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The Wonderful Wines Of Sardinia

Mar 18, 2008
Vine-growing, that was probably brought to the island by the Phoenicians, enjoyed a decisive boost between the XIV and XV centuries thanks to the efforts of the judge Eleonora d'Arborea and Alfonse of Aragon, and then with the advent of the Piemontese dominion
Today grape and wine production is a flourishing business thanks to the island's geographic location, its fertile soil and fine climate - especially on the hills that are protected from the winds.

Grapes with high sugar content yield wines, especially whites that attain high alcohol content with respect to those from the mainland. This also provides the basis for production of fine sweet wines as well as sparkling varieties.

The main grapes, in addition to Nuragus that was presumably brought over by the Phoenicians, include Cannonau, Giro and Torbato, imported by the Spanish, Barbera, Sangiovese and Trebbiano introduced by the Piemontesi. Other red (Bovale, Carignano, Giro Monica and Nasco) and white (Malvasia di Sardegna, Moscato Bianco, Vermentino and Vernaccia d'Oristano) grapes complete the rich ampelographic panorama.

Among the DOC red and rose wines are the famous Cannonau, produced throughout the islands from the grapes of the same name (13.5% alcohol by volume), In the province of Cagliari they make the mild Carignano del Sulcis (11 5%), Giro (14.5%), Monica (that reaches 14 5% while Monica di Sardegna "stops" at 12-13%) are all made from varietal grapes and are usually also made in liquoroso, high alcohol grade and usually fortified versions (17 5% that can become 18% or more in the Cannonau).

The area between Cagliari and Oristano is the home of Campidano di Terralba (11.5%) made from Sardinian and Spanish Bovale grapes. Arborea (11%) comes from near Oristano and is made from Sangiovese and local grapes, Mandrolisai (11.5%) is produced with Bovale, Cannonau and Monica grapes near Oristano and Nuoro. Alghero is a newer wine and is made in both white and red.

The outstanding white wines include the DOCG Vermentino di Gallura, made in the province of Sassari from the grape with the same name (12%) Vermentino di Sardegna, a very pleasant white (10.5%) is made throughout the island. The triangle between Cagliari, Oristano and Nuoro produces Nuragus di Cagliari (11%), the province of Cagliari is the home of the robust Nasco (14,5%) while Arborea Trebbiano (10.5%) comes from near Oristano and they are all made with the grapes of the same name.

Another recent denomination is the Sardegna Semidano made in the Mogoro subzone. Most of these wines are also made in superior spumante, naturally sparkling and liquoroso versions, with alcohol volume that increases accordingly (to 17.5% and even 18% for the excellent and outstanding Vernaccia d'Oristano, Among the wines that are primarily aperitifs - in both dry and sparkling, or for dessert, in the liquoroso varieties there is Malvasia di Bosa (15-17.5%), Malvasia di Cagliari (14-17.5%), Moscato di Cagliari (15-17.5%), Moscato di Sardegna spumante (11,5 %), a sparkling wine that is particularly good when it comes from Gallura, and the Moscato di Sorso-Sennori (15%-19%), that are all made from grapes of the same name.

Obviously the list of Sardinia's wines does not end here. Beyond the range of the controlled denominations, the island produces other fine wines.
About the Author
Sardinian Wines

You may not always agree with my writings but I hope to inform.

Harwood E Woodpecker
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