Explore the Wines of the Italian Riviera and Beyond

Explore the Wines of the Italian Riviera and Beyond

Exploring the Italian Riviera and the Exquisite Wines of Coastal Italy.

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of the Ligurian Sea, the Italian Riviera is a destination that offers more than just stunning views and charming villages. This enchanting region, stretching from the French border to Tuscany, is not only a paradise for travellers but also a haven for wine enthusiasts. Italy, with its rich viticultural heritage, boasts an array of wines that are as diverse as its landscapes, from the Italian Riviera to the Amalfi Coast and Tuscany to Sicily. Let's embark on a journey through the Italian Riviera and explore some of Italy's most celebrated wines: Gavi di Gavi, Pinot Grigio, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Etna Rosso, and Grillo.

The Charm of the Italian Riviera

The Italian Riviera is renowned for its idyllic coastal towns, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine. From the glamorous town of Portofino to the historic charm of Genoa, each location along the Riviera offers a unique experience. The region's temperate climate and fertile soil create the perfect conditions for growing a variety of grapes, making it a significant area for wine production.

Gavi di Gavi: The Jewel of Piedmont

Gavi di Gavi, often simply known as Gavi, is a white wine from the Piedmont region, just a stone's throw away from the Italian Riviera. This wine is made from the Cortese grape, known for its crisp and refreshing character. Gavi di Gavi stands out with its pale straw colour, delicate floral aromas, and flavours of green apple, lime, and a hint of almond. Its zesty acidity makes it an excellent companion for seafood, a staple in the coastal cuisine of the Riviera.

Tenuta San, Giacamo Gavi di Gavi - £18.10

Try our Gavi di Gavi from Tenuta San Giacamo. From the rolling hills of the Ligurian Pre-Apennines and close to the centre of Gavi, this wine has a floral fragrance, with hints of acacia and a round, dry flavour, with good balance and acidity. Perfect as an aperitif on a warm evening or with fish dishes at dinner.

Pinot Grigio: The International Star

Pinot Grigio is perhaps Italy's most famous white wine on the international stage. This versatile wine is produced in various regions across Italy, including the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions. Pinot Grigio from these areas is known for its light to medium body, bright acidity, and flavours of citrus, green apple, and pear. The wine's clean and refreshing profile makes it perfect for enjoying on a warm day along the Riviera, paired with light salads, seafood, or simply on its own.

Reguta, Pinot Grigio - £13.60

Our fabulous Pinot Grigio from Reguta is one of the best Pinot Grigio's we've ever tried. At at under £15 it's fantastic value too! Founded in 1928, Reguta has been a prominent name in Friuli ever since the region became famous for its world-class Pinot Grigio. It's one of the only place in Europe where the Pinot family of grapes can be considered almost indigenous and traditional, with a long history, ever since they were brought from Burgundy by Venetian traders over two centuries ago. Expect fresh and crunchy fruit characters, and a light easy to drink wine - a real crowd pleaser!

Dolcetto: The Everyday Red of Piedmont

Dolcetto is another gem from the Piedmont region, offering a delightful contrast to the region's more famous Barolo wines. Dolcetto translates to "little sweet one," but don't be misled by the name; this red wine is typically dry with soft tannins and a fruity character. Dolcetto wines are known for their deep ruby colour, aromas of black cherry and plum, and a touch of spice. With its easy-drinking nature, Dolcetto is a wonderful wine to enjoy with pasta dishes, pizza, and grilled meats, making it a favourite among locals.

Dolcetto d'Alba Bottle

Reva, Dolcetto d'Alba - £23.80

The Reva winery make some of he best wines in Piedmont - and their Dolcetto d'Alba is no exception. From 50-year-old vines; showing dazzling fresh red & dark cherries and charming crushed violets. A quintessentially soft wine, but with plush, mouth-filling dark plum, liquorice and prune flavours. An ultimate pizza or a mid-week wine. Try it lightly chilled on a warm summer day!

Sangiovese: Tuscany's Signature Grape

No exploration of Italian Wines would be complete without mentioning Sangiovese, Tuscany's signature grape. This versatile red grape forms the backbone of some of Italy's most renowned wines, including Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese Wines are celebrated for their medium to full body, high acidity, and firm tannins. They often exhibit flavours of red cherry, plum, and subtle notes of herbs and spice, with hints of earthiness. The complexity and elegance of Sangiovese make it an excellent match for traditional Tuscan dishes such as bistecca alla Fiorentina, hearty pastas, and aged cheeses. Whether enjoyed young or after years of aging, Sangiovese embodies the rich history and vibrant culture of Tuscany.

Conti di San Bonifacio, Monteregio - £25.60

This example from Conti di San Bonifacio is influenced by it's proximity to the Tuscan coast. A classic medium bodied Sangiovese, with some minerality on the palate. Perfect with full-flavoured pasta and risotto dishes. You can also try it with a herb-roasted pork or for a classic Italian pairing, serve with prosciutto and Tuscan salami.

Etna Rosso: The Volcanic Marvel

Now to the South. Sicily's Etna Rosso is a wine that embodies the dramatic landscape of its origin. Grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, Europe's highest and most active volcano, this red wine is primarily made from the Nerello Mascalese grape. The volcanic soil imparts a unique minerality to the wine, which is complemented by its vibrant acidity and elegant tannins. Etna Rosso typically exhibits flavours of red berries, cherry, and earthy undertones. This wine pairs beautifully with hearty Sicilian dishes, such as aubergine caponata or roasted lamb, offering a taste of the island's rich culinary heritage.

Judeka, Etna Rosso - £20.50

An up and coming region, we've found one of the best. Judeka's Etna Rosso is made from very fine Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from low yielding vineyards, both young and old. Rich dark fruit flavors, hints of chocolate, and a touch of Mediterranean herbs. Drunk young it is a distinguished wine. Fresh, fragrant, beautifully slender and with a fine grip, it has a natural polish and stage presence. And, in aging it gathers richness and complexity. Grab a bottle and impress your friends and family with this exquisite volcanic wine!

Grillo: The Sunshine in a Bottle

Grillo is a white wine grape native to Sicily, known for producing wines with bright, citrusy flavours and a refreshing acidity. Once primarily used in the production of Marsala, Grillo has gained popularity as a varietal wine. Grillo Wines are often characterised by their straw yellow colour, aromas of citrus, melon, and tropical fruits, and a crisp finish. This wine is an excellent match for the fresh seafood and vibrant vegetable dishes found along the Italian Riviera.

Baglio Inca, Alagna Grillo - £16.00

Don't leave without grabbing a bottle of our Grillo from Baglio IncaA family-owned winery, founded in 1940 by Antonio Casano, located in the far west of Sicily, in the town of Marsala. Known for withstanding Sicily's heat while maintaining good acidity, it's a testament to Sicilian winemaking heritage.

A Toast to Italian Wine

The Italian Riviera and Italy's diverse wine regions offer a cornucopia of flavours and experiences for wine lovers. Whether you are savouring a glass of Gavi di Gavi while gazing at the Ligurian Sea, enjoying a crisp Pinot Grigio on a sunny afternoon, indulging in a Dolcetto with a hearty meal, exploring the volcanic depths of Etna Rosso, or delighting in the tropical notes of Grillo, each sip tells a story of Italy's rich viticultural heritage.

As you plan your next journey to the Italian Riviera, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast or Sicily, be sure to explore the local wines and immerse yourself in the flavours that make this region a true paradise for oenophiles. Salute!