As with many grape varieties, there is a lot of confusion that surrounds the dominant grape in this wine. Bonarda has a long history in Italy, dating back to 1192 when it was cited as Bonarda di Rovescala. However, in 2013 we have a variety of wines that go by the name Bonarda. The Argentian Bonarda is closely related to the French Charbono and has no relation to any Italian varieties. Then there is the Bonarda Piemontese, which is light and fruity and often blended into Barbera to enhance the fruit forward aromatics.
Completely unrelated to these wines is the Bonarda dell Oltrepo Pavese, which is the name for the Croatina grape when it is grown in Lombardia. While Croatina is planted throughout the northern region of Italy, it is widely agreed that its best expression is that of Bonarda dell Oltrepo Pavese. In the Oltrepo Pavese of Lombardia there is a clay-like and slightly calcareous soil where the Bonarda (Croatina) grape has thrived for centuries.