To our knowledge, the name Bonarda appears for the first time in 1685 among the notes written by Count Pier Francesco Cotti in his Giornale di me (Di Ricaldone, 1972), regarding some scions to be planted in his own vineyard in Neive (Cuneo).
We can’t determine with any certainty what grape variety was discussed in this paper, nor what was briefly described under this name by Count Nuvolone in 1798, although the few features of Bonarda this author enumerates fit well the subject variety.
By contrast, the descriptions that Giuseppe Acerbi reports for two Bonarda varieties cultivated in Valenza and Oltrepò Pavese respectively, appear to bear little resemblance to the morphology of Bonarda piemontese.
The description in the work of Lorenzo Francesco Gatta, dated 1838 and based on vines observed in Strambino (Turin province), certainly refers to Uva rara, as are the 'Bonarde' of ' Balsamine Family' described by Abbot Milano in 1839 in his ‘Delle viti e dei vini della provincia biellese’ ('About the vines and wines of the province of Biella').
In addition to that of Nuvolone, we can possibly find the first brief description certainly attributable to Bonarda Piemontese in the reference to Bonarda mentioned among the grapes 'typically of the capital' (Turin) by Count Gallesio in 1831 in his ‘Giornali dei viaggi’ ('Journal of travels') (1995). Besides Ampelografia Italiana (Comitato Centrale Ampelografico, 1879-90), which includes an extensive discussion about this cultivar, we can mention as surely attributable to the variety in question the description reported in ‘Ampelografia della Provincia di Alessandria’ by Demaria and Leardi (1875) and obviously the monograph prepared for the Agriculture Ministry by Giovanni Dalmasso and associates (1963).