Category Archives: Chiaretto

Italian ROSÈ for All Seasons

Rosé wine can be enjoyed all year long because it pairs well with many different foods, but for many of us summertime is when we think Rosé.  With that in mind, Irene Graziotto of studio cru, a marketing agency based in Vicenza, Italy, hosted a webinar on the topic of Rose’ sponsored by the The New Istituto del Vino Rosa Autoctono Italiano.  Rosautoctono means “native pink.”

The New Istituto del Vino Rosa Autoctono Italiano was founded in Rome in 2019. Luigi Cataldi Madonna and Franco Cristoforetti were the organizers. It is a partisanship of six historical pink wine producing areas using indigenous grapes: Veltenesi Chiaretto (Lombardia grape: Groppello), Chiaretto di Bardolino (Veneto grape: Corvina Veronese), Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo (Abruzzo grape: Montepulciano), Castel del Monte Bombino Nero/Rosato (Puglia grape: Bombino Nero), Salice Salentino Rosato (Puglia grape: Negroamaro), Ciro Rosato (Calabria grape Gaglioppo).

One of the speakers was Franco Cristoforetti of the Tutela Chiaretto and he spoke about the Rosautoctono and Chiaretto.

The main speaker was wine writer Katherine Cole, author of Rose’ All Day.  Katherine gave a brief history of rose’ wine and said that it was most likely the earliest and oldest style of wine going back to the Paleolithic Era.  Many ancient Greek and Roman writers wrote about “pale wine” including Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia. unnamedpink wine

Katherine mentioned that in Northern Italy, “pink” wine is referred to as Rose’ and she attributes this to the Roman influence. In Southern Italy, the wine is darker and is referred to as Rosato because of the Greek influence. In general the Rose’ of the north tends to be lighter and the Rosato of the south darker with more body. I have seen the terms Rose’ and Rosato used in both the North and the South. Also it seems that the producers are going for a lighter style like the ones from Provence.

Another speaker was Angelo Petetti, Director of Rosautoctono  and the Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto. He was very upset that European legislation fails to recognize pink wine, instead classifying them as “non white,” and urged that this legislation should be changed. He also said that Rose’ wine can age for a few years. Katherine mentioned that she had a 5-year-old Rose’ and it was drinking very well. I like my Rose’ at least 3 years old.

Luigi Cataldi Madonna, one of the founders of Rosautoctono, produces Rose’ wines that go from very light in color to one that could be mistaken for a red wine.



E152CEE7-DBB9-4AAC-BB4D-C3C99BC68EA1_1_105_cProsecco DOC Rose’ Brut Millesimato 2020 Consorzio Tutela Prosecco made from 85% Glera and 15% Pinot Noir from vines in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. The soil here is mainly of alluvial origin rich in subsoil. Harvest is the end of August for the Glera and the end of September for the Pinot Noir. Whole white grapes (Glera) are put into the pneumatic press for soft pressing and the resulting must is put into temperature controlled tanks where it remains until it is used for the production of the sparkling wine. The red grapes (Pinot Noir), after pressing are put into thanks where a soft maceration for extraction of and tannins takes place at a controlled temperature. For the secondary fermentation the white must and a small amount of red wine are mixed. Selected yeasts are added and put into vessels where fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature. 

 When the required alcohol and sugar content is reached fermentation is stopped by refrigeration. After two months in contact with the yeast (Martinotti method), the sparkling wine is ready for bottling. Alcohol 11%. Residual sugar 10g/l. This is a wine produced by the Consorzio Tutela Prosecco from grapes from the 9 Prosecco producing areas.

Tanja Barattin, another speaker, who is in charge of promotion at Consorzio di Tutela Prosecco said that the new Prosecco Rose’ has become very popular and America has become the biggest market. 

Angelo Petetti said Chiaretto is the only Italian Rosa appellation. He also said the most of the Chiaretto is largely consumed by French and Germans.


