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The vines of Liguria

The vines of Liguria have always been mysterious and originating from the entire Mediterranean, thanks to the maritime activities of the Liguria people and traveling with travellers, often finding an ideal habitat in the Liguria hills.

The historian Giorgio Gallesio, born in Finalborgo in 1772, was the first to catalogue and decipher the puzzle of the vineyards of Liguria. The heir to a noble family, Gallesio followed the path laid out by the family and had an administrative career, reaching the rank of sub-prefect of Napoleon until 1823 when he retired. He then began a second life of study and travel during which he studied the different grape varieties such as Vermentino or Dolcetto, then present in the Genoa area and which has now become Ormeasco: one of the treasures of western Liguria. Taggia, then a very important city, had a huge wealth of varieties like Crovajola, Barbarossa, Aleatico, Moscatelli, and Vermentino.

Some of these have completely disappeared while others have survived thanks to the willpower of brave winemakers. In the lands of Ventimiglia and Menton, then as now, reigned the Rossese which was described as a grape with an easy alcohol content; there was also the Barbarossa, pink grapes with excellent production but not much alcohol; while as whites there was the Tabacca, an ancient grape with very large grapes which produced powerful and high-alcohol content wines, that some young winemakers are rediscovering in the west; the ever-present Vermentino and the increasingly rare white Rossese.

Massimo Sacco

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