The Region
Proceeding eastward through the Cinque Terre, one can note striking differences in the terroir of the five towns, despite the uniformity of their climate and exposure.
The soil of the first of the towns, Monterosso, is characterized by scattered deposits of sandstone, which render it highly permeable to rainwater and therefore readily drained. Here, the vines set root in a loose, acid soil, close to an underlying matrix of schist, rich in mineral deposits which include, quite naturally, salt from the marine environment.
These factors, together with the mild climate of the Cinque Terre, ensure a remarkable wine. The entire region is sheltered from the cold winds of the north by a protective backdropof hills, and its southwestern exposure has the added benefit of concentrating the warmth of the sun on the seaside vineyards.
Mild, rainy springs bring forth the first buds in March, and warm, dry summers with long hours of unobstructed sunlight foster the ripening process. These conditions increase the sugar content in the grapes and hasten their maturation for an early harvest in mid-September.