Liguria's Legendary Vermentino
2020 Bruna 'U Baccan' Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC
Far better known for its scenery than its wine production, the tiny region of Liguria on the Italian Riviera is another example of 'hero winemaking'. The volume of wine produced here is one of the smallest in Italy, and we only receive a tiny allocation each year from Bruna.
While wine has been made on this tiny strip of land between the mountains and sea since the Etruscan and Roman eras, few people have the patience required to care for these terraced vineyards carved into the dramatic cliffs that plunge into the deep blue Ligurian Sea. Some of the vineyards here are only accessible by boat, and cultivation by machine is not an option.
The Pigato clone of Vermentino is the most common grape in Liguria. ‘Pigato’, translates to 'spotted', and is so named because of the freckled appearance of its berries. While DNA comparisons have established that Pigato and Vermentino are the same variety, Ligurians believe Pigato grapes possess more distinct salinity and minerality, and display more of the characters of the abundant local herbs, like sage, rosemary and marjoram.
Azienda Agricola Bruna produces what is arguably Liguria's finest Pigato. Founded by the late Riccardo Bruna in 1970, the winery is now run by Bruna’s daughter, Francesca and her husband Roberto. Though not organically certified, Francesca and Roberto are obsessed with soil quality and delivering the purest possible wines via organic methods. Their wines are famous for their precision and clear expression of this seaside terroir.
The best fruit from their low-yielding old vines gets selected each vintage for ‘U Baccan’. After initial fermentation in steel, further fermentation and ageing in barrel on lees ensues, with regular battonage for 10 months. The attention to detail in fruit selection and winemaking showcases Vermentino’s complexity and great personality.
Straw yellow in the glass, with aromas of Mediterranean herbs like sage and thyme, as well as peach, mango and acacia honey. Mouthfilling texture with balsamic and mineral notes. This wine will complement seafood, vegetarian dishes and Liguria’s famous pesto. Today, we are pairing it with Executive Chef Nino Zoccali's Corzetti Pasta with Marjoram Pesto recipe.