Vermentino grows throughout Liguria, but the best is in the “zona dell’ albenganese”, or the region around and above the coastal town of Albenga. Jancis Robinson’s Wine Grapes book says, “Morphological and DNA comparisons have clearly established that… Pigato and Vermentino are one and the same variety”, but Ligurian growers disagree. The grapes certainly don’t look the same in the vineyard, and the resulting wines taste different, even when vinified the same.
Winemaker Antonio Basso represents the third generation of farmers from Ortovero, and tends some 259 separate, small vineyards on steep hillsides just three miles away from the Mediterranean. Altitude here ranges from 150 feet to as high as 2,100 feet.