Home / Country / Italy / Rossese by Luigi Calvini, San Remo, Liguria, Italy

 

“Liguria is a very particular wine-growing region, as there is not even one flat hectare of terrain…They produce relatively little wine and it is largely about regional, often autochthonous varieties like Bosco, Albarolaor Pigato.”

By Mariusz Rybak

Rossese is another interesting variety to be found only in Italy. The origin of this variety is unknown, but it has been grown in Liguria since at least the 16th century. There are two DOC areas where it is cultivated –Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rosseseand Rossese di Dolceacqua. Both regions are tiny and so all Rossese grapes come from barely 400ha.

Liguria is a very particular wine-growing region, as there is not even one flat hectare of terrain. It’s all about a long and thin strip of land between the Mediterranean (the part called Ligurian Sea) and the Alps. They produce relatively little wine and it is largely about regional, often autochthonous varieties like BoscoAlbarolaor Pigato.

Wines from the Riviera Ligure di Ponente are mostly pure Rossese and so was mine. I had a bottle from 2010, but Rossese is not Barolo, and I doubt it should be stored and aged. The aroma was quite unique, reminding me of rosehips, but also strawberry and maybe slightly of prunes. Tasting it I discovered a remarkable note of acidity of herbal character. And I must admit, as much as I liked it, my friends didn’t.

I guess you cannot serve this wine to impress some important business partners but it is certainly a fascinating trip into the culture and identity of the picturesque coastal Liguria and its people.

Mariusz Rybak is currently researching Serbian wine culture and the notion of wine as a cultural good. His musings on such topics can be read on his blog, Kawa and Vino.

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