Wines of Liguria: Pigato & Macajolo

Pigato vineyards in Liguria. Courtesy of www.dunemu.i

Wines of Liguria: Pigato & Macajolo

A terraced vineyard of Pigato grapes in Liguria, Italy.

Pigato vineyards in Liguria. Courtesy of

Amidst the dramatic natural beauty of Liguria’s Riviera coastline, the merits of the region’s fine winemaking traditions are often overlooked. Pigato and Macajolo wines are two undiscovered treasures of the area, embodying the region’s mild Mediterranean climate and fertile landscape. Perfect for accompanying typical Ligurian cuisine, such as trofie with pesto, grilled fish, seafood stews, fresh vegetables and herb inspired dishes, Pigato and Macajolo are easy drinking wines that easily satisfy the palates of both oenophiles and casual wine drinkers alike.


A cluster of Pigato grapes on the vine.

Pigato grapes. Courtesy of Il Cantonale

The word Pigato, meaning “pigmented”, derives from the unique, blotchy skin of the grape varietal. Best grown on Liguria’s signature hillsides and terraces that overlook the sea, Pigato is an intensely flavored, dry white wine that remains smooth on the palate. The wine is produced in very small quantities with much of its production taking place in Salea di Albenga, located in Liguria’s north-eastern province of Savona. Pigato is a single varietal wine with 95% of its composition from the Pigato grape. It exudes a lightly golden hue and contains notes of almond, wildflower and intense peach.


Macajolo is made from the Ormeasco grape.

Macajolo wine from the Ormeasco grape. Courtesy of

Macajolo is made from 100% Ormeasco grapes cultivated in Liguria’s Imperia province that borders France. Produced in very small batches, Macajolo is cultivated within the winemaking zone of Ormeasco di Pornassio. Due to changes in production regulations, it is no longer acknowledged as a D.O.C wine like its cousin Riviera Ligure di Ponente Ormeasco. Although technically considered a red table wine, Macajolo is anything but mundane. Intensely ruby red in color, the wine is medium bodied and clean on the palate. Its flavors consists of an explosion of currant and pepper, with subtle hints of violet. The wine pairs excellently with not only pasta and meat dishes, but with spicy seafood and tomato based stews.

About the author

Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.

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