Bardolino: Wine and the Lake
Bardolino is an ancient village on the eastern coast of Lake Garda and gives its name to the wine produced on the morainic hills of the eastern shore. The whole area is enchanting, with panoramas where, from the top of the hills, sudden views of the lake, cypresses, olive groves, vineyards and old farmhouses blend. A visit and tasting in one of the many cellars of Bardolino is perfectly combined with a walk along the lake, a boat ride, a visit to one of the many historical and artistic sites, a taste of extra virgin olive oil Garda DOP in one of the many olive mills (frantoio) in the area.
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Bardolino is one of the oldest DOC denomination wines in the Veneto region. The typical vines are the same as those of Valpolicella: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Although Valpolicella is only a few miles away, the differences in the microclimate, influenced by the great mass of water in Lake Garda, which mitigates both Summers and Winters, together with the gravelly and very draining soil, give a wine completely different from Valpolicella. Bardolino is not a pretentious wine, but a genuine and sincere red, light and with good acidity and flavor, suitable for first courses such as pasta, risotto, excellent with pizza and fresh cheeses. Normally it should be drunk young, and although some producers are experimenting with more structured versions, with a slight aging in cask, hardly the potential of a bottle exceeds 5-7 years. Recently, with the great revival of rosé wines, especially in the United States, Bardolino Chiareto has been rediscovered, one of the few authentic traditional Italian rose wines, even in the fresh sparkling version.
Many of the wineries where Bardolino is produced are located in a panoramic position on the hills from which you can dominate the slopes towards Lake Garda of the rolling hills covered with vineyards, olive groves and cypresses. In Bardolino, in addition to a visit with tasting in one of the many wineries is also possible a guided tour of the Wine Museum and the Museum of Oil in Cisano village. Among the wineries where you can make visits with tasting there are Fratelli Zeni, Guerrieri Rizzardi, Valetti, Villa Calicantus, Il Casetto.
Lake Garda, on whose eastern shores lie the hills of Bardolino, has a history that goes back thousands of years. Like many of the lakes of northern Italy, it formed during the glaciations with the movements of an immense glacier that dug the basin that then filled with water forming the lake and at the same time accumulated gravelly debris in morainic hills on which are grown today the vines of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Man has found there an ideal environment to live in since prehistoric times. In fact, there are numerous remains of pile-dwelling villages, and in Roman times there were also numerous settlements and patrician villas. In the Middle Ages the coastal villages that still characterize the lake were built: Lazise, Torri del Benaco, Garda and Bardolino where you'll also find the ancient Romanesque church of San Severo and the remains of the fortifications of the Scala family period. A few kilometers from the village is Punta San Vigilio, a promontory that extends over the lake and is one of the most beautiful sights in Verona province, with the Renaissance villa by architect Michele Sanmicheli, the old eighteenth-century orangery and a small private port. All the sites listed can be visited and are an ideal complement to a visit with tasting in the cellars of Bardolino.
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