In the 1900s the reputation of Bardolino as a very distinctive “typical wine” reached considerable heights: it was with that definition that it won prizes in the ‘20s at the Trade Fair of Veronese wines in Verona. In 1926 the “Consortium for the defence of the typical wine of Bardolino” was founded.
In 1931 the Royal Experimental Station in Conegliano described Bardolino as “dry, moderately tannic and acidic, a little light but flavourful”.
In 1935 Paolo Monelli described Bardolino as “graceful, light, and slightly saline, with a bright colour”. In the ’40s and ‘50s bottles of wine labelled as “Bardolino” or “Bardolino Extra” were exported to the United States. In 1961 Luigi Veronelli, in his guide “I vini d’Italia”, defined Bardolino as “simpatico” (“likeable”). In 1964, in a booklet devoted to Bardolino, Franca Cipriani said that the area’s wine was “now appreciated all over the world, thanks partly to the efforts of serious local wine companies”.
Due to its popularity, before the D.O.C. system was created, Bardolino was one of the Italian wines that was most imitated. As Zeffiro Bocci wrote: “A bitter twist of its celebrity is that during the period that we can circumscribe between 1950 and 1960, Bardolino was the most ‘plagiarised’ wine in Italy”.
The modern history of Bardolino wine officially began on 28th May 1968, when the Presidential Decree creating the D.O.C. was approved: the production zone, in line with the area already identified in the previous century, included (entirely or in part) the territory of 16 communes on the Veneto shore of Lake Garda and its hinterland. The Consortium for the Protection of Bardolino D.O.C. Wine was founded in 1969.