As you have figured out by now, we love Italian wines. The country is just exploding with incredible wine regions that are so unique and delightful, and there’s always something for every palate.
Liguria is a coastal region in the top of the boot, just on the border of France. It’s neighbors with Piedmont, Italy, which produces the gorgeous Moscato d’Asti we all adore, and Provence, France, and we know the French do wine.
One of the most notable denominations of controlled origin within Liguria is the Cinque Terre DOC, which you have probably seen in photos – it’s that hillside on the water with the multi-colored homes that is known for the life-changing sunsets. These DOCs are crucial to the production of wines in the Old World regions because they delineate how much of each grape must be in each wine, and that tells you a lot about how it will taste or age.
The area is generally referred to as the Italian Riviera because it’s right on the coast of the Mediterranean. This doesn’t bode very well for the terroir however, as being coastal means steep hillsides and stony soil that doesn’t always create a good home for the vines. Further inland, the hills are less aggressive and can be planted more soundly, but it can still be a tough environment.
The region produces many reds and whites. In the Cinque Terre DOC, you have the sweet wine Sciacchetrà, a dry white made from Bosco, Albarola, and/or Vermentino grapes. Colli di Luni and Colline di Levanto produce lovely Sangiovese-based wines, as well as whites from the very regional Vermentino grape.
Golfo del Tigullio – Portofino produces the sparkling wines from this region, and they all must follow the varietals of a bianco, which is 60% Vermentino or Bianchetta Genovese. And then there’s Rossese di Dolceacqua, a prestigious red wine that has been at the tables of Napolean and Pope John Paul III.
Liguria doesn’t add much to the overall wine production in Italy; in fact, it’s the second smallest region in the whole country. But as we know, the small are mighty when it comes to winemaking and these are true gems. If you are a fan of Old World wines, definitely find some of these beauties. It’s well worth it.
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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