The Wines of Lunigiana

wines of lunigianaRecently, the US Wine & Spirits magazine website published an excellent article on the wines of Lunigiana. If you’re interested in wine, I’d certainly suggest you read it.  While I admit to being fond of a glass or two of wine, I am certainly not an expert. However, this is one of the most helpful articles on the region’s wines that I have read for the non-expert like me.

Click here to read the article: Lunigiana: where Tuscany meets Liguria by Alan Tardi

A few key points on the wines of Lunigiana from the article

  • The wines of Lunigiana are mainly Colli Di Luni DOC or Toscana IGT. The Colli di Luni DOC, created in 1989, is the largest denomination both in volume of wine and the number of wineries. It is one of the few Italian Wine appellations to cross regional boundaries.
  • Lunigiana has distinctive terroirs thanks to its terrain and microclimates:
    • the Magra valley with its sandy soil rich in alluvial deposits and salinity levels reduced by the fresh river water, produces wines that are fresh, simple and best drunk young.
    • the hills, where the terraces offer better ventilation and drainage and where there are significant differences in the day and nighttime temperatures, produces wines with more perfume, body and complexity. Here the grape yields are lower than in the valley and the fermentation time and ageing process is longer.  The alcohol content tends to be higher.

Contrast these terroirs with the area behind Massa, Carrara and Montignoso that produces the Candia dei Colli Apuani DOC wines. The soil here has more clay and chalk than the Colli di Luni, making for earthier and more concentrated wines.

wines of lunigiana

  • The main grape variety in the Ligurian part of Lunigiana is vermentino. In Tuscany it is sangiovese.
  • Colli di Luni vermentinos are softer and rounder than most of the Ligurian vermentinos, although they may have less flavour. They are lighter and more elegant than those from further south, for example from Sardinia.
  • One of the rising stars in Lunigiana is Vermentino Nero, which is indigenous to the area. It is still quite rare as it is both difficult to grow and to turn into wine.
  • Some of Lunigiana’s most exciting wines are bottled under the Toscana IGT label rather than the Colli di Luni DOC.
  • Many of Lunigiana’s indigenous grape varieties are found nowhere else.
  • The largest winery in Lunigiana is Lunae, which produces 37,500 cases from its 16 acres of vineyards and the grapes from 150 small farmers.
  • There are over 40 wineries in Lunigiana producing indigenous grape varieties. Most of these wineries are small.
The Wines of Lunigiana appeared on Ciao Lunigiana on 20 April 2013. All rights reserved.


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