Cheerful and uncomplicated light red wine from the south eastern shores of lake Garda in the veneto region of north east Italy. It is produced from corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. As in the other two important Veneto docs soave and valpolicella, the original production zone is that known as classico (Bardolino, Garda, Lazise, Affa, Costermano, and Cavaion). This has been extended to a considerably larger zone whose wines are simply called Bardolino. Exact terroir seems to have rather less effect on the quality of this relatively simple wine than it does on Soave and Valpolicella, and good Bardolino is regularly produced outside the Classico zone, notably in Sommacampagna. This is largely because the Bardolino zone, whether Classico or not, lies on a flat plain beside lake Garda. On the southern part of the zone, the soil is fertile, so yields are very high.
Total production in Bardolino is 182,000 hl/4,823,000 million gal each year, with 45 per cent coming from the Bardolino Classico heartland. Although the DOC blend, in terms of both the indicated grapes and the percentages to be employed, differs little from Valpolicella, Bardolino producers tend to use less Corvina (the variety which gives body and structure) and more of the somewhat neutral Rondinella than their neighbours in Valpolicella. Officially decreed yields of 13 tons per hectare are often superseded, which accounts for the lightness of many wines.
The rosé version of the wine is called Bardolino Chiaretto. Bardolino Superiore, a slightly headier wine with an extra 1 per cent of alcohol, must be aged a year before being released. Bardolino novello, an attempt to ape Beaujolais nouveau, was born in the late 1980s, but the competition of similar novello wines from every grape and corner of Italy considerably lessened the marketing impact of the move.