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The Wine of Liguria

Wines of LiguriaWines don’t come easy regardless of how conducive the spot, but this is particularly so in the case of Cinque Terre, a striking five-mile stretch of rocky coast comprising five villages marked by visually arresting terraced vineyards. Wine production here gives new meaning to the familiar concept labor of love: This is viticulture at its most painstaking, given the terrain’s abundant physical obstacles. These impediments are rendered particularly ironic by the fact that the terroir’s makeup delivers a customized treatment for viticultural endeavors. Further evidence of Liguria’s viticultural calling is offered in its notable achievements with Vermentino, the region’s premier white grape. While this distinctive variety is also catered to in both Sardinia and Toscana, it doesn’t expressly reflect either of these zones in its tasting profile, deriving the most benefit from the climatic properties of each. Liguria and Vermentino, however, have something special going, a rapport or bond that is evoked in the wine’s distinctive herbal dimension, which evokes particular environs in the Liguria region and corresponds to the aromatic quality of Ligurian specialties. In the DOCs of Colli di Luni and Golfo del Tigullio—situated in Levante (eastern Liguria)—it is vinified principally as a solo varietal, while serving as a contributor to the blends of Cinque Terre and Colline di Levanto. Its most accomplished expression is delivered in the wines of the Riviera Ligure di Ponente; it is these expressions from Ponente (western Liguria), in fact, that deliver the most pronounced articulation of Liguria’s vegetation, offering a pronounced herbal cachet, distinct brininess, and savory dimension. Terre Bianche produces one of the foremost expressions of Ligure di Ponente, and Enoteca Bisson delivers one of the Levante’s best renditions.