Vermentino is one of Italy’s great grape varieties. It is the perfect white wine to sip on a beach, have as an aperitivo or pair with wonderful seafood. To me it spells summer, sailing and relaxation. Vermentino can be found in a number of different regions in Italy including all over Liguria, pictured above.
It grows from North to South in Liguria, both along the coast and inland. Some of the most famous wines made in Liguria from Vermentino are from the Colli di Luni, pictured in the distant hills.
Vermentino is also widely grown in Tuscany, in Maremma, along the coast and a bit inland. I have had a number of wonderful Vermentinos from Maremma including some from Suvereto, right in front of the Archipelago of Elba. This particular wine is made by a friend, Barbara Tamburini at Gualdo del Re. They can’t produce enough of it according to Nico Rossi, the owner. It flies off the shelves. I certainly can understand that. Vermentino has enough fruit and floral aromas, acidity and minerality that it goes down quite quickly and one glass leads to another pretty seamlessly. I was told recently that a big Tuscan producer who shall remain nameless believes so highly in the grape that he was planning to plant an extra 50 hectares rather.
When speaking about Vermentino however we must always remember to mention Sardinia where it holds a distinctive DOCG denomination in Gallura. Vermentino also grows on Corsica but that doesn’t come into our discussion. It does however make the cut for Benvenuto Vermentino, a festival celebrating Vermentino from around the Mediterranean.
Vermentino is a great grape variety that should be on your radar and there are as you can see many places to choose from. It is quite versatile and easy to pronounce as well so I think it can have a great future both on American wine lists and as a by the glass pour in many a wine bar once our lives are back to normal. Vermentino from Sardinia tends to have more salinity and to be a bit more full bodied. I have had sparkling, still and late harvest. I look forward to having my next one in about one hour when I talk about Vermentino as part of a series for Les Dames d’Escoffier with fellow Dame Silvia Baldini.