Liguria is bordered by France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea. It is a very narrow strip of land between the Ligurian Sea, the Alps and the Appenines. The highest mountain in the region is Monte Saccarello Monte (2201 m).The region runs from Ventimiglia to La Spezia. Some 65% of the region is mountainous and it has 350-km of coastline.
The ring of hills lying immediately beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C (45 to 50 °F) and summer temperatures are 23 to 24 °C (73 to 75 °F), which make for a pleasant stay even in the dead of winter.
The soils in Liguria are high in limestone — with an emphasis on the “stone.” With so little flat land, growers must raise grapes on terraces carved from the rocky slopes. This is often called “heroic” viticulture. The slopes do offer one advantage, though: the mountain peaks protect the grapes near the sea from the coldest winter winds blowing down from the Alps. Limestone soil is particularly good for white grapes.
Home to diverse white and red grape varieties. Liguria has 8 DOC areas, of which a few are more well known in the USA. Colli di Luni Vermentino and Rossese di Dolceaqua are the most widely seen in the USA and many have also heard of and/or tasted dessert wine from the Cinque Terre, Sciacchetrà, made from Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola.
Few though have had wines from these other DOCs, Ormeasco di Pornassio, Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Val Polcevera, Golfo del Tigullio Portofino or Portofino and Colline di Levanto.
Many assume that all of Liguria’s wines are made on the coast but there is also a lot of wine coming from the hills farther inland. Many of these wines are made from Bianchetta Genovese, a little known indigenous variety. Vermentino is grown all over Liguria and its DOCs.
Another grape variety that many know is Pigato. It too growns throughout Liguria and is found in the Riviera Ligure di Ponente.
In addition to these primary four white grape varieties, Liguria is home to Riviera Ligure di Ponente Moscatello di Taggia, Val Polcevera Bianco (Coronata), Lumassina, Mattaossu, Massarda, among others.
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