Up to few decades ago, sardinian wines were use to blend softer nothern italian ones.
Then some local producer start improving vinification techniques, creating very elegant wines. 2015 has been a great year for our winemakers, able to receive many important prices.
As for the withes, I’ll tell about the better known wines, about the ones you may know less, and about the ones you’d like to discover. For each wine I suggest a bottle of red and one of Rosè when interesting.
The one you know
Our most famous wine, has an ancient history, and probably is the father of the Grenache. As strong as the production areas, has a ruby color, reminds about red berries and pomegranate. Alcoholic, dry, it doesn’t have too much tannins. It’s produced mostly in central eastern Sardinia, and in Oliena area gets the name of Nepente.
Red: Nepente riserva – Gostolai. Because Antonino Arcadu puts love and technique in his wine.
Rosé: Eressia – Sedilesu. Because you’ll be surprised by the freshness of this Cannonau
The ones you knwo less
It’s a lovely and simple wine, soft with red berries bouquet, with a sweet yet never boring aftertaste. Is grown mostly in the southern Sardinia.
The bottle: Perdera – Argiolas. Because this is the symbol of hard work: a simple wine made beautifully.
Personally is my favorite red wine. Important, with a rich and powerful bouquet, its grapes can grow even on the sand. Its best production zone is in the south west on the Sulcis region.
Red: Rocca Rubia – Cantina sociale di Santadi. Because you really can’t imagine its perfumes.
Rosé: Rosa Grande – Mesa. Because it’s cool, wine and label too.
The ones you should know about
This precious grape is cultivated in the north west around Usini, a small village close to Alghero, on clay soil hills. Ruby and with scents of red berries, has a distinctive spiced taste that makes this wine so interesting.
The bottle: Cagnulari – Chessa. Because you’ll feel all the passion of the family that creates this wine.
This is the ancient sardinian Bovale. It can be produced in a single variety vinification, giving (to my taste) a pointy wine.
I prefer it when blended with Monica and Cannonau, as they do in the Mandrolisai area, a beautiful garden of vineyards right in the middle of the island.
The bottle: Mandrolisai superiore – Cantina del Mandrolisai. Because it’s a superb blend.
Little more than 100 hectares cultivated just in the Oristano area, give this beautiful and rare wine. With right amount of tannin, it has an huge quantity of polyphenols. I’ve always said it was healthy 😉 It’s my favourite among Roses.
Red: Spinarba – Orro. Because Davide Orro works hard to preserve good agricolture.
Rosé: Nieddera – Contini. Because this was the wine of local farmers, and was made rosé.
Next time we’ll discover dessert and meditation wines, to keep discovering unique flavours and ancient history.
Part 1 – Whites
This short journey want to tell about the most known sardinian wines and grapes, some you may don’t know that well and some you’d like to discover.
To each wine I suggest an easy to find bottle with a good value for money.
I’m not a sommelier, neither a super expert, I just love wine (as you can tell) and thanks of my job I have the chance to taste wines and get to know winemakers. So I want to share this passion with you. Salludi! (Cheers!)
Winemakers since 3000 years
The nuragic sardinians (early bronze age) knew about wine. The final proof has arrived this year, thanks to the discovery of 15 thousands grape seeds found in the nuragic well of Sa Osa, in Cabras. The DNA research allowed to understand that those seeds are closer relatives of local sardinian grapes.
Again it’s thanks to DNA that we identified more than 120 different grapes, putting Sardinia among the italian regions with the largest number of local wines.
Like a proper wine tasting, let’s start with whites 🙂
The one you know
Fresh, with almonds and citrus bouquets, it’s the perfect summer wine.
The only Sardinian DOCG ( certified and guaranteed denomination of origin), gives its best in the granites of Gallura. It can be grown in many other areas, developing distinctive tastes related to each terroir.
The bottle: Giogantinu – Cantina sociale del Giogantinu
The ones you know less
Full bodied and yellow, grown in all southern Sardinia, was the most typical white table wine. Several winemakers reinterpret it, being able to smoothen its strong identity with a touch of elegance.
The Bottle: S’Elegas – Argiolas
This delicate wine has a difficult vinification because of its thick skin grapes. It’s cultivated just in the Alghero area, gives a pale yellow wine with green glares and with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
With or without bubbles, It’s always a perfect aperitif.
The bottle: Torbato brut – Sella e Mosca
The one you should kow about
Semidano di Mogoro
Semidano is a fresh wine with a delicate acidity. Its bouquet has white fruit and herbs, has a very pale yellow color, It’s cultivated just in the Mogoro area.
The bottle: Semidano – Cantina sociale di Mogoro
Now it’s your turn, tell us about your favorites sardinian wines, we’ll discover them as son as possible 🙂
On next article we’ll present our selection of red and rosé ones, happy wine to everybody!
Sardinia is not, among the Italian regions, the largest producer of wine, but here the culture of the vine and wine is an invaluable asset, intimately tied to our culture and our traditions.
The production of Malvasia di Bosa is emblematic, one of the smallest but most awarded DOC in Italy, that has always contributed to the development of the wine sector of the island, and still continues to do so.
To tell about this fascinating culture, we introduce you a small-scale production of high quality wine, carried out with great love and sacrifice, just for the joy of preserving their own heritage. We visit the vineyard and the cellar of Emidio Oggianu, a passionate and lively man of eighty, who has dedicated his life to cultivate and pass on the ancient art of the production of this noble wine.
To understand the excellence achieved by the Malvasia, you have to know people like Mr. Emidio and the significance of the wine to the social context of this corner of Sardinia: a precious symbol of hospitality, traditional festivals and special occasions, where to donate relatives and friends a distillation of his affection for this land.
“Surely if we let more bunches of grapes in the plant and we passed less time in the vineyard and in the cellar would be much easier but certainly we will be less satisfied”
The vineyard is close to our Bosa-Santulussurgiu stage, but you can get there also with the loop tours starting from our bike hotels in the area:
– Hotel Villa Asfodeli
– Sporting Hotel Stella Maris
Characteristics of Emidio Oggianu Malvasia di Bosa DOC
Color: yellow gold
Aroma: bouquet long and dense, scents of privet and peach
Flavor: rich, smooth and full of personality. Even when consumed after years of bottling, it is never dry
Serving temperature: 18 ° C
Great sipping wine and dessert. It goes well with confectionery of almond, with foie gras and blue cheeses with long ripening or pecorino cheese at medium / long aging.
Media exam results of laboratory chemical / physical referring to the last eight years
– Alcohol 17.13%
– Total acidity 5.03
– Dry extract 35.28
– Extract reduced 25.00
Hospitality, a recurring word on tourism manuals
It may look absurd, this is definitely misused by too many hotel chains, and people involved in hospitality sometimes are missing the deep meaning of this word.
Hospitality is something that can’t be planned, you need the will to open the door, to listen and enter the private dimension and experience of somebody else life.
Few days ago I’ve learned about hospitality more than on my 10 years working for a hotel chain. Where?
Come with me, I’ll tