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To fully understand and experience a place, there’s nothing like approaching the local food and wine, with its aromas and flavors, and to fully grasp the spirit of Cinque Terre, I heartily recommend you taste a glass of the famous Sciacchetra.

An amber, sweet wine that to me always meant the feast days and the rare relaxing moments my grandparents treated themselves enjoying a shot of this precious nectar. The fruit of their hard work, I was then allowed to dunk a bite of bucellato, the typical cake of Vernazza, in their wine cup. A yummy sweet memory …


It takes its name from the local dialect sentence that actually describes its production process: sciacca and trá (i.e., crush and pull out).

After the arduous vertical vintage on the steep terraced Cinque Terre vineyards, the grapes are carefully selected then left to naturally dry on hurdles placed in the shade until late November/December. Only once completely dry, the winegrowers start to press them.

In order to enjoy a glass you must wait at least twelve months and three times for a “Reserve” bottle!

These sacrifices and the huge hard work led Veronelli, an Italian famous journalist, to define local winegrowers as crazy angels, whose work protects the beautiful and fragile territory of Cinque Terre.

Sniffing it, you can smell the scent of apricot and savor; it also brings notes of dried fruit and salt that stays long after in your mouth. Unlike other dessert wines, it’s not too sweet, and you don’t feel the alcohol too much.

We usually drink it by itself or while eating dry pastries, but I actually love it with strong cheese (especially the blue one with toasted bread!). The Reserve is an excellent sipping wine.

To purchase a true bottle, you should go directly to local wine producers to taste it on the spot. Summer holidays are an excellent opportunity 😉

The official specification states that it must be produced mainly with the three varieties of Bosco (minimum 40%), Vermentino and/or Alabarola (maximum 40%), and a possible contribution of a maximum of 20% of other varieties. The minimum alcohol is 17%, of which at least 13.5% done.

It also won the Slow Food special prize: a project for the recovery and preservation of the productions of Italian excellences!


Every year between late March and early April, the Cinque Terre are home to an extraordinary race, the Sciacchetrail: a perfect mix of the two great passions of our territory: this sweet wine and trail running.

The race, 47km of dirt roads and 2,600 meters of altitude, develops a ring joining the five villages, their shrines, and the characteristic vertical vineyards. The Sciacchetrail full program also includes exhibitions, music, wine tasting, and of course, lots of sport.

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.