Liguria

Liguria

Liguria is a place of dramatic and precarious beauty, its sandy fringe the much-loved Italian Riviera and home of the Cinque Terre. Liguria is home to some of the most precipitous terraced vineyards in the world, hewn into the cliffs during sturdier times, these sites are often at significant elevation and when coupled with the moderating influence of the deep Ligurian sea, make this white wine territory of amazing potential. Since the 1970s there has been but one great Ligurian Vermentino producer, Ottaviano Lambruschi, in the eastern region of Colli di Luni. It has taken thirty years, and a new generation, for his influence to be properly felt, but today there are a number of emerging and more established producers that have serious quality aspirations.

The dramatic location of many prime Ligurian vineyards necessitates a high degree of resolve to farm, and is therefore a limiting factor on production. Indeed, Liguria languishes near the bottom of the production table for Italian regions, and, historically,...READ MORE

Liguria

Liguria is a place of dramatic and precarious beauty, its sandy fringe the much-loved Italian Riviera and home of the Cinque Terre. Liguria is home to some of the most precipitous terraced vineyards in the world, hewn into the cliffs during sturdier times, these sites are often at significant elevation and when coupled with the moderating influence of the deep Ligurian sea, make this white wine territory of amazing potential. Since the 1970s there has been but one great Ligurian Vermentino producer, Ottaviano Lambruschi, in the eastern region of Colli di Luni. It has taken thirty years, and a new generation, for his influence to be properly felt, but today there are a number of emerging and more established producers that have serious quality aspirations.

The dramatic location of many prime Ligurian vineyards necessitates a high degree of resolve to farm, and is therefore a limiting factor on production. Indeed, Liguria languishes near the bottom of the production table for Italian regions, and, historically, the wines rarely made it out of the region – the currency of the more pedestrian bottles devalued as soon as they’re removed from their sun-drenched context.

In Liguria, Vermentino is king and is grown across the crescent shaped region, notably in the Colli di Luni in the east, bordering Tuscany, and Riviera Ligure di Ponente, which stretches from Genoa right across the west. The local variety Pigato (thought by many to be a clone of Vermentino) is also grown in Ponente and produces intense wines, though it shares its flavours with Vermentino. The other white variety of note is Bosco, which is best known for its contribution to the wines of the Cinque Terre, in themselves more significant contributors to the world of tourism than the world of wine.

Red wine production is small and, given the conditions, canted towards lighter and more savoury expressions. Dolcetto pops up as Ormeasco, while Rossese provides additional autochthonous material, the remainder is mainly made up of Tuscan varieties.

Principal denominations: Cinque Terre e Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà DOC, Colli di Luni, Colline di Levanto, Golfo di Tigullio-Portofino/Portofino DOC, Ormeasco di Pornassio DOC, Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC
Important white varieties: Vermentino, Pigato, Bosco
Important red varieties: Rossese, Ormeasco (Dolcetto), Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo

 

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