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Corvina Manifesto: Honoring the Historical Grape of Verona

Have you ever ordered a glass of Chiaretto di Bardolino…or, perhaps a just a glass of Bardolino? Are you familiar with wines of Bardolino? What is your experience with wines from this area? These are two wines made from the grape known as Corvina. Corvina is not a new discovery, and certainly has a story to be told. In fact, Corvina has a long-standing history and tradition in Verona, Italy. Let’s delve into the Corvina grape, the region of production and the wines.


Corvina Grapes

Corvina is an Italian red wine grape.  It has small berries with a thick skin.  Corvina, sometimes referred to as Corvina Veronese or Cruina, is late-ripening and not the easiest to cultivate. It is known for its high natural acidity and usually produces wines lighter in color. In the Bardolino area, Corvina is the primary grape used in the production of Chiaretto (Italian dry rose) and Bardolino wines.

Moreover, Corvina is often blended with other grapes such as Corvinone, Rondinella, and Molinara. It is also used for the production of Amarone and Recioto in Valpolicella. Corvina is versatile for pairing and is produced in a variety of styles. From dry, fruity and sweet to young and age-worthy, there is a wine to please every palate. 

Corvina (based) Wines You Should Know:

*Chiaretto/Chiaretto Classico di Bardolino DOCG-Italian dry rose, 

*Bardolino/Bardolino Classico DOC: Fresh, fruity and easy-drinking 

*Bardolino/Bardolino Classico Superiore DOCG: More complexity due to a minimum of 12 months of oak aging.  

Most recently, the Consorzio has been promoting three historical Bardolino Cru districts of La Rocca, Montebaldo and Sommacampagna. Look out for these as well, and read more about them here.

Although the wines of Valpolicella, which is south of Bardolino are a blend (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella), Corvina also is the main grape in the production of Valpolicella/Valpolicella Classico DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG and Valpolicella Ripasso DOC: 

Production Area
c/o Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto E Bardolino

Region of Production

Corvina’s home is Verona, Italy, located on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. In Verona, there are 16 municipalities for Corvina wine production, one of which is Bardolino.  The name, Bardolino, refers both to the beautiful, picturesque village and to the region’s wines. In regards to the lovely village, Bardolino is a popular resort area due to its proximity to Lake Garda. Lake Garda is impacted by the Peler and Ora winds. The basin of Lake Garda was shaped by glaciers, which left behind huge deposits of glacial moraine and characterizes the soils in the area. In this regard, there is extreme variability, resulting in 66 different types of soil. The climate is typically warm and temperate, which allows for lovely vegetation such as peaches, lemons, cherries, chestnuts and more. Wine production in Bardolino, an art which was passed down from the Romans, dates back to the Middle Ages.

As previously mentioned, the red wines of Bardolino and Chiaretto are not newbies.  The origin of the Bardolino appellation dates back to the 19th century, when production of these red wines around Lake Garda were first mentioned. Additionally, the name “Chiaretto” was mentioned in the Crusca Veronese vocabulary printed in Verona back in 1806.

Photo from Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto E Bardolino
Photo from Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto E Bardolino

In fact, Bardolino wines have been recorded as being “quality wines” and “wines suitable for aging” in written documents. Today, these wines, made primarily from the Corvina grape, are highly respected.

Corvina Manifesto Wining Hour:

On a press trip to the Bardolino area with the Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto E Bardolino, I was able to learn so much about this historical grape and to taste the various expressions of Corvina.  One such experience was at a Corvina Manifesto walk–around wine tasting and wine dinner at Ristorante La Loggia e La Barchessa Rambaldi in Bardolino. Here are some of my Corvina wine and food highlights:

Learning more about Corvina-based wines around Bardolino and the eastern shores of Lake Garda was a wonderful experience. Corvina, no doubt, has a long-standing history and tradition, and is highly respected for several reasons. There is an expression for every palate, whether sipped young or aged.

Learn even more about Corvina, Chiaretto, Bardolino and Lake Garda:

Chiaretto: Italian Dry Rose

Discovering the Cru Wines of Bardolino

The Lake Effect: Lake Garda’s Impact

Uncovering Corvina with Vigneti Villabella

Chiaretto: Light, Crisp, Versatile, Featuring Tenuta La Presa

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 (thewininghour.com) that caters to the winelover, as well as the weekly vinous winechat (#WiningHourChat) on Twitter (see page for more info).

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