The region of Liguria accounts for less than 1% of Italy’s wine production (the majority of which is white wine), due to the difficulty of growing grapes on the rugged terrain of its slender coastline.
Despite these challenges, the Italian Riviera produces some fine wines, particularly its 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 in this area have been planted since antiquity on scarcely accessible terraces, often close enough to the Ligurian sea to catch a spray of waves.
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 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 wine production is concentrated along the Ponente coast to the southwest.
Within the DOC zone areas are special sub-denominations for certain wines: Albenga, Finale and Riviera di Ponente for Pigato, Vermentino and the red Rossese 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.
Common Local Grape Varieties
- Cinque Terre e Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà PDO
- Colli di Luni PDO
- Colline del Genovesato PGI
- Colline di Levanto PDO
- Colline Savonesi PGI
- Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino PDO (Portofino PDO)
- Liguria di Levante PGI
- Pornassio PDO (Ormeasco di Pornassio PDO)
- Riviera Ligure di Ponente PDO
- Rossese di Dolceacqua PDO (Dolceacqua PDO)
- Terrazze dell’Imperiese PGI
- Val Polcevera PDO