Rosé By Any Other Name”
  • Jill at L’Occasion will share “Chiaretto Goes With Everything: Italy’s Versatile Rosé Wine”
  • Katarina at Grapevine Adventures will share “A Chiaretto is always a Chiaretto … a Valtenési not Bardolino #ItalianFWT” 
  • Lisa at The Wine Chef will share “Easy Quinoa Salad Paired With Chiaretto, A Delightfully Dry Italian Rosé”
  • David at Cooking Chat will share “Discovering Chiaretto Rosé Wine and Food Pairings”
  • Jane at Always Ravenous will share “Farmers’ Market Pasta with Chiaretto di Bardolino”
  • Also, see my other posts about Bardolino, Chiaretto and Lake Garda:

    Chiaretto di Bardolino: How Italians do Rosé

    The Lake Effect: Lake Garda’s Impact on Chiaretto

    Uncovering Corvina with Vigneti Villabella

    Preparing the Palate for Chiaretto

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    Planted, harvested and aged in NY. I have a background in education and marketing, with a love and passion for travel...and all things wine. In addition to writing about wine, I also maintain an online wine boutique ( that caters to the winelover, as well as the weekly vinous winechat (#WiningHourChat) on Twitter (see page for more info).

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