Azienda Agricola Durin was founded in 1939 by Giacomo Basso in the small village of Ortovero along the Ligurian coast. Durin is the family nickname that was passed down from Giacomo's father, Isidoro and on down to his great grandson, Antonio, who runs the estate today. Antonio was on track to follow his brothers into the field of medicine in Genoa, yet when his father Angelo suffered a sudden, debilitating stroke, Antonio decided to drop his studies and return home to Ortovero to resume farming his father's land of vineyards and fruit trees. Although his mother did not approve of this decision, after years of tireless effort, it turned out to be the right one for Antonio. He is making magical wines from his over 70 different tiny parcels of vines spread across 40 acres of terraced hillsides above the Mediterranean Sea (ranging in altitude from 150 feet to as high as 2,100 feet!). With the help of his wife, Laura, Antonio has carved out a stellar reputation within Italy as a specialist of the Pigato grape and a leading producer of Vermentino and Rossese in Liguria. He hopes to instill his passion for cultivating wine to his young children so they may continue the Durin family legacy. If you have never heard of the ‘Rossese’ grape, it is because there aren’t many producers with the “inspired madness” to cultivate it! Sourced from precariously steep terraced hillsides that call for costly hand harvesting (as tractors cannot access such sites), this is a truly Mediterranean red that is light, bright and deserving of a slight chill. Aromas of wild raspberry, cranberry and dusty rose dominate the nose, while the fairly lean palate introduces a hint of earthy potting soil alongside more lush red fruit flavors including strawberry and cherry. A vibrant, tangy acidity imparts a vivacious quality to the wine, and hints of clove and cinnamon provide a nice counterpoint to its fruity character. A perfect accompaniment to a charcuterie board, this would also be tasty served alongside veal Scallopini or mushroom risotto.