Liguria, Italy Known for its quaint beach villages and salty coastlines, the northwestern Italian region of Liguria is a winemaker’s dream. This coastal area spans 150 miles along the Mediterranean Sea, sharing a border with the south of France. Here, vineyard sites are rugged and sea-tinged, dominated by stony soils and craggy hillsides. Most of the vineyard work is done by hand. Vineyards have been cultivated in Liguria for over 2,500 years. Only 6,000 hectares of vines are cultivated in the region, and just 8% of these vineyards classified DOC. Most of the region’s vines are owned by small farmers making artisanal bottles, and the area’s limestone-rich soils are very conducive to grape growing. Here, Vermentino (known locally as Pigato) provides the backbone to the region’s salty, mineral-laden whites, while Rossese is the variety of choice for spicy, fruit-driven reds. Ciliegiolo, Ormeasco, and Coronata are also widely planted. Liguria is home to eight DOCs and four IGT appellations, yet remains the second smallest wine-producing region in all of Italy.