Liguria - Food and Wines - Wines
The rugged terrain of this slender seaside region makes grape growing a challenge, meaning that vineyards are scattered and limited. Still some of the wines, even if hard to get to, are well worth the search. The legend among them is Cinqueterre, a white wine made around the "five lands" - fishing villages nestled in the cliffs along the coast north of La Spezia. Vines there have been planted since antiquity on scarcely accessible terraces close enough to the Ligurian Sea to catch the spray from breaking waves. Most Cinqueterre is dry, though the sweet and rare Sciacchetra` is often preferred by those in the know.
Near La Spezia, and the border of Tuscany, is the recent DOC zone of Colli di Luni where red and white wines, notably Vermentino, show promise. Few other wines of the Riviery Levante, the coast to the southeast of Genoa, are known beyond their localities.
Most of Liguria's limited commercial wine production is concentrated along the Ponente coast to the southwest. Until recently, Rossese di Dolceacqua, whose soft fruit and full flavour make it one of the most attractive of northern Italian reds, was the only classified wine. But now the Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC zone covers the other classis wines of the area, the white Pigato and Vermentino and the red Ormeasco (a local Dolcetto) and Rossese from Albenga.
Pigato is a white of undeniable class whose prospects seem limited only by lack of vineyard space. Within the large DOC zone are areas with special subdenominations for certain wines: Albenga and Finale for pigato, Rossese and Vermentino and Riviera dei Fiori for all types.
Most other wines of Liguria are curiosities, local whites and reds that are usually at their best young and close to home. Such rarities as Buzzeto and Granaccia, Coronata and Lumassina are uniquely and proudly Ligurian.