Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pigato grape from the Riviera di Ponente on the Italian Riviera

This is our first introduction on Vino Travels to the region of Liguria, also known as the Italian Riviera. Liguria is a mountainous region located in the northwestern part of Italy following along the coastline as you head towards France and the French Riviera, known as la costa azzurra. Most people may be familiar with Liguria by it's major towns including Genoa, Genova, and the five towns that make up the gorgeous coastline of the Cinque Terre. 
Riviera di Ponente in Liguria
Riviera di Ponente ~ Liguria by Filippo Giunchedi
The wine I'm sharing today is from Tenuta Agricola Colle dei Bardellini, which is located in the Riviera di Ponente area of Liguria, located on the western part of the region. This part is the more sunnier area of the region providing wines that contain more fruit and marked alcohol levels. The indigenous white grape of this region is Pigato, which is found only on the western side of Liguria. Pigato comes from the Italian verb, puntinato, meaning speckled or dotted as demonstrated by the specks on the grapes. The Pigato grape is related also to Vermentino. 
Vineyards hillside in Liguria
Hillside vineyards of Liguria by Rick Charles

The Tenute Agricola Colle dei Bardellini winery started in 1970, but came under new ownership in 1983 which focused on modernizing the winery and focusing on the quality of the winemaking. They own about 15 acres with about half of it dedicated to both the pigato and vermentino grapes.

2013 Tenuta Agricola Colle dei Bardellini Pigato
I tasted the 2012 Tenuta Agricola Colle dei Bardellini Pigato from the Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC area of Liguria. It was greenish yellow in color with aromas of minerality, lemongrass, green apple and a hint of almond. On the palate it's dry, crisp and sapid with balance and mostly green apple notes. Average retail is about $18.

The wines of this region are mostly whites and pair well with the cuisine. Typical foods of the region include pesto alla genovese, cioppino (fish stew), artichokes, focaccia, minestrone, olives (taggiasche) and mussels.     

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