Sardinia is known for its progressive and dynamic wine industry.
It has a long and diverse wine history, like the Sardinians themselves, complex and multi-layered. With its warm Mediterranean climate, hilly terrain, volcanic soil, sunny dry climate and mollifying sea breezes, Sardinia is an ideal place for growing wine grapes.
Grapes have been grown on Sardinia for thousands of years and the island's wines were much prized by the ancient Greeks and other bygone Mediterranean civilizations. It is easy to see why Sardinia earned the moniker of Insula Vini, wine island, in the 16th century, making it one of the Middle Ages’ vinous landmarks.
Today, Sardinia has one DOCG wine, Vermentino di Gallura, 19 DOC zones and 15 IGT zones. Given its relatively hilly topography that limits its available wine area, Sardinia’s relatively large number of certified wine categories denotes significant attention to quality.
Sardinia’s best known red grape is Cannonau, a relative of the Garnacha grape that originally came from Spain, and its most famous white grape is Vermentino, a dry white variety grown primarily in northern Sardinia that is also of Spanish origin. Another red variety that is becoming increasingly popular is Carignano. Known as Carignan in France, this variety achieves its greatest potential in the Sulcis area in southwestern Sardinia, where it produces a spicy and rich wine known as Carignano del Sulcis.
Sardinia’s vineyards include a wide range of grapes, including familiar international varieties such as Cabernet and Chardonnay, and lesser-known local varietals such as Monica, Bovale Sardo and Nuragus. All of these varieties, particularly the local varieties, have contributed to enhancing the reputation of Sardinian wines on the international market.
Source(s): Wine Words Wisdom & Italy Magazine