Allegrini 2018

Montebaldo, La Rocca and Sommacampagna: the Bardolino sub-areas on the labels

Green light to the specification. The change will be retroactive to the 2020 harvest

Subareas, crus and everything necessary to identify the origin of a wine more precisely are becoming more and more important on the Italian wine scene. Now, just after Nobile di Montepulciano (following Barolo, Barbaresco and Soave) announced the introduction of the MGA (Additional Geographical Mentions) “Pieve”, the breaking news is that Montebaldo, La Rocca and Sommacampagna, Bardolino’s three historical crus have also become MGAs. The Ministry of Agriculture’s published the decree on Monday, April 12, 2021 in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic, and it recognizes the three sub-areas, allowing the new production specifications of the Bardolino DOC to officially go into effect.
The three Bardolino crus were well known at the end of the nineteenth century, when the ruby ​​red wine from Lake Garda was served in the Grand Hotels in Switzerland, alongside the wines of Burgundy and Beaujolais. Even then the three sub-areas were famous and recognized by wine merchants in 1825 (thirty years before the Bordeaux classification issued in 1855) and then identified geo-morphologically by Giovanni Battista Perez in 1900 in the book, “The Province of Verona and its wines”. The wines in these macro-areas were recognized as having unique sensory and quality distinctions, which however evidently escaped those who compiled the production specifications in 1968.

“We are proud”, commented Franco Cristoforetti, resident of the Bardolino Consortium, “that the long journey, which started six years ago in 2015, has finally come to an end. The new specifications that go into effect starting today aim to focus on the territory and enhance the different characteristics of the wines in the three historical sub-areas, which have been famous for the last two centuries. Productions will be limited and of very high value, and the intention is to offer a new perspective, in terms of longevity, to the red wines in our territory, enhancing their light and refined characteristics, according to a historical vision that is very modern”.

The production area of ​​the Montebaldo sub-zone includes the municipalities of Affi, Caprino Veronese, Cavaion Veronese, Costermano sul Garda and Rivoli Veronese. The area’s name derives from the mountain range of the same name, where the altitudes are higher and the climate is cooler. The wines produced here suggest aromas of strawberries and cloves.

La Rocca, named from the hill overlooking Lake Garda north of Bardolino, includes the municipalities of Bardolino, Castelnuovo del Garda, Garda, Lazise, ​​Peschiera del Garda and Torri del Benaco. We find notes of raspberry and cinnamon in the wines of this sub-area.

Sommacampagna is the sub-area of ​​the Southeast hills of the appellation and includes the municipalities of Bussolengo, Pastrengo, Sommacampagna, Sona and Valeggio sul Mincio. This is the ancient Summa Campànea, the high, sunny countryside that emerges from the plain. The typical aromas found in its wines are cherry and black pepper.

Wine producers who have respected the very strict requirements of the new specification since the last harvest, will be able to put their wines on the market as early as next September with the first Bardolino sub-zone of the 2020 vintage. The decree is retroactive, in fact, to be able to use the name Montebaldo, La Rocca or Sommacampagna on the label. It will be a double size bottle, compared to Bardolino, purposely to underline the strong identity of the wines from the three crus. A further amendment in the production specifications of Bardolino DOC stipulates that starting from the 2021 harvest, the maximum usable percentage of Corvina grapes will increase to 95% from the 80% up to now accepted. The production of grapes allowed for the sub-areas will be only 100 quintals per hectare (compared to the 120 quintals of the Bardolino “base”).

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