Many say that Liguria is best viewed from the sea. It’s not just the element that the land overlooks, often with careful, defensive architecture, but it’s also the perspective you need to truly understand the coast. The azure of the sea is not just a backdrop for Liguria; it is the soul that defines it, that knows it well.
Sailing off the coast of the Cinque Terre, we might understand them better. Perhaps what we’ll see is that the Cinque Terre are not just “small villages with colorful houses clinging to the rocky coast,” a somewhat overly picturesque postcard view. The Ligurian UNESCO heritage site that attracts travelers from around the world appears from the sea as a complex human and natural landscape connected to the cultivation of the land, olives, and vineyards. The characteristic regular lines of terraces that cut across the mountains are the solution that the “heroic” vineyard cultivators have found for the steep slopes and the challenges they face, moving up and down between sea and mountains.
Therefore, the wine of the Cinque Terre and the culture of local winemaking is perhaps the grandest story, the most authentic “storytelling” that describes the landscape of the Cinque Terre, its reliance on the land more than the sea, yet drawing lifeblood from the sea.
50 Years of the Cinque Terre Winery, Strength in Unity!
In 1973, 50 years ago, wine producers in the Cinque Terre united in the Cinque Terre Wine Consortium to produce the local DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin). What was happening in the last thirty years of the previous century, as in many other rural areas of Italy, was the depopulation of the area and the abandonment of vineyards in favor of life in cities, jobs less exposed to the elements, and a more comfortable existence. A millennial settlement that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, extended over an area of more than 1,000 hectares, has progressively decreased (nowadays, about a tenth of it is still preserved).
The task that the consortium of viticulturists set for themselves in 1973 was, and still is, to halt the abandonment of the land, to enhance the characteristics of local vines, and to protect the environment, biodiversity, and the beauty of the Cinque Terre. Reviving the past to look to the future, and bringing agriculture back to the center of a shared strategy for sustainable development, was the mission at a time when these issues in Italy were still rarely discussed. And it continues today, strengthened by increased awareness and also by a new desire among young producers to create wines that are both new and traditional.
The growing international popularity of the Cinque Terre DOC brand and the protection of the controlled designations of origin “Cinque Terre” and “Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà” are officially recognized and appreciated worldwide.
The Consortium has more than two hundred and twenty members, owning over 46 hectares of vineyards distributed in one of the most authentic D.O.C. districts in the world.
The group’s spirit of mutual aid allows producers to protect each other from speculative tactics on the territory and to assist in its preservation, for example, those characteristic dry-stone walls that, besides making the view from the sea unique, aid work in the vineyards.
The Cinque Terre Winery Visit
Discover the cultivation and harvesting processes of the Cinque Terre D.O.C. wines and the drying processes of the famous Sciacchetra, an exceptional dessert wine produced in small quantities. Finally, enjoy a tasting of three white wines and a glass of Sciacchetra with the producers.
This experience is more than just a simple visit with a tasting; it’s a true blend of wine culture, aromas, and flavors, as you discover the winemaking that makes a difference, from cultivation to production, from bottling to tasting, in the company of men and women who know the value of tradition and how to convey it.