The wines of the Liguria region of Italy are tough to come by in the United States — only the reclusive Valle d’Aosta region produces and exports less bottles. Plus, given the naturally high costs of production in Liguria (due to its mountainous landscape), its wines can tend to the more expensive side. While the reds are certainly good, the real strengths of Ligurian winemaking lay in its whites, both the world-class vermentino and the distinctive pigato.
You will find that the wines from the Ponente (western Liguria) are typically derived from indigenous grapes, while those from the Levante (eastern Liguria) lean toward Tuscan varieties; that said, we would point you toward the Ponente for truly distinctive, Ligurian wines.
AG Wine Pick: Pigato
Pigato is a great white grape variety that you are not going to encounter often outside of Liguria. While pigato-based wines share a lot of similarities to vermentino-based wines from Liguria, there are some differences: the pigato is a bit more perfumed, acidic and is a bit more powerful on the finish, while the vermentino exhibits more fruit and a greater roundness. In addition, the pigato is even more inclined to have a stronger, saltier quality, making it ideal for local seafood and shellfish.
Wine tasting recommendations: the wines of Liguria
Along with the famed pigato and vermentino, we recommend trying a dolcetto (known locally as ormeasco) from Ponente (western Liguria), which exhibits a less fruity, more earthy flavor profile than dolcetto-based wines found in Piemonte.
We have pulled these descriptions directly from our wine app. For more AG Wine tasting notes, download AG Wine for iPhone or iPad today!