Saturday Sipping: Innocenzo Turco Granaccia from Liguria

Liguria is a small region in terms of its wine production, only about 4.5 million bottles a year but it is home to a wide variety of grapes, including Granaccia from Riviera Ligure di Ponente. This is the same grape that is seen in France and Spain but under the names Grenache and Garnacha, respectively. It also grows in Sardinia with the name Cannonau and in other parts of Italy under the moniker of Alicante.

It’s a grape that is very widely grown throughout the world and fares especially well in hot weather and wind. It is a great red wine from maritime areas. It loves poor soils with a lot of fossils and being trained as a bush vine in order to protect itself from too much sun and too much wind. The grapes are medium to small in size, violet in color.

Just like a couple of other red grapes, Ciliegiolo and Rossese, Garnaccia has great personality, is well structured and well balanced. It pairs with some seafood, some fish dishes and other staples of Ligurian cuisine.

Today’s wine comes from Innocenzo Turco, a winery located near the town of Savona, specifically in Quiliano. They have 20 hectares which are all on hilly terrain. The 20 hectares include the vineyards, fruit trees and woods. The winery building was built in 1898. While they make a number of wines, Granaccia is what they consider their top of the line. It is a Colline Savonesi Igt.

The grapes are grown on red soils with clay with a southern exposition. The wine undergoes a maceration on the skins at controlled temperature for about 10 days. It spends 12 months in stainless steel tanks and then from 4-6 months more in the bottle before release.

It’s a beautiful ruby red color with a lovely spicy nose with hints of cherries and raspberries. It is fresh and pleasing on the palate with balance, structure and slight tanninic notes on the finish. I can see it with meaty fish, pasta or chicken.

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