- Liguria, Italy
Established in 1970 by the late Riccardo Bruna, Azienda Agricola Bruna is the benchmark producer of the local Pigato (AKA Vermentino*) grape, a late-ripening variety named for the amber spots that appear on the bunches. Located in the Arroscia valley in western Liguria, the historic home for Pigato, Bruna is a tiny 7.5 hectare estate consisting of 5-6 vineyard plots, all planted on terraced vineyards carved out of the mountainside. Production in a top year is only 3000 cases. The vineyards are perched at 200-300 meters above sea level and only 15km from the Mediterranean. This area, known as the Maritime Alps, is known for its production of olives, cherries and aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage. Bruna is run by Riccardo’s daughter Francesca and her husband, Roberto. The estate has worked organically (not certified) since 2009. In addition to its three Pigato wines, Bruna makes a Vermentino, a Rossese, and a two red blends based on the local Granaccia variety, a variant of Grenache.
*“Vermentino is actually Pigato. Wait a minute; no, Pigato is not Vermentino. After years debating the issue, researchers, wine experts and producers in Italy all agree to disagree on the subject. The academicians all apparently believe that Pigato and Vermentino are the same; many of Liguria’s wine producers do not. Being facetious, you might say that’s because the grapes are both Favorita. No, wait: they’re all Piccabon (a wrong attribution: we now know Piccabon is identical to Vernaccia di San Gimignano). And so the story goes on. And on. According to recent genetic testing, however, Piedmont’s Favorita and western Liguria’s Pigato appear to be biotypes of Vermentino, rather than distinct varieties… For the best Pigatos, try: Bruna*** (especially U Baccan, balsamic and rich).” – Ian d’Agata – Native Wine Grapes of Italy