Nov
2012

Liguria

On the cliffs of the sea; between Toscana, Piemonte and Francia lies the tiny region of Liguria.  Once a seafaring powerhouse, the region boasts a deep history and classical fame.  It is said that even the Romans couldn’t conquer the entire region as most of the classic cities were only approachable by boats.  The fact that Columbus was born here in Genoa is another testament to the sea culture.

 

The most striking feature is the coastline which dramatically rises from the sea and flies straight up into the mountains.  Most would think that vineyards that are vertical and some only approachable by boat would be unworkable.  Yet, just as the sea has been tamed by Liguria so has the land.  Of course since the sea is home, the wines tend to be made to work with the cuisine.  White wines such as Pigato and Vermentino dominate, but there are hundreds of other grapes raised and produced here.  Red wines tend to be lighter and more floral in style, especially to the west where Liguria is famous for its flower production. This is very apparent in the nose and character of the wines made there, most noticeable in the Rossese grape found only in this region. The location to wine powerhouses to the north and south tends to control the methods of production.  Towards Toscana blends dominate, while proximity to Piemonte tends to cause a singular grape style of winemaking.

 

You will never find a great quantity of wines on any list from Liguria, but it would be a crime not to experience the richness of one of the top producers.  The combination with seafood or the classic Pesto sauce, which was invented here, are a delight at any meal.