16th September 2014, the date of the official start of the harvest for Bardolino Chiaretto, is one that will remain in the history of viticulture on Lake Garda. It in fact marks a radical turning point for the pink wine from Bardolino, which is today Italy’s most important D.O.C. rosé thanks to the 10 million bottles produced. The 2014 Chiaretto will present completely new characteristics, interpreting as it does a year that is absolutely different from the norm. At the invitation of the Bardolino Consortium, a great many of the producers will offer a 2014 Chiaretto with a very pale pink colour – similar to the rosés from Provence – and, from an organoleptic point of view, the aromatic and floral notes will be more accentuated. This, though, will also be the new style for Chiaretto from now on: not just for the 2014 vintage, but also for those that follow.
“This is a revolution,” says the President of the Consortium, Franco Cristoforetti, “that stems from the exceptional climatic conditions of this summer: if normally the area of Lake Garda, the birthplace of Chiaretto, has a Mediterranean type of climate, this year the weather has been distinctly Nordic, causing no end of problems for the vine growers, who have had to deal with the most difficult year in living memory. We have decided to act accordingly by applying to Chiaretto techniques in use at latitudes further north than ours, thereby producing wines that are almost blancs de noirs, that is say wines made from red grapes but which are nearly white. We had been intending to pursue this new direction for some time now, and this year we have finally done so. This will be the style of Chiaretto in the future”.
So henceforth Chiaretto will be more similar to a white wine than to a rosé of the “Mediterranean” school. The maceration of the must on the skins will be very brief and will take place at low temperatures – exactly as in the case of top-quality whites – so as to obtain a very pale hue and express the primary aromas of the grapes to the full, yielding fragrances that range from flowers to herbaceous tones, from citrus fruits to apricots and wild berries.
The official date for the presentation of the “new” Chiaretto has been set for Sunday 8th March 2015, at the Preview Tasting at the Dogana Veneta in Lazise, on the Veronese shore of Lake Garda.
In the meantime, Chiaretto is going from strength to strength in the marketplace: at the end of August overall sales had registered an increase of 14.5% compared to the same period in 2013, in spite of weather during the summer that was anything but conducive to the consumption of rosé wines. Italy and Germany remain the principal markets, but sales are growing in France and Scandinavia and orders are also starting to appear from the United States.
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