Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea located in the central-western part of Italy, with a latitude ranging from Lazio (Rome) to Calabria (Tropea). The Italian wines of Sardinia are powerful yet digestible, elegantly balanced by great freshness. The most famous Sardinian wine is red, produced from Canonnau, a variant of the Spanish garnacha. It is the...
Sardinia is an island in the Mediterranean Sea located in the central-western part of Italy, with a latitude ranging from Lazio (Rome) to Calabria (Tropea). The Italian wines of Sardinia are powerful yet digestible, elegantly balanced by great freshness. The most famous Sardinian wine is red, produced from Canonnau, a variant of the Spanish garnacha. It is the most important red grape variety in Sardinia and the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). "Cannonau di Sardegna" can be produced all over the island. The island produces slightly more red than white wines and has 17 DOC (equivalent to the French AOC) and 1 DOCG (superior AOC).
Sardinia is rich in Greek, Italian, Corsican, Spanish and Arabic influences. Its viticulture has been proven to be more than 5,000 years old. It reflects over the ages the desires of its different inhabitants, rulers and customers. The quality of its wines has been renowned since the time of the Phoenicians (8th century B.C.) who traded them all over the Mediterranean coast. The turn towards modernity was started about thirty years ago now and the overall quality of the island's wines has improved.
The second largest Mediterranean island after Sicily, Sardinia is a mountainous island to the east, hilly to the west and surrounded by granite cliffs and sandy beaches on its coasts. The granite present in the soil is the main characteristic of Sardinian wines, which are particularly suitable for the cultivation of white grape varieties.
Sardinia is a small wine-producing region in Italy, but rich in its many Mediterranean grape varieties! Sardinia's most iconic red grape varieties are undoubtedly Canonnau and Carignano, which we find in Spain and the South of France, while Giró, Monica and Nieddera are almost exclusively planted in Sardinia. As for the white grape varieties, the most widespread and qualitative remains Vermentino, which is found in Corsica and Provence, followed by Moscato, Malvasia and Nuragus.
The Canonnau is undoubtedly the island's greatest success, producing both supple and fruity wines that do not require any particular ageing and are very accessible when young. It can also produce highly concentrated wines when yields are lower and gaining in depth when they are kept in barrels for a long time. To note is the superb DOC Carignano del Sulcis producing gourmet wines (plums, chocolates).
Vermentino is the most popular white grape variety in Sardinia, obtaining in the north-eastern province of Gallura the only DOCG on the island, the particular climate and soil giving it extra finesse. Vermentino di Sardegna DOC is also delicious and more accessible.
Vernaccia di Oristano DOC is a very atypical wine, because it is aged for a long time under a veil and oxidatively in barrels, giving it the typical aromas of dry sherry wines from Spain or those from the Jura in France. This wine has a minimum alcohol content of 15.0% and is absolutely delicious drunk chilled as an aperitif, accompanied by fishy or spicy tapas.
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