Napa Valley Wine Academy

How Well Do You Know the Wines of Liguria, Italy?

Take the quiz and find out!

Love Italian wines? Studying Italian wines? Then let’s see how well you know the wine region of Liquria, one of Italy’s 20 wine regions. We have included some resources to learn more about the region, so check out the links.

Learn more about Italian Wines

The Wines of Liguria, Italy

Liguria, a coastal region in northwestern Italy, is known for its stunning Riviera coastline, picturesque villages, and of course, its unique wines. This region, though not as famous as Tuscany or Piedmont in terms of wine production, offers an array of distinctive wines that are a reflection of its diverse terrain and microclimates.

White Wines

  1. Vermentino: The most renowned white wine of Liguria. It’s known for its aromatic profile, with notes of citrus, green apple, and herbs, and a refreshing acidity that makes it a great pairing with seafood, a staple in Ligurian cuisine.

  2. Pigato: Another significant white variety, Pigato is often confused with Vermentino due to their similarities. However, Pigato tends to have a more robust flavor, with hints of peach, almond, and a slightly bitter finish. It’s excellent with richer seafood dishes and pesto, another regional specialty.

  3. Bianchetta Genovese: A lesser-known variety that produces light and crisp wines. It’s often blended with other varieties and is a perfect accompaniment to the light and fresh dishes of the region.

Red Wines

  1. Rossese di Dolceacqua: The star red wine of Liguria. It’s a light-bodied wine with a characteristically bright ruby color, offering flavors of red berries, herbs, and floral notes. It pairs wonderfully with the region’s meat dishes and pastas.

  2. Ormeasco: Similar to Piedmont’s Dolcetto, this wine is typically light and fruity, with a pleasant tartness. It’s a versatile wine that can go well with a variety of dishes, from seafood to meats.

Dessert Wines

  1. Sciacchetrà: A prestigious sweet wine, primarily produced in the Cinque Terre area. Made from grapes left to dry to concentrate their sugars, it has rich flavors of honey, dried fruit, and spices. It’s a perfect match for desserts or as a meditation wine.

Wine Culture in Liguria

Ligurian wines are deeply tied to the region’s cuisine and landscape. The steep terraces and proximity to the sea give these wines a unique mineral quality. Small-scale production means that many Ligurian wines are hard to find outside of Italy, making a visit to the region a special treat for wine enthusiasts.

Visiting Liguria provides an opportunity to experience these wines in their natural context, alongside fresh seafood, classic pesto, and stunning coastal views. The wine culture here is about more than just the drink; it’s about the integration of food, wine, and natural beauty, creating an experience that embodies the essence of the Italian Riviera.

Frequently Asked Questions: Ligurian Wines


  1. What are the most popular wine varieties in Liguria?

    • Answer: The most popular wine varieties in Liguria include Vermentino and Pigato for white wines, and Rossese di Dolceacqua for red wines. Vermentino is aromatic and citrusy, Pigato offers a robust flavor with a slightly bitter finish, and Rossese di Dolceacqua is known for its light body and berry flavors.
  2. Is Liguria known for any unique wine-making practices?

    • Answer: Yes, Liguria is renowned for its terraced vineyards, which are often located on steep coastal cliffs. This challenging terrain leads to labor-intensive farming practices but results in unique, high-quality wines. The region also produces Sciacchetrà, a sweet wine made from grapes left to dry to concentrate their sugars.
  3. Can Ligurian wines be easily found outside of Italy?

    • Answer: Ligurian wines, especially the less common varieties, can be challenging to find outside of Italy due to the region’s small-scale production. However, popular varieties like Vermentino are increasingly available in international markets.
  4. What food pairings work well with Ligurian wines?

    • Answer: Ligurian wines pair wonderfully with the region’s cuisine. Vermentino and Pigato are excellent with seafood dishes, while Rossese di Dolceacqua complements meat dishes and pasta. Sciacchetrà is perfect with desserts or as a stand-alone meditation wine.
  5. What is the best time of year to visit Liguria for wine tasting?

    • Answer: The best time to visit Liguria for wine tasting is during late spring through early fall. This period offers beautiful weather and the opportunity to participate in local wine festivals and harvest events.
  6. Are there wine tours available in Liguria?

    • Answer: Yes, there are numerous wine tours available in Liguria. These tours offer a chance to visit vineyards, taste different wines, and learn about the region’s unique wine-making techniques. It’s a great way to explore the landscape and culture of Liguria.
  7. How does the coastal climate affect Ligurian wines?

    • Answer: The coastal climate and proximity to the sea impart a distinctive minerality to Ligurian wines. The mild climate, combined with sea breezes, helps maintain acidity in the grapes, contributing to the fresh and crisp characteristics of these wines.


Cancellations of confirmed in-person course enrollments and workshops are accepted up to 60 days before the start of the course. An administration fee of $50 plus the full cost of the study materials and exam fees will be deducted, and the remainder of the course fee refunded to the payee. Separate WSET exam cancellation/transfer rules apply.
Transfers of a confirmed enrollment to another course are accepted 60 days before the course start date with an administration fee of $50.

Cancellations less than 60 days before the in-person course start date or course no shows forfeit any refund/transfer options unless students can provide medical documentation. If medical documentation is provided, students can be transferred to a later course. No refunds will be applied.

Course Transfers cannot be carried forward to the next academic year (which commenced on January 1).

Students are highly encouraged to purchase separate travel insurance.

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