Liguria is North West Italy’s slender and picturesque coastal region, romantically known as the Italian Riviera. Here, terraced vineyards overlook the sea as they hug steep hillside climbs that. It’s an area of incredible natural beauty with pretty seaside villages offering chic hideaways to dine on the crisp white wines of the area and days maritime catch.
Shaped like a boomerang, Liguria borders the frontier with France to the West and extends east past the city of Genova, towards La Spezia and then south towards Tuscany. The journey from one side to the other delivers an assortment of boutique DOCs, many of which give a platform to little known grape varieties.
The most important appellation, if only in terms of image and visibility is Cinque Terre DOC, covers white wines produced around the famous town of the same name. The visually striking effect of Cinque Terre’s coloured building teetering above the vivid azure of the bay of Genoa is an evocative effect. Here the Bosco grape much constitute a minimum of 40% although some producers choose to make monovarietal versions. The rest can be made up of either Albarola and / or Vermentino.
The red Dolcetto, or Ormeasco as it is known in Liguria also grows prominently and finds its best expression in the Ormeasco di Pornassio. Pornassio is a small area and with only around 25 hectares under vine there isn’t much to around. Rarer still are the superiore versions of the wine, and rarer still the sweet Passito which must spend at least four months in wood. The wines of Cantine Calleri, Poggio dei Gorleri and Massimo Lupi’s estate are worth seeking out.
Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC, sometimes shortened simply to Dolceacqua DOC is a red wine appellation in Liguria known for the Rossese variety. The appellation permits up to seven different communes being mentioned on the label, as well a further 38 geographical mentions.