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Established in 1970 by Riccardo Bruna, Azienda Agricola Bruna is the benchmark producer of the local Pigato (AKA Vermentino*) grape, a late-ripening variety named for the amber spots that appear on the bunches. Located in the Arroscia valley in western Liguria, the historic home for Pigato, Bruna is a tiny 7.5 hectare estate consisting of 5-6 vineyard plots, all planted on terraced vineyards carved out of the mountainside. Production in a top year is only 3000 cases. The vineyards are perched at 200-300 meters above sea level and only 15km from the Mediterranean. This area, known as the Maritime Alps, is known for its production of olives, cherries and aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and sage. Bruna is currently run by Riccardo’s daughter Francesca and her husband, Roberto. The estate has worked organically (not certified) since 2009. In addition to Pigato, Bruna makes a handful of red wines based on the local Granaccia variety, a variant of Grenache.
Vintage Notes: The 2016 vintage grapes were perfect. Budbreak got going slightly ahead of schedule because the winter was warm with little rain. The months of May and June were unusually rainy, with below average temperatures. The summer was warm and dry with the occasional storm, which refreshed the air. Good temperature swings between day and night. Harvest began on September 5th with the youngest vines and was prolonged until the first days of October for the highest vineyards of Pigato. It was a decidedly better harvest because it was more balanced when compared to the "super hot" 2015. The 2016 wines are juicy, balanced, with excellent structure and complex aromas.
*“Vermentino is actually Pigato. Wait a minute; no, Pigato is not Vermentino. After years debating the issue, researchers, wine experts and producers in Italy all agree to disagree on the subject. The academicians all apparently believe that Pigato and Vermentino are the same; many of Liguria’s wine producers do not. Being facetious, you might say that’s because the grapes are both Favorita. No, wait: they’re all Piccabon (a wrong attribution: we now know Piccabon is identical to Vernaccia di San Gimignano). And so the story goes on. And on. According to recent genetic testing, however, Piedmont’s Favorita and western Liguria’s Pigato appear to be biotypes of Vermentino, rather than distinct varieties… For the best Pigatos, try: Bruna*** (especially U Baccan, balsamic and rich).” – Ian d’Agata – Native Wine Grapes of Italy