Bardolino Chiaretto Classico 2020 (Vino Rosato Secco) Corte Gordoni made from 80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella. The production zone is Valeggio sul Mincio on the hills south of Lake Garda. There is prevalent skeleton terrain with a silty, clayey texture. The wine has hints of red berries and cherries.

Franco Cristoforetti said with the 2021 vintage up to 95% Corvina Veronese will be allowed in the blend.


Bardolino Chiaretti Classico Rosato secco 2020 Valetti made from Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Sangiovese from the hilly shores of southeast lake Garda at 100 to 250 meters. The soil is gravelly of morenic origin and the training system is guyot and pergola. There is a soft pressing of the grape and maceration with the skins for 12 to 36 hours. Fermentation at a controlled temperature and it is in steel tanks for 5 months until bottling. The wine has hints of red fruit, raspberries, strawberries and cherries.


Cerasuolo D’ Abruzzo 2020 “Valforte Rosè  Barone di Valforte made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Vineyard is at 150 to 350 meters and the soil is sandy and clay of medium mix. The training system is buttressed cordon espalier and there are 4,200 plants per hectare. Harvest is the last 10 days of September and the beginning of October. Vinification: cold steeping. Refinement: cold process techniques. The wine has hints of strawberry, cherry and a  hint of violets.

374A1AC1-B4DF-4AE5-844A-98DC572D41EC_1_105_cCerasuolo d’ Abruzzo 2020 “Torre Zambra“ Colle Maggio Federico de Cerchio Family Estates made from 100% Montepulciano di Abruzzo from vineyards at 180 meters with a southern exposure. The training system is Abruzzo pergola. Harvest is the first 10 days of October. Clusters are hand picked and packed with dry ice. The bunches are soft crushed as for white wine making and the must is separated from the skins after 8 hours for a cherry pink hue. There is 14 day fermentation at a controlled temperature. The wine spends two months in stainless steel vats on the lees and two months in bottle. The wine has hints of red fruit, cherry, plums and a hint of red currants and a touch of white pepper. The name cerasuolo comes from the dialect word cerasa, which means cherry.


Ciro DOC Rosato 2020 Sengo Librandi  Librandi made from 100% Gaglioppo. The soil is clay and calcareous and the training system is traditional alberello and spurred cordon. There are 5,000 vines per hectare. Harvest is the last week of September and the first week of October. Vinification is in stainless steel vats with racking and brief maceration. The wine is aged in stainless steel vats. It has hints of ripe cherry, strawberry and raspberry.

Luigi Cataldi Madonna, one of the founders of Rosautoctono, produces Rose’ wines that go from very light in color to one that could be mistaken for a red wine.

Whatever your preference is in, Rose the Italians have every style from very light to darker with more body. The choice is yours to enjoy. All the wines retail for about $15 a bottle.


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Filed under Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo, Chiaretto, Ciró, Prosecco, Rose

Le Fraghe: Terroir, Grapes and Corkscrews

I first met Matilde Poggi, owner/wine maker, at Le Fraghe on a press trip sponsored by Vignaioli Veneti to the Veneto. On the first night of the trip, she sat next to me at dinner. Matilde asked me if I would like to taste some of her wines. She poured me a Bardolino, and I was very impressed. I noticed that it had a screw cap, as did all of the wines she had brought to the restaurant. We began a conversation but there was too much going on in the restaurant and many of my questions were left unanswered. However we were to visit her winery the next day.


Azienda Agricola Le Fraghe is a 30 hectare estate located in the hills close to Lake Garda. We spent the first part of the visit in the vineyard and the second part in the tasting room.
Matilde said, “even though the winery is near the lake the area is influenced by the cold winds blowing down from the north in the morning. It gives the growing area a distinctive climate, and my wines reflect strongly these unique weather conditions.”
Matilde began bottling wine in 1984 focusing on local indigenous varieties: Corvina, Rondinella and Garganega.
She only uses her own grapes. Her Bardolino is made only from Corvina 80% and the rest Rondinella, a blend that is perfect for her vineyards and her wine. Since 2009 the vineyards have been managed according to organic sustained viticulture.

In 2008 she began bottling some of her wine under screw cap. “My goal was to preserve to the fullest the freshness of my wines, in particular Chiaretto and Camporegno, wines whose fresh fruity quality I especially want to maintain unaltered. I was convinced that this type of closure is best at preventing, in certain wines, aging characteristics that I did not find positive.”
On the capsules of her wine there is the FIVI logo (Federazione Italiana Vignaiolo Indipendenti), an association that represents winegrowers who directly perform every single step in the production of a wine.

They grow their own grapes, vinify the grapes, bottle their wines and sell them directly.

The Wines

Camporengo Garganega Veneto made from 100% Garganega from the Comune di Cavaion Veronese. The system is spurred cordon and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard is south facing at 190 meters. Whole clusters are placed in the press, without de-stalking and the free–run must is only 55%. After fermentation at 17 degrees C in stainless steel, the wine rests on the fine lees in 50HL stainless steel tanks until the following spring when it is bottled. This is a balanced full bodied and elegant wine. It has hints of peach and apple, a touch of green pepper and floral notes.

Rodon Bardolino Chiaretto made from Corvina and Rondinella from the Comuni di Affi and Cavaion Veronese. The training system is guyot and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. The exposure is south and the vineyard is at190 meters
Corvina and Rondinella are vinified separately. They are given a cool temperature 6 to 8 hour maceration on the skins, which extracts just enough color to give a lovely, medium bodied hue to the juice. The must then ferments at a cool 17 degrees C. The finished wine matures on the fine lees in 50HL stainless steel tanks until the following spring when it is bottled. The wine has a elegant bouquet of strawberries and red currents while on the palate the wine is full bodied and balanced with a long finish the evokes the bouquet.

Le Fraghe Bardolino made from Corvina and Rondinella from Comuni di Affi and Cavaion Veronese. The training system is guyot and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. Corvina and Roninella are vinified separately. The maceration lasts for 7/8 days. After the wine is drawn off, it goes through malolactic fermentation, which usually occurs in the following month, the wine goes into stainless steel tanks, where it remains until it is bottled. This is a full bodied balanced wine with hints of sour cherry and blueberry, a touch of cinnamon and black pepper. It had a long finish and pleasing aftertaste.

Brol Grande Bardolino Classico made from Corvina and Rondinella from the Comune di Affi, Vigneto Brol Grande. The training system is guyot and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. Corvina and Rondinella are vinified separately. Maceration lasts for 7/8 days but not beyond the end of the alcoholic fermentation. Delestage is carried out every morning and the wine is pumped over the cap every evening. Once devatted the wine undergoes a complete malolactic fermentation which usually takes place by the next month. The wine is then placed in 40HL wooden vats for about 8 months.

The wine is ruby red but not a deep color. It has fresh flavors of cherry, blueberries and currents with balsamic and floral notes and a touch of black pepper. This is an easy drinking wine and a style of Bardolino that I really like. This is the wine that impressed me so much at the dinner where I first met Matilda. It can go with many different foods even with fish from Lake Garda.

Le Fraghe “Chelidon” made from 100% Rondinella. IGT Cavaion Veronese. Matilde said the name  Chelidone comes from the ancient Greek language and it means “Swallow” which in Italian is “Rondinella.” The two swallows whose tails become roots are drawn on the label. It symbolizes the long roots of the Rondinella grape variety in the Bardolino region.
Rondinella is used as a blending grape in Bardolino, Valpolicella and Amarone. Matilda may be the only one to make a wine from 100% Rondinella. This is an aromatic wine with hints of red fruit and a touch of pepper.

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Filed under Bardolino, Chiaretto, Corvina, Garganega, Le Fraghe, Rondinella