Liguria is a small coastal region renowned for its stunning landscape, running along Italy's Mediterranean coast between the French border and Tuscany. It shares the north-west of the country with its northern neighbor Piedmont. Known as the Italian Riviera, this thin, beautiful strip of rugged land with its Mediterranean climate and poor, stony soils is dominated by hills with sheer drops that almost fall straight into the sea. These steep elevations make vine growing a challenge, resulting in scattered vineyards (some can only be reached by boat) with limited production. In some areas the slopes are so steep that the land has to be cultivated by hand.
Although there are 100 varieties grown in this region, Liguria is generally known for its white wines made from Vermentino, which are known locally as Pigato for the spots (pighe) that appear on the mature grapes. There is some confusion over this, as it is not clear if Pigato is a synonym for Vermentino or a distinct variety. Whatever the answer, Liguria's white wines made from Pigato have a fragrant nose reminiscent of the Ligurian landscape's pine-wood and sea-salt aromas, as well as an underlying minerality. The red celebrities come in the form of Rossese, a variety which creates subtle, fruity and spicy wines, and Ormeasco, a similar variety to the Piedmontese Dolcetto.
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