For a lot of visitors on a Cinque Terre tour, their primary reason for visiting the region is to walk the stunning coastal trail that links the five villages and drink in those magnificent views that have become so famous the world over. However, there are others that are very interested in drinking of a very different kind – and for them there’s also a lot to love! |
The region is renowned for its wine production and the terraced, almost vertical slopes that feature in so many images are still working vineyards – yielding some of the most sought after wines in Italy. For more than a thousand years viticulture has been a vital part of the local history. Everything from the planting to the harvesting is still done much as it always has been – by hand – and that’s no mean feat when you consider the perilous location.
Every region in Italy has its own specialities depending on which grapes thrive best and it’s no different here.
Wines to Try on your Cinque Terre Tour
The area is primarily known for its whites, as well as the distinct sweet dessert wine Sciacchetrá. If you’re looking to taste the authentic wines of the local region while on your Cinque Terre tour, look out for the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) labelling on the bottles. This denotes that it comes under the very strict regulatory quality controls.
The three main grapes grown on the terraced slopes here are Albarola, Bosco and Vermentino. These form the basis of the wonderful whites the area is famous for (including the Sciacchetrá) and the results pair beautifully with a range of food – in particular pesto pasta, seafood risotto and any dish with anchovies. Of course they’re delightful just on their own as well, or accompanied by some simple focaccia. The local wine is renowned for its crispness and herbal overtones. Depending on the winemaker the flavours can be incredibly diverse, ranging from the deep notes of minerals and sage of the fuller bodied wines, to the delightfully floral and citrus notes of the light bodied ones. The amber-coloured Sciacchetrá is definitely the show pony of the region and it’s made from the best of the three varieties of local grapes – the ones grown closest to the sea. The grapes are dried on special mats out in the sun for a period of a couple of months, which really concentrates the sugars. They are then fermented slowly and the result is a completely unique taste sensation with strong, sweet flavours of nuts, apricots, sage, tangerines and honey. It is absolutely delicious served alongside dessert or cheese.
Sample the Local Wines on a Cinque Terre Tour
Even though it’s perhaps better known for its views than its vines, there’s no doubt that for wine lovers, a Cinque Terre tour is a wonderful opportunity to taste some very interesting tipples. It’s made all the more special when you consider the unique challenges of the coastal terroir. The experience of sitting in a café or restaurant in any of the five villages, overlooking the picturesque views with a glass of something local in your hand is one that will remain in your memory (and on your taste buds) for many years to come.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best Cinque Terre tour itinerary. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
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