Liguria Wine

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Cinque Terre vineyards Photo © Reise
Cinque Terre vineyards
Photo © Reise

The rugged terrain of this slender seaside region makes grape growing a challenge, meaning that vineyards are scattered along the Italian Riviera and wine production is limited. Still some of the wines of Genoa’s region, if hard to get to, are well worth the search.

The legend among Liguria’s wines is Cinque Terre, a white made around the “five lands,” a series of fishing villages nestled in the cliffs along the coast north of La Spezia. Vines there have been planted since antiquity on scarcely accessible terraces, some close enough to the Ligurian Sea to catch the spray from breaking waves. Most Cinque Terre is dry, though the sweet Sciacchetrà is coveted by those in the know.

Near La Spezia and crossing the border of Tuscany is the DOC zone of Colli di Luni where red and white wines, notably Vermentino, show class. The recent DOCs for Colline di Levanto and Golfo del Tigullio cover most of the other vineyards along the Riviera Levante, the coast to the southeast of Genoa, though some wines are still scarcely known beyond their localities.

Most of Liguria’s limited commercial wine production is concentrated along the Ponente coast to the southwest. The first wine to be classified was Rossese di Dolceacqua, whose soft fruit and full flavor make it an uncommonly attractive red. The extensive Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC zone covers the other classic wines of the area: the white Pigato and Vermentino and the red Ormeasco (a local Dolcetto) and Rossese.

Within the 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. Like Vermentino, Pigato is a white of undeniable class whose prospects seem limited only by lack of vineyard space.

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.

The Liguria wines match very well the Liguria cuisine, with its local recipes.

Liguria grapes

Liguria Wines:

DOC Wine
Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre Sciacchetra’
Colli di Luni
Colline di Levanto
Golfo del Tigullio
Pornassio or Ormeasco di Pornassio
Riviera Ligure di Ponente
Rossese di Dolceacqua or Dolceacqua
Val Polcevera

IGT Wine
Colline Savonesi

I Love Italian Wine and Food – The Liguria Region

An article by: Levi Reiss

The land in Liguria tends not to be particularly fertile. Agricultural products include flowers, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. Some claim that Liguria introduced pasta to Italy. Most of the pasta is wheat. Pesto is a regional specialty. A wide variety of seafood is available. Heavy industry is on the decline. Tourism is so important that in some areas the July and August population is ten or fifteen times that of the slow season. The area is particularly popular with retirees…

 Liguria devotes slightly under twelve thousand acres to grapevines, it ranks 19th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is about 4.4 million gallons, also giving it a 19th place. About 34% of the wine production is red or rose’ leaving 66% for white. The region produces 8 DOC wines. DOC stands for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, which may be translated as Denomination of Controlled Origin. Almost 14% of Ligurian wine carries the DOC. Liguria is home to almost three dozen major and secondary grape varieties, somewhat more white than red varieties… read the entire article…