Pinogino    Via Podestò 31, Castiglione Chiavarese Italy  

Liguria stretches in a narrow ribbon along the coast from France to Tuscany; it’s the smallest region in Italy.  Good things come in small packages. Fishing village, after fishing village, some made famous, some not. It was in the port of  Camogli where we found a bottle of Pinogino while having a late dinner at our favorite spot, Porto Prego. Victorio D’Errico, owner, fisherman, chef, sommelier, all round most humble guy, suggested it. We were hooked.  A phone call later, we were off to see them.

High in the rolling hills of Castiglione Chiavarese, overlooking Portofino on the Ligurian Sea, sits the well cared for vineyards and winery of Pinogino; a brother and sister team, he tends the ancient fields, she makes the wine. Passed down from their father, Gino, Pinogino is small well organized and highly loved organization on the land where Benedictine Monks had vineyards in the Middle ages.

Antonella Pino meets us at the winery, then with pride, shows off the families vineyards. Rows olive trees, trellises of grapes, occasional flowers, all planted artfully on the hillside. Four hectars of their12 are planted with indigenous historically grown grapes: Vermentino and Bianchetta, but also Ciliegiolo and Muscat. Pinogino’s wines are structured, all join a refreshing acidity with a good mineral base. Classic Ligurian.