Quality, authenticity, history and drinking culture in Ligurian wines from the west of Genoa
To the decidedly limited
and difficult production due to the conformity of the land (it is no
coincidence that at the last Vinitaly in Verona in April the stand for regional
wines from Liguria was entitled 'Passione Eroica'- Heroic Passion), the wine
produced in Liguria is counterbalancing an increasingly appreciated quality.
Many farms are finding it difficult to meet the new market requirements and
some are gearing up to recover land that has been uncultivated for years and
that can now offer a new opportunity. The three main wines of western Liguria,
Rossese di Dolceacqua, Pigato and Vermentino, are produced by three farmers
present on this platform of Youliguria agri-food craftsmanship: the Grillo and
Raibaudo companies (mainly producers of extra virgin olive oil from the
Riviera) and the Gajaudo company, in wine since 1986, all three located in the
province of Imperia between Isolabona and Badalucco.
three wines have a special identity with deep historical roots. The Rossese
vine, of Middle Eastern origin, was brought to Europe by the Greeks who landed
in what is now Marseilles. Benedictine monks introduced it to Liguria by
bringing it to Dolceacqua and to France in Provence (where it is called
Tibouren). It has a ruby red colour, a savoury and fragrant flavour, and a
light, fruity and floral bouquet.
Pigato originated in
Thessaly and arrived in Liguria via Spain in the 1600s but remained virtually
unknown until the end of World War 2. It seems to have taken its name from
Liguria ('pigau' in the Ligurian language means 'speckled' as the ripe grapes
of the grape appear with a brownish tinge). The wine is straw-yellow in colour,
soft on the palate, with persistent fruity and floral aromas and for these
reasons particularly suitable for pairing with Ligurian cuisine based on
Vermentino arrived in
Liguria towards the end of the 13th century and has been present in western
Liguria since ancient times, perhaps coming directly from the Middle East with
the Crusades, or perhaps from Aragon or some say from the Portuguese island of
Madeira. It is straw yellow in colour with greenish highlights. Its aromas are
floral and of aromatic Mediterranean herbs, very rich but delicate, while the
flavour is dry, mineral and fresh with a tendency to bitterness.
If you aim for
quality, authenticity and drinking culture, the references of the three
Youliguria farms in the western part of the region are listed below.