Sciacchetrà is our most precious nectar, the sweet wine of the Cinque Terre. Sung in the lyrics of Petrarca, Boccaccio, Pascoli, and D’Annunzio it is also a tradition and a tale of our environment and its inhabitants.
Origins and production of the Sciacchetrà
For the locals, the name is the result of the fusion of sciacca, crush, and trai, pull away, to describe the two consecutive operations of pressing and extracting the must, not lingering in the vat when it comes to the Sciacchetrà.
For some scholars and winemakers, it would derive instead from the Greek shekar, or fermented drink. The origins date back to the first inhabitants of Riomaggiore and to the drying technique they imported from Greece.
The production specification establishes that Sciacchetrà is mainly produced with the three grape 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% played.
The best bunches are used for the production of Sciacchetrà, left to dry until late winter on special racks placed in the shade in ventilated places. The grapes are then de-stemmed, crushed, and separated from the skins, with a yield ranging from 30 to 35% maximum compared to that of “normal” wine. Once bottled, it is kept lying down, between 10 and 15 degrees.
The sweet wine of the Cinque Terre is golden yellow in the first two or three years, but then begins to tend to amber and if aged, starting from the twenties, tends to brown, with reflections on the reds.
How to drink it
Sciacchetrà is served at a temperature of 14 degrees, in small and flared glasses, with a high stem, and is perfect to accompany Ligurian desserts and dry pastries, but if aged it is an excellent meditation wine and is also ideal for accompanying full-bodied and strong cheeses.
By sniffing it you can feel the apricot and savoring notes of dried fruit and a hint of salt. Little tannic, it is not too sweet and the alcohol content is not too strong.
Our advice? Visit the Cinque Terre vineyards and cellars, take time to meet our producers and chat with them, taste their wines, and ask to taste their Sciacchetrà and maybe take a bottle home. An authentic and complete experience and concrete support for our land.