This Halloween, I’m reflecting on the moon and its incredible influence on us, and on agriculture. In 2018, we’ve even experienced some supermoons. Our grandfathers knew how to plant according to the moon’s cycles, and maybe we should be paying closer attention to what it’s doing to us, too.
For years, I would pass through this area called Lunigiana – the moon’s land – and see the photo of one of these prehistoric statues, a giant moon face. Wondered about that, but never took the time to stop and explore. A border, a sort of boundary, Lunigiana straddles Tuscany and Liguria, falling mostly into the latter region.
This area is fascinating, as a quick glance at the topography will tell you. Near Carrara, where Michelangelo quarried candid white marble for his best statues like David, the Alpi Apuane get their name because they resemble the Alps with spiky pointed mountain crests.
This area is the Val di Magra, near Bocca di Magra, which is where the Magra River flows into the Mediterranean. So the ingredients are all right: proximity to the sea, hills, mountains, breezes. No wonder this place was settled in pre-historic times. The Romans consecrated the city of Luni to the Roman moon goddess Luna. And that’s where Cantine Lvnae gets its V – it’s a Roman tradition!
Still can’t say why I hadn’t stopped here before this summer. These are some of the best wines you can find in Liguria, and Cantine Lvnae makes one of my all-time favorite Vermentino wines.
Signature Cantine Lvnae Vermentino, black and gray labels
Diego and Debora Bosoni were most gracious hosts, the youngest generation of the family who built the biggest winery in Liguria.
Liguria is a long, crescent moon-shaped region, so the terroir and the wines change dramatically from the western side near Imperia (where the grape varieties are Pigato, Rossese di Dolceacqua, Ormeasco) to the eastern side near La Spezia (where we find Vermentino, Albarola, Vermentino Nero, Sangiovese, Pollera Nera).
Ca’ Lvnae, the refurbished farmhouse, is an extraordinary place, truly a must-see.
The Bosoni family, in addition to their spectacular wines, produce organic marmalades and fruit-based liqueurs.
They showcase some of the best of Liguria in terms of local foodstuffs like cheese, testaroli pasta, and olive oil.
But the wines, the wines!
From the bubbles, like this Brut, to an outstanding white that is 100% Albarola, or the full-bodied red blend Niccolò V, made with Pollera Nera, or even Mea Rosa, a Vermentino Nero rosé, this is a winery worth a visit.
About 150 local small, local grape-growers collaborate and contribute to their efforts; they cultivate 45 hectares of their own. The story is a familiar one: Cantine Lvnae made the move from bulk wine to bottling their own, creating a label of quality, similar to other 4th generation Italian wineries.
Elegance, style, respect for land and nature, highlighting the traditions of the area: these are the distinguishing characteristics of the Bosoni family endeavor. All the quality that goes into everything they do is evident from the moment you set foot at Cantine Lvnae, or from the first sip.
Hope to get back there often, and not just once in a blue moon…