Wines from Sardinia
Sardinia, 150 miles (240km) off the west coast of mainland Italy, is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Covering roughly 9300 square miles, it is almost three times the size of French-owned Corsica, its immediate neighbor to the north, and only marginally smaller than Italy's other major island, Sicily. The island, known as Sardegna to its Italian-speaking inhabitants, has belonged to various empires and kingdoms over the centuries. This is reflected in its place names, architecture, languages and dialects, and its unique portfolio of wine grapes.
There are a lot of varieties of French and Spanish origin, exemplified by Grenache (called Cannonau here), Carignan (and its distinct clonal variants Bovale di Spagna and Bovale Grande) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The most "Italian" varieties here are Malvasia and Vermentino, but even Vermentino can only just be considered Italian, being more widely planted on Corsica and southern France – often under the name Rolle – than in its homeland, Liguria. Muscat Blanc (Moscato Bianco), ubiquitous all around the Mediterranean, further contributes to the pan-Mediterranean feel of Sardinian viniculture.
Even if winemaking is not so popular here like in the other Italian regions, a handful of producers are creating high-quality wines, which are gradually gaining international recognition. The majority of Sardinian vineyards lie on the western side of the island, which is also where its most location-specific DOCs are found. They line the west coast, running from south to north: Carignano del Sulcis, Vernaccia di Oristano, Malvasia di Bosa and Alghero. Even the large Cagliari DOC, which covers a good proportion of the island's southern half, is strongly biased towards the west coast. The exception to this westerly bias is Vermentino di Gallura, the island's only DOCG, whose catchment area covers the island's northeastern corner. However the most familiar appellations to many drinkers are likely to be the island-wide DOCs Cannonau di Sardegna and Vermentino di Sardegna. (© Wine-Searcher).