Cantina Campogrande | Cinqueterre

Workers in the steep Campogrande vineyard overlooking the Ligurian sea.

Cantina Campogrande is a passionate project for famed Barolo producer Elio Altare, with the aim being to contribute to the rebirth of the extraordinary terroir that is Cinqueterre DOC. At one point not far off extinction, the total DOC, even now, still only amounts to a mere 79 ha of vines, perched on the sheer rocky slopes on the Ligurian coast.

In 2005 Elio Altare and local Antonio Bonanni set about clearing the Campogrande vineyard, which had been abandoned and covered with forest, before replanting it in rows. Their first harvest was 2008. In the vineyard indigenous grapes Bosco and Albarola are grown, no herbicides, insecticides, or fertilisers are used - only manure -and every single vine is treated according to its characteristics and potential. In the cellar the grapes are de-stalked and fermentation is spontaneous. The wines are neither fined nor filtered retaining all their components and reflecting the maximum expression of the territory, of the varieties and of the vintage.

These are brilliant, artisan wines made with respect for the environment and local culture. Characterful without being idiosyncratic, full-flavoured yet poised, these are wines to thrill and surprise. Production is sadly very limited, the estate’s total output is less than 6000 bottles a year!