Picture an endless array of ancient carved terraces, each one a unique shape yet organized into perfectly spaced, fluid yet curving lines; they look like  an assortment of hundreds of smartly shaped quilts each intricately attached yet separate. The terraces seem to lead, like giant steps, directly into the sea; each a work or art and an expert example in engineering. It is a handed down craft much like wine making, often lost or forgotten, yet unlike wine the terraces seem to last forever.

Each terrace appears to be its own private arboretum, with gorgeous colors and shapes; additionally there are perfectly manicured vines alongside olive, peach and lemon trees. You might also see grape drying stations that resemble crude bamboo shelters. The terraces and its excellent draining along with the sea air, as well as semi-fertile soil make for an excellent yet temperamental environment. The perfect grape for this territory is Vermentino, brought to the area from Spain in the 14th century, it is a temperamental varietal yet when grown well makes for exceptional wine grapes. Vermentino is usually grown in sea side areas and produces a refreshing, fruity, herbal white wine, designed to be consumed young and a perfect pair for fish and light foods.

Specialty foods of this Italian region:
Olives as well as extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs with basil in particular, focaccia breads of simple combinations such as with anchovy paste, olive oil and sea salt, and olives with onions, fish, with a specialty being a white wine and olive fish stew, or a tomato based fish stew featuring squid, as well as mixed fried fish. Other foods include mushrooms and mushroom sauces, pesto, pine nuts, as well as the use of various aged cheese (although not combined with any fish dishes).

Must see places:
Cinque Terre, La Riviera di Ponente, La Riviera di Levante, the Cloisters of Sant’Andrea, Via Garibaldi, and The Royal Palace and Genoa
Interesting Facts about the region:
Birthplace of Christopher Columbus, favorite destination for the rich and famous, this area is known as the Italian Riviera.
Wine zones or appellations

-DOC: Cinque Terre, Colli di Luni, Colline di Levanto, Golfo del Tigullio, Pomassio, Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Rossese di Dolceacqua, Val Polcevera

-IGT: Colline del Genovesato, Colline Savonesi, Golfo dei Poeti La Spezia

Capital: Genova
Population of Liguria region: approximately 1.6 Million

Provinces of (Italia):
Genova (GE), Imperia (IM), La Spezia (SP), Savona (SV)

White (bianco): Bosco, Pigato, Vermentino. Red (rosso): Ciliegiolo, Dolcetto, Ormeasco, Rossese, Sangiovese

When searching for wines to buy within this region Vermentino and Pigato are key whites to taste and pair with fish dishes, in particular fried mixed fish , a Ligurian specialty. We also suggest pairing white wines with pasta with Pesto sauce; a pine nut (toasted), olive oil, garlic, Parmigiano and fresh basil, uncooked or smashed "sauce" (a Ligurian specialty).When it comes to the red wines of this region there are a few definitely worth testing; Rossese is an interesting red wine that is somewhat similar to some of the savory French wines (such as Cotes du Rhone). Another compelling red that is a nice value is Dolcetto, although we suggest sticking with estate bottled reds.
*Note estate wines utilize only grapes within the winemaker's vineyard while standard bottling may utilize grapes from many different plantings and vineyards.

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