When you think of Italian regions producing wines, Liguria is not the first that comes to your mind. That is for sure. Probably when you speak about Italian wines, you think to the famous Tuscany or Piedmont ones.
But, have you ever tasted the ligurian wines?
Ligurian wines are special and let’s say that viticulture is… heroic!
Vineyards in the ligurian territory are sprinkled wherever its permitted by the conditions: planting vines in some cases becomes a challenge, because of the territory conformation, which is rocky and steep. But, despite this, wines in Liguria are produced since the Etruscan and Roman era.Just because vineyards, most of the times, are cultivated in steep slopes where the access is permitted only by feet or boat, viticulture in Liguria can be defined as heroic!
In certain areas of Liguria, such as Cinque Terre, harvesting is done just by hand and the grapes are transported in baskets on the shoulders of the farmers. But, all this effort is rewarded because the result obtained are small quantities of wines which are precious, particular and can be distinguished by other Italian wines.
A land with unique conditions can just produce special wines
Liguria is a tiny land which has the sea ahead and the mountains behind. This are two conditions which makes the wines from Liguria special. Vineyards exposed to the sea breeze, most of the times cultivated in sloped hills plunging into the sea, produce wines which are particular from other wines found somewhere else.
Wines of Liguria
Liguria is home to over 100 varieties of grapes and there are 8 DOC wines (DOC stands for Denomination of Controlled Origin: an Italian certification with the aim to protect the quality and authenticity of Italian wines).
However, in my opinion, just because a wine is not defined DOC it doesn’t mean the quality is lower. I have tasted some wines which are great too! But, let’s go on for the moment introducing the DOC areas in Liguria.
The territory produces both red and white wines and many ligurian wines are featured in the “Vini d’Italia” guide, published by the Slow food organization and Gambero Rosso.
The DOC areas of Liguria starting from the eastern part are: Cinque Terre and the sweet Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà both made from Bosco, Albarola and Vermentino grapes.
Colli di Luni and Colline di Levanto are quality areas for Sangiovese based reds and some whites from Vermentino.
Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino is a DOC for red, white, rosè, sparkling and dessert wine.
Then, we have the Riviera Ligure di Ponente. Its best DOC known wines are the red Rossese and Ormeasco and the white Pigato and Vermentino.
Rossese di Dolceacqua which was the first wine to be classified in 1972 and many consideri t to be the best grape come from Liguria.This high-quality wine, was appreciated by figures such as Napoleon and Pope Paul III.
When planning a visit to this italian region, we absolutely suggest a taste of these wines, visit the cellars and meet the producers!