The privileged position of the area offers a unique microclimate where the action of sea and mountain breezes, alternating between day and night, creates an optimal condition for growing vines and producing wines of excellence. Here the soil is of an alluvial/sandy nature in the valley, and leaner clay on the hills which supports varieties such as Vermentino with completely different taste profiles.
Cantine Lunae Bosoni is one of the star producers in the area, located between the Ligurian villages of Ortonovo and Castelnuova Magra on the border between Tuscany and Liguria. Owned by the Bosoni family for five generations, Paolo Bosoni took control of the family business from his father in 1966. The winery was named after the ancient Roman city called “Portus Lunae” (the Port of the Moon), one of the most important cities and ports in the Northern part of the ancient Roman Empire and wants to recall the millenary tradition of winemaking in this area (Roman ruins are still intact just a few miles from the winery).
Lunae currently represents the largest winery in Liguria with an annual total production of approximately 780,000 bottles. The Bosonis control 85 hectares of vineyards in prized locations (both on the hillside and on the plain), of which 50ha are family-owned, 15ha are long-term leases and the remaining 20ha are owned by local growers who, supported by the company’s technical staff, contribute their small grape production, keeping alive traditions and the unique quality of the wine.
Forming a crescent along Italy’s northwestern Mediterranean coast, Liguria is one of the country’s smallest regions. Though its ports, Genoa and Savona have welcomed foreign influence for centuries, the region today is experiencing a fresh interest in its own indigenous varieties. Liguria commits large efforts to the white Vermentino (also called Pigato) and the red varieties Rossese, Sangiovese and Dolcetto (also called Ormeasco in Liguria).
Liguria has no shortage of dizzyingly steep, coastal vineyards. On its eastern end in Cinqueterre, Vermentino grows along cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. On its west, bordering France, terraced, seaside vineyards are home to Rossese di Dolceacqua, Liguria’s powerful yet highly aromatic red.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.