Rossese is a red berry variety, with a compact, winged, medium-sized, con-ic-shaped bunch of grapes. The berries are small, purply dark red and have a juicy pulp.It is the ultimate wine grape variety of the Imperia province, and in fact it has been a driving force for the agricultural development of the territory.Rossese is probably a French native variety and its origins go way back to medieval times in which the Genoese Doria family already owned a castle in Dolceacqua and their troops used to raid the transalpine border cities. That was probably the reason why this variety was introduced in Liguria, in particular in the hills around Ventimiglia and Savona. Andrea Doria himself chose this variety to celebrate his fleet achievements and Napoleone Bona-parte, brought this wine with him during the Italian Campaign at the end of 1700, and requested a Rossese supply for french imperial palaces.

The name reminds of the red colour of the berries, even if in all the main ampelographic essays of the past century, it was described exclusively as a white variety; though Giorgio Gallesio’s Pomona Italiana describes it as Nice’s wine.Another peculiar fact is that Rossese is registered as a single variety, but there are at least two different types: Rossese di Ventimiglia, grown in western Liguria and used for the production of the designation Rossese di Dolceacqua wines, and Rossese di Campochiesa or Albenga which is most common in the Riviera Ligure di Ponente designation productions.The two varieties differ from one another by the leaves and bunch of grapes’ shapes.This variety is the base for the production of elegant, ruby red and maroon wines, with a strong vivacity structure, intense and complex aroma and with a balsamic ending note.

These wines are also dry, warm and enveloping and with an extraordinary longevity.Rossese can be used as:

-main vine in the Rossese di Dolceacqua PDO (min. 95%) and in the Riviera Lig-ure di Ponente Rossese PDO (min.90%);

-secondary wine in the Terrazze dell’Imperiese Rosso PGI (min. 40%, by itself or in combination with Ormeasco);

-complementary vine in all the PDO and PGI regional productions.



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