Villa Ligi Pergola Aleatico Vernaculum 2020
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Type AleaticoRead About the Wine
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This is such a beautiful, gorgeous, yet easy-drinking wine. The perfect beverage for il pranzo with friends and family, it quickly becomes a great excuse to talk and drink the afternoon away, sharing the joys of simple socialization.
The wine opens with profound aromas of Marasca cherries, ripe Moyer plums, and touches of vanilla. It is full-bodied on the palate, but not sloppy – it delivers richness while still maintaining an elegant Italian core – a freshness that makes it perfect for a simple meal of garlic and rosemary grilled focaccia with prosciutto di Parma and Caprino Marchigiano, or something beautifully heartwarming from grandmama’s hearth – fresh tagliatelle with roasted mussels in a red wine tomato sauce; followed by breaded and quickly sauteed pork loin with chopped Ascolane olives, fresh capers, and Italian parsley. This wine really makes it all happen.
As to the wine itself – the full name is Fattoria Villa Ligi Vernaculum Pergola Aleatico. That’s a bit of a mystery—even to people who know Italian wine well—so I’ll break it down for you. The vineyard (farm and house, fattoria, villa) are named after the fifth-generation daughter of the family, Ligi. The rest, in a wonderful Italian twist, gets even more confusing.
Vernaculum is the name of the wine, but in this case it is doing double duty. Is an Italian way to refer to the Latin word vernaculus, and you can probably guess its meaning – in Latin, native or indigenous. Which is important when coupled with the next two words, Pergola Aleatico.
Pergola is also doing double-duty – it’s a style of farming wherein grapes are planted on high-above-the-head trellises. Five generations ago at Villa Ligi, this was done to maximize crops. You could grow your corn crop, or tomato, or squash, or what have you, and then also grow grapes in the same space for wine! But here, at Ligi, it is also the name of the wine appellation in the Marche of Italy. There are just three producers in this entire region, with Ligi being the founding one.
And now finally, the Aleatico, which is the grape’s indigenous name in Pergola. Tie it all together and you get the name of this tiny place, its grape variety, its method of viticulture, and the people producing it, all in one short phrase. Who said Italians can’t be concise? Or, if that is still hard to nail down, let’s summarize it quickly - just think of Sangiovese with a splash of Barbera for fruit richness, and a little touch of Montepulciano for spice. But in the end, what matters the most is the charming pleasure this wine brings. Salute!