travel,  Veneto

Chiaretto di Bardolino-How Italians do Dry Rosé

Lesser known, but Bardolino Chiaretto Measures Up

Photo Credit: Garda Concierge
Beautiful Bardolino is a resort village in the province of Veneto, Italy, approximately 25 kilometers from Verona and on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda.  There are many things to see and do in terms of food, wine and travel in this delightful village.  While highlighting a few, I’ll begin with what Bardolino is known for-it’s Italian dry rosé known as Chiaretto.

Chiaretto is a dry, crisp rosé wine, dating back to the 19th Century.  Chiaro, in Italian, denotes a color that is clear, pale or light.  This is the perfect name for Chiaretto, as it has a pale pink color due to the limited skin-contact time. Chiaretto is made primarily from the indigenous Corvina grape, although other native grapes such as Rondinella and Molinara may be included.
The Bardolino area of wine production includes the hilly area behind Lake Garda and is very close to Valpolicella.  In fact, it is only separated by the Adige river.  The Monte Baldo mountain range helps to shield the region from northern winds, while Lake Garda moderates the climate, so olive groves and lemon trees also thrive all over Bardolino. The hills are glacial moraines, as they are remnants of the Ice Age and leave the soil chock full of gravel. The Bardolino Classico sub-zone refers to the historic area of Bardolino and its surrounding villages. While Chiaretto is the pink star of the region, red, and sparkling wines are also produced here.  Bardolino has DOC and DOCG Appellations. Chiaretto is up under the Bardolino DOC. 

Glacial Moraine around Lake Garda

As noted, Chiaretto di Bardolino is produced on hills on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. Therefore, it benefits from the lake breezes, high altitude and moranic soil.  This dynamic combination leads to the production of a wine that is fragrant (ranging from floral to fruity), fresh and offering spectacular minerality.

It can be said that although Chiaretto may be lesser a known rosé, Bardolino and Chiaretto di Bardolino is the Italian counterpart to Provence and Provence Rosé.  Both are breathtaking resort towns with diverse landscapes including mountains, hills and rolling vineyards, both are along bodies of water, both have moderate Mediterranean climates, both dine on fresh fish, seafood, olive oil and other similar fare and both produce fantastic dry rosés. Therefore, I encourage you to visit Bardolino and see for yourself.  Bardolino is quaint and unassuming but with much to offer…and far less crowds. I spent some time there last year with the Corsorzio Tutela Vino Bardolino DOC and I can’t wait to return.

Here’s what to see and do in Bardolino:  

*Visit the nearby villages and towns surrounding Lake Garda.  Thursday is market day, and it is should not be missed! So far, I have visited Garda, Peschiera, Lazise, Torre del Benaco, Cavaion and Sirmione, but each one is alluring.

*See the historic Roman Churches of San Nicolò and San Severo

*See the Church of San Zeno, located in Verona.  This church is where Romeo and Juliet were said to have been married.

*Visit Verona City Center-just 25 kilometers away. Visit the home of of Romeo and Juliet, the Verona Arena, grand piazzas, restaurants, cafes and many other sites.

Verona, Italy

*Visit Venice-just 130 kilometers away.

Venice, Italy

*Visit Cantina Zeni e Museo del Vino (Zeni Wine Museum)-houses many artifacts used in the production of wine, preserves the art, history and culture of the Bardolino area and is also an enoteca that sells wine and has wine tastings.

Wine Tasting Dinner inside the Zeni Wine Museum

*Explore the Wine Trails-La Strada del Vino Bardolino

c/o La Strada del Vino Bardolino-Wine Trails

*Take in one of the many festivals:
-Palio di Chiaretto, which takes place in June.
-Festa dell’Uva (Bardolino Grape Festival), which takes place at the end of summer.
-The Grape Cure Wine Festival, which takes place in October.

Palio di Chiaretto Festival
Photo Credit: Garda Concierge
*Lake Garda-there are many things to see and do surrounding the lake.  Eat, drink, swim, fish, etc.

*Thermal Spas-Bardolino is renown for its thermal baths and hot springs.  Be sure to check out its many spas and spa treatments.  You will leave feeling renewed!  I recommend Hotel Caesius Thermae and Spa Resort.

Hotel Caesius Thermae and Spa Resort

What to eat in Bardolino: 
As Bardolino is a waterside town, seafood and fish are in abundance.  Cod fish is a popular dish, made every way you can imagine!

Salted Cod-typical dish in Bardolino

What to Drink in Bardolino:

Chiaretto di Bardolino…of course! Everyone should #discoverChiaretto and experience how Italians do dry rosé! Taste #Chiarettopink

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 you can expect:

  • 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” 
  • Also, see my other posts about Bardolino, Chiaretto and Lake Garda:

    Preparing the Palate for Chiaretto

    The Lake Effect: Lake Garda’s Impact on Chiaretto

    Uncovering Corvina with Vigneti Villabella

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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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