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Wine in the Liguria region

(United Kingdom)

The Liguria region may not be famed for its extensive wine production but there are some hidden gems here which make the difficult search worthwhile.

The rugged terrain of this coastal region of northern Italy, as well as the soil’s high salt content, is not conducive to grape growing but if you scratch beneath the surface, you can discover some of the finest wines in Italy.

Cinqueterre (view our guide to the region) is a straw-colored dry white wine with a very local feel. It is specific to the areas of Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Tramonti di Biassa and Tramonti di Campiglia, and complements the local cuisine perfectly.

The wine must contain a minimum 40% of the Bosco grape but can also contain up to 40% of the Albarola and/or Vermentino grapes too. It is typically drunk with seafood, so if you can find a beach restaurant serving fresh local cuisine, this wine is sure to complement it.

For those in the know, Sciacchetrà comes highly recommended. It is produced in the same area as Cinqueterre, but it is a sweeter wine that is ideal with desserts and cheese.

With hints of honey and apricots, this wine is excellent with biscotti and panettone, the bitterness of these foods complementing the sweetness of the wine perfectly. Sciacchetrà is a rare wine and is difficult to track down but if you can find it, it’s definitely worth sampling.

The wines in the Italian Riviera are extremely localised, which means the potential for trying a range of different tipples is high. Although the area is most famed for its white wines due to its limestone soil, the area also has an abundance of light reds.

All of the local wines are undoubtedly best sampled close to source. Buzzetto, Granaccia, Coronata and Lumassina are all unique to the region, so seek out cheap flights to the region, get involved and see what you can discover!

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