Cinque Terre full of flavours and fascinating landscapes
Cinque Terre: sea cliff rising like towers on the sea. Citrus groves and precious vineyards imprisoning the greedy fragrances of the Mediterranean flora and of sea saltiness. Daring terraces. Mystical paths and seaside villages winding along the gentle slope of the hills. The sight of the sun setting and making the Cetacean Sanctuary waters (a marine protected area within the French, Monegasque and Italian territory) look gold. Real enchanted corners which fascinate all the ‘six’ senses that encourage us to taste the essence of every moment. It is the whole body which gets wet crossing the environment and catches it in every fiber. Experiences that are also a path of inner life, thanks to the deep contact with the spirit of nature and of the environment of the Riviera Ligure di Levante. What is the best way to enjoy them to the fullest? Sipping a superb Sciacchetrà surrounded by the lemon trees praised by Eugenio Montale in the collection Ossi di Seppia (Cuttlefish Bones).
We are in the heart of the Cinque Terre, the picturesque region stretching from Punta Mesco to Capo di Montenero in a beautiful natural amphitheatre protected from winds. Here, the Rio Buranco, which gives its name to the property that still today seduces with the same aura that inspired the Nobel Prize-winning poet, passes through a valley before diving into the deep-blue sea. An outstandingly unique location, a little more than four acres of land cultivated with vineyards, olive groves and lemon trees from the Grillo family within a UNESCO protected area. The Buranco property unfolds all its simple but valuable appeal to those who reach it by climbing from Monterosso, a little town about thirty kilometers from La Spezia, overlooking a sheltered cove. Wine, brandy, olive oil, lemon and honey are the productions of the estate who is also an agritourism. Small volumes of high quality, all born from the same philosophy: finding a lost time and trying to make it ours again.
The secret is the microclimate of the Cinque Terre. In Buranco, an enclave in a small valley, there is even a sub microclimate. We are in an area blessed by nature since there is no humidity. A place where snowfalls are extraordinary events and there is no need for a coat. Here, you do not hear the noise of the train or of the cars. You have the rare opportunity to rediscover the endless sounds of silence, which is never actually so, populated by the rustling of the leaves and by the creaking of old wood caressed by the wind. The beauty of the Cinque Terre is that they remained as they were. They were not attacked by speculation and no one has built in a nefarious way. That’s why it is an irresistible attraction for tourists from all over the world. Japanese, German, French, British and especially Americans prefer this part of Liguria for the crystal clear waters of the sea (a few hundred metres from the agritourism) that offers diving scenarios made of cliffs, caves, shallows and wrecks, but also for enjoying waking up in the middle of vineyards and monumental olive trees to the sound of melodious tweeting. And then going through the hillside paths, walking all day sinking in the sweet aroma of the Mediterranean, that’s what Luigi Grillo tells us; he is the president of the farm Buranco and also a big fan of wine rarities. In these lands above the sea, on tiny ‘belts’ torn from the mountain with tenacious effort by winemakers who look like angels, to paraphrase Veronelli, one of the best Italian passito wine, Sciacchetrà, was created: a blend of Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola. Intense Amber-coloured with hints of dried and candied fruit, this wine coming from Buranco has a velvety, tannic and brackish flavour ready to face the challenge of perfection.
According to tradition, the name derives from the dialect ‘sciac’ and ‘trai’(‘crushes’ and ‘leave it there’), but scholars do not exclude most cultured etymologies like ‘Shekar’, an Armenian word that indicates the wine offered to gods. It is likely to be the Greeks to take by sea even in the Cinque Terre the very ancient use of all the peoples of the Middle East to let the best grapes dry up. The nectar thus obtained is ‘as strong as marsala, exquisite, a true liqueur of the brightest gold colour to drink in small glasses’, said the macchiaiolo (a member of a Florentine school of Impressionism in the second half of the Nineteenth Century) Telemaco Signorini, the first to give this passito the name ‘Sciacchetrà’, top of the range of Buranco which also produces the only red wine of the Cinque Terre. A fusion of Mediterranean Bordeaux’s (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and of an Australian (Syrah) blend of grapes. The colour of the Red Buranco is ruby intense. You can taste berries, pepper, flint and a brackish note in its flavour. An innovative and courageous choice of the Grillo family which has entrusted the care of theirs productions to the winemaker Sergio Pappalardo, but also a winning choice for a wine that wins over at first tasting as in the case of another Buranco pearl, the Magiöa DOC, an extraordinary cru born from the union of traditional wine-making of the Cinque Terre. A full-structured French blend, with a bright golden colour and rich in fresh aromas, of really high quality. A wine for connoisseurs to which no sulfites are added. Best enjoyed with cheese or with the classic fish.
Here they have a fondness for whitebait. This is how bluefish is called, a cheap food but rich in nutritional standards. A delicacy served in opulent soups or tasty fried food (only with extra virgin olive oil) as in the case of the anchovies cutlets of Monterosso, stars of popular festivals coming to life during the summer in the villages of the Cinque Terre and nearby La Spezia. And in the cool spring sunset we savour to the full the marriage between land and sea enjoying another traditional food: the so called ‘muscoli’ (muscles), ie mussels. Worth tasting are ‘raw’ spurted with lemon and pepper, stuffed with peas and chopped courgettes and parsley or with cheese, eggs and even tuna. A sumptuous and perfect meal with the Magiöa DOC or the Buranco Cinque Terre DOC. With its intense golden yellow, this wine can be appreciated in all its Mediterranean originality: the land, the sea and the sun give it a very elegant profile. The Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola grapes intensify aromatic notes of Mediterranean herbs, citrus and a pleasant sensation of sapidity and persistence reflecting in its full-bodied flavour the harshness and difficulty of cultivation on the steep terraces of Monterosso al Mare: narrow belts of land held with stones of stone walls. A harsh, essential beauty, made more gentle and almost perfect by the secular opera of the mankind.
Buranco Agricultural Society
Via Buranco 72, 19016 Monterosso al Mare (SP)
Tel: +39 0187 817677 Fax: +39 0187 802084
email: email@example.com web: www.burancocinqueterre.it
Nearest Airport: Genoa, Pisa
By train: station of Monterosso al Mare