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For more than three decades Riccardo Bruna has worked the native Ligurian varietal Pigato on the steep terraces that rise out of the Mediterranean. Here at the end of the Imperia province, the Azienda Bruna, highlighted by the Russeghine vineyard, experiences exceptionally conducive climate conditions for the production of the Pigato grape, which is enhanced by the gravelly subsoil of the dry, permeable red earth that allows for deep root development.

Though undoubtedly ancient, this grape is said to be many things, from a Greek import to a native of the Castelli Romani, planted by Caesar's legions, to a relative of Vermentino. In fact, some experts posit that Pigato and Vermentino are inherently one and the same, their apparent differences born of distinct terroir and treatment in the vineyard and cellar. In tourist country the wine is often used simply as a table wine for the local seafood. But Riccardo's mission is different. He makes three Pigato wines - U Baccan, Le Russeghine, and Villa Torrachetta - each with different intentions. Unlike their neighbors, Riccardo and his daughters Francesca and Anna Maria refuse to mask the grape's true character with the hocus-pocus of technological "innovations." They therefore limit technical input in the vinification and aging phases to the bare necessities, especially in the case of the U Baccan, their signature wine which has only been produced since 1999 and is not created in off years. As a result, and with only 180 cases produced, this is one of the year's most highly sought-after wines.

Pigato Le Russeghine
Pigat U Baccan