With a production of 400,000 hectolitres a year and a mere 5,000 hectares of vineyard, Liguria is one of Italy's smallest wine regions. Viticulture has a limited, discrete, almost timid foothold in this region whose Tyrrhenian coastline stretches in a long horseshoe shape from the French Cote d'Azur to the regional border with Tuscany, and in which almost every aspect of life is dominated by the sea. It is the sea, together with the Mediterranean pines, olive trees and aromatic plants which give the wines of Liguria their rare and unique character. In this idyllic setting famous for the exquisite flavours of its spring vegetables, tiny vineyards grapple for a place on narrow terraces known locally as "fasce".
These are the habitats of the local white Vermentino and Pigato varieties which thrive on the thin, rocky soils full of minerals. The wines of these difficult, ungenerous terroirs have distinctive personality, rich on the nose and above all long and tangy on the palate. The most important wines after Vermentino and Pigato della Riviera Ligure di Ponente, are the ruby coloured Rossesse di Dolceacqua which is grown in the area near the French border, and the white Cinqueterre and Sciacchetrà dessert wine from the Riviera di Levante in the province of La Spezia.