We interviewed Sommelier Margherita Barberotti, to find out which great wines to savor and how to experience the extraordinary local wine culture.
How was your passion for wine born? How did you become a Sommelier?
I have always been connected with the world of wine, it is part of the history of my family, of the land to which I feel I belong.
A landscape where the human-territory synergy is unique in its kind.
The idea of becoming a Sommelier instead came later and unexpectedly. I worked in this sector while I was studying at University. The person I was working for, who became a good friend, wanted to become a Sommelier. I was “fresh from study” and I helped her to organize herself with the many things to be memorized. From there I became passionate and I started my studies as a Sommelier and then finished them after University when I realized that this was my real passion.
The wines of the Cinque Terre are among the most appreciated in Italy, what makes them so special?
The sea, the warmth of the sun and a “heroic” viticulture.
The Cinque Terre vineyards are the result of a unique terroir and know-how.
They arise from terraces overlooking the sea, supported by dry stone walls that interrupt the steep slopes of the hills.
A small engineering masterpiece, an impervious, extreme cultivation that requires so much wisdom, dedication and tenacity.
Wine has the great ability to tell and describe the history, the environmental and cultural peculiarities of a place. How can guests connect to the Cinque Terre through its wines?
- Tasting local is always a good start. The visual, olfactory and taste sensations are in fact closely connected with the terroir.
- Wines, with their fragrance and flavor convey the personality of the place where they were produced. Thanks to the right wine-dish pairing, you can also appreciate certain typical flavors and ingredients.
- Visit the most characteristic vineyards, enter the cellars and see how the wineries are is a very special experience, which we always recommend to our guests. Among our wine experience proposals, the most complete is certainly “Meet the Winemaker”: a private tour in the vineyard of about 3 hours including a tasting at the winemaker’s cellar. This experience is completed at La Sosta Kitchen with a wine tasting aperitif.
- Have a chat with the Sommelier. The “words of wine” are important. During my introductory chats, in addition to the characteristics and technical data of the wine I always add curiosities and anecdotes about the history, people and traditions of the place.
THE PARK IS AN IDEAL PLACE TO TASTE AND APPRECIATE THE GREAT ECOLOGICAL TRADITION OF THE CINQUE TERRE.
How do you select a wine to put in the wine list?
One of the decisive factors is that the wine is as “natural” as possible. The other element that drives the choice is undoubtedly the balance between the labels and the combination with the dishes. I personally know all the producers in the wine list, there is a relationship of trust and mutual respect that allows me to verify the content and the quality in a serious and in-depth manner.
And what local treasures keeps your cellar?
Among the finest wines of our cella, there are certainly the wines of the Grande Giorgia vineyard, the micro-production of Merlò / Vermentino / Sirah, the rosè of Heydi Bonannini (Possa) and the Sciacchetrà of Terre di Bargon, a winery that produces exclusively this type of wine.
What is absolutely your unmissable choice? The wine that those who visit the Cinque Terre and Levanto must absolutely try...
Remaining on the clearest expressions of our terroir, surely the Cinque Terre of Heydi and the Sciacchetrà of Bargon.
Sweet, precious and rare: the Sciacchetrà passito is known and appreciated all over the world. Why? How is it accompanied at the table?
It is a unique production and in very small quantities. My advice is actually to taste it alone given its wealth of aromas and complex sensations.
Beyond the labels of the territory, which are the wines and the Italian areas that you prefer?
Barbera, Ruché and Piedmontese whites; I love the Venetian Garganega, the Etna whites, the much maltreated and underestimated Lambrusco. But Italy is full of wonderful natives, extraordinary productions of niches linked to reality that for sure I still do not know.
How is the ideal wine pairing at La Sosta?
We are always looking for the perfect fusion between wine and food. All our dishes are designed to start with a white and a red combination, chosen to make the most of the different ingredients.
What wine-food combination could make a stay in Levanto unforgettable, also from an eno-gastronomic point of view?
Remaining on the traditional, a simple but unforgettable combination is that between a pasta with pesto and a glass of our white Cinque Terre.
Find out more about La Sosta Wine Tasting by clicking here.