ROCCESE – The Wine grown on the rock
“Drinking our product is more than sipping a glass of wine, it’s like re-experiencing the lives of the old farmers who tell us the story of our dry and loved Liguria”.
The name of this wine goes back a few centuries. Probably it first appeared in 1200 and derives from the fact that vines were cultivated between the rocks. They grew in the little space between rocks; the shoots were free to wind, like ivy, while the bunches were tied to stakes in order not to touch the ground and to absorb the heat of stones. The high content of sugar in the grapes produced a wine, both white and red, which tolerated long trips without alterations in its colour and flavour. Roccese is the story of our charming region of Liguria and not a grape variety. A part of this story was restored in a piece of land on the rise of Airole in the Roja Valley. In 1871, a wanderer from Genoa thus described the area:
“A man guided my steps and while walking he told me of the hard life of the inhabitants. Their strength, he said, lies in the achievements that they reach against an hostile, almost relentless nature. The farmer builds embankments on the steep slope, one above the other, held by dry-stone walls at an equal distance. The cliffs, broken with the pickaxe, give the stones for the walls which are built circular or straight according to the place. The peak of one wall and the base of the other are filled up with soil. These terraces, built with skill and hard work according to nature and in the form of an amphitheatre, were cultivated with vines and olive trees. I only had to admire the competence of the farmer who cultivated the hillsides in order to overcome the scarcity of levels occupied by the bed of the river. The silence is only broken by some streams who flow into the river. Exhausted, I stopped in Airole. Some exquisite Roya trouts and delicious local wine, gave me back energy and order.”
In restoring and keeping these old traditions alive, wine is produced according to old techniques as plants are never watered, nourished with organic fertilizers avoiding the utilization of chemical fertilizers or weed killers. The ground is hoed manually; superficial roots are cut so the remaining can go deep into the cracks between the rocks searching for water and nutrients. The officinal herbs interspersed in the vine play a big role in forming the wine’s scent.
Aged in steel barrels – Table wine
Deep ruby red, Roccese Red is aged in steel barrels for 12 months. It is obtained by the pressing of both rossese and local grapes of this land. This helps to maintain its scent and structure over long periods, allowing a perfect ageing.
The olfactory examination lets us understand the extraordinary connection with the area.Intense and complex, with scents of aromatic and officinal herbs peculiar of the vineyard it is full-flavoured and rich with a strong calorific value settling on smooth tannins.
This wine is balanced, intense and lingering and is perfectly matched with red meat, seasoned cheese and Ligurian dishes such as rabbit or stock fish.
Roccese Red Magnum
Aged in wooden barrels – Table wine
It is the result of an accurate selection at the harvest of the best grapes. It ferments for 12 months in steel barrels and 15 months in wooden barrels. Using exhausted casks an by stirring it weekly for 8 months are a guarantee that the wine does not change its characteristics. This allows the wine to acquire body and intriguing scents all to be discovered with the olfactory and the gustative examinations. Ruby red almost pomegranate, it is an extremely complex wine. Its scent is intense with fresh and appetizing hints of both officinal and aromatic herbs with wood flavours. Well-balanced, intense and rich, is perfectly matched with structured dishes.
Aged in steel barrels – Table wine
Made with Vermentino and Pigato along with 4 other local grapes in order to preserve its scent and its colour. The vines are set in different positions of the grape-yard where the sun is less burning. To lower the strength, the vines are left to wind in rows with an adequate number of bunches (normally the double as the red vine) choosing the best ones and eliminating during summer those who had not received enough sunlight.
Maybe not everyone knows that our elderly produced a wine by mixing red and white grapes which were vinified together. They used the lightest or less mature and added already pressed peels in order to avoid high proof but with the same characteristics and scents of the two main wines enriched by 10 other grapes.
This rosè wine was commonly called “vineta” in the Ligurian area and “piquette” in the French Riviera. It was not sold as it was consumed fresh by its producers.
Grappa of Roccese
The care in the choice of the freshly pressed marcs with the scents of the wine from which they come, allow to obtain delicate hues of flavour and smell.
This kind of high proof liquor, called “Aigavite”, was jealously kept in every house and given in case of blackout.
Agriturismo A TRINCEA AIROLE IM - CITR: 008001-AGR-0001