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WineCountry.it - Liguria Region Italy

Liguria:
Grape Varieties

White

Albarola:

Light white grape used to make the Cinque Terre varietals.

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Bianchetta Genovese:

Used in the blends of Golfo del Tigullio DOCs.

Bosco:

Light white grape from Cinque Terre used in many blendings.

Chardonnay:

This Burgundy variety is so versatile and commercially viable at the same time, that it was widely introduced throughout Italy after the phylloxera annihilated most Italian vineyards at the end of the nineteenth century. Produced in many flavors all over the country.

Lumassina:

Light white from the area around Savona.

Malvasia:

Thought to be of Greek origin, Malvasia is among the most cultivated grapes in Italy. It comes in many varieties.

Moscatello:

Also known as Muscatel, it is a large-berried variety of Moscato.

Moscato Bianco:

Italian name for the French Muscat Blanc à Petit Grain, The oldest known variety of Muscat. It is the most planted and most appreciated among the widely cultivated Moscato varieties grown in Italy. It is also known as Moscato Canelli.

Müller-Thurgau:

German cross of Riesling and Sylvaner, at its best high in the Trentino Alps.

Pigato:

Most densely-grown around Albenga, this sharp, herbal-flavored grape is thought to be of Greek origin.

Pinot Bianco:

The Italian version of the French Pinot Blanc, this grape has been planted in Italy since the early 1800s. Arguably, the best variety is the Friuli-Venezia Giulia one also known as Weissburgunder.

Pinot Grigio:

Known in French as Pinot Gris, this is an extremely productive grape with highly variable characteristics.

Rollo:

Maybe related to the French Rolle.

Sauvignon:

Homonym of the French Sauvignon Blanc, it is made into a number of varieties throughout Italy.

Sòmillon:

Though not widely used, it makes interesting blends when mixed with Sauvignon.

Trebbiano:

Known in France as Ugni Blanc, Trebbiano represents the largest family of Italian white grapes and counts a large number of variations throughout Italy. It is an extremely productive grape used to produce generally light, pale white wines. Its origins are widely debated.

Trebbiano Toscano:

A Tuscan sub-variety of Trebbiano, it is by far the most cultivated of the family. It is used in countless blends throughout Italy, especially in Tuscany.

Vermentino:

A crisp, acidic grape with herbal hints lent by the Mediterranean scrub, Vermentino is among the most appreciated Italian native whites. Extremely durable and resistant to both heat and drought, it grows particularly well in coastal areas such as the Tuscan Maremma or the rocky Gallura in Sardinia.

Voigner:

An aromatic and plump French grape that is gaining popularity in Italy.

Red

Aleatico:

Grown all over Italy, this unusual red is suspected to be a mutation of Moscato or Muscat. It is used to make sweet and perfumed reds in Tuscany, Lazio and Apulia among other regions.

Cabernet Franc:

French varietal widely grown in all regions, but especially in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Produces very characteristic reds.

Cabernet Sauvignon:

Originally from France, this grape is widely grown all over Italy and has become the base for some of the most appreciated and expensive Italian red wines. Similar to other original French grapes such as Merlot and Cabernet Franc, it was widely planted throughout Italy after phylloxera wiped out most of northern Italy's vineyards at the end of the nineteenth century.

Ciliegiolo:

As the name suggests, it is often used in Tuscany to make unique varietal of bright, cherry-scented red wines.

Dolcetto:

In local parlance, the name means "little sweet thing" and refers to the sweetness of the ripe grape. It ripens early and it is used in soft, dark reds with strong black-fruit flavors and surprisingly soft tannins.

Gamay:

Grown widely throughout Italy, it is vinified as Colli del Trasimeno DOC varietal in Umbria.

Malbech:

Also known as Malbec, it is a tannic, dark red Bordeaux variety used to beef up blends.

Merlot:

This highly productive and adaptable variety of Bordeaux was introduced in Italy probably at the end of the nineteenth century. Today, it is the third most planted red grape in Italy.

Petite Verdot:

This prized blending variety of Bordeaux is well appreciated for its deep, dark color and tannic structure.

Pinot Nero:

The Italian version of Pinot Noir is at its best in Piedmont, Oltrepò Pavese, and Alto Adige wines.

Pollera Nera:

Blending variety

Rossese:

Native of the western Ligurian Riviera, this savory, spicy red is mostly grown around Dolceacqua (IM).

Sangiovese:

Considered Italy's most noble red grape, it is the base for many prize-winning wines including Chianti Classico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano and, last but not least, the increasingly known Sangiovese di Romagna. It is considered a native wild vine (vitis silvestris in Latin) that was first domesticated by the Etruscans in the Tuscan - Emilian Appennines. It has a characteristic black cherry aroma with scents of wood smoke, tar and wild herbs.

Syrah:

Also known as Shiraz. Thought to be of Persian origin, this is a very popular grape in Australia as well as in the Rhone Valley. Given the resistance of this grape to intense heat, it is gaining popularity throughout Italy and especially in Sicily, the Tuscan Maremma, Latium, and other areas where the summer heat can be intense. It is used in both blends and varietal bottlings.

Tannat:

A grape originally from south-west France where it is known as Madiran, this is a very tannic, dark variety used for blending.

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