Viticultural area: Liguria

Associated viticultural areas Italy Italy Liguria Liguria
Liguria

Liguria

Cinque TerreAlready in the early Middle Ages Liguria was famous for its Cinque Terre wine.
The statutes of the communes of Western Liguria dating from 1300 to 1600 talk about the existence of Rossese, while the first mention of Pigato can be found in 1635. Interesting particulars about wines at that time are given in “Saint Lancerio’s diary”, the saint being Pope Paul III’s butler, who in 1536 describes food and wine in greatest detail.
Even though wine-growing in Liguria was already mentioned in ancient times, its most magnificent period was, however, from 1500 to 1800. In his Pomona Italiana (1817 – 1839), Count Gallesio, considered the founder of Ligurian ampelography, minutely describes Ligurian wine-growing and the types of vines considered to have the highest quality. 
Vine-growing is arduous throughout Liguria, with vineyards along the coast, on hillsides and in inland valleys, from the sea up to 550 m above sea level

Facts and figures
Total wine-growing area of Liguria (ha.)

2,327

Total wine-growing area on difficult terrain
(altitude, steep slopes, terracing) (ha.)

2,113

Area with slopes > 30% (ha.)

971

Area at an altitude > 500 m above sea level (ha.)

346

Area terraced (ha.)

796

Maximum altitude of the vineyards (m above sea level)

0 - 550

Vineyards on difficult terrain

The whole area

(Data updated to 2004)

Subdivision of the area

Most of the wineries, 73%, have an area less than one hectare, making up 38% of the total area. Holdings between 1and 3 hectares comprise 39% of the area and 20% of the wineries. Wineries with over 3 hectares are 7% of the total and 23% of the area.

Wine-growing landscape

Vines are mainly grown on terraces or connected embankments and the vineyards are usually specialized. The older ones are among fruit or olive trees.
The wine-growing areas are part of protected areas such as nine regional parks, a national park, a national nature reserve and three regional nature reserves. As a rule the vineyards, cellars and rural buildings, the largest of which are often turned into private houses or holiday farms, are a long way from built up areas.

Main vines

White grapes:

  • Vermentino/Pigato
  • Bosco
  • Albarola/Bianchetta genovese
  • Trebbiano toscano
  • Lumassina
Black grapes:

  • Sangiovese
  • Rossese di Dolceacqua
  • Dolcetto
  • Ciliegiolo
  • Merlot
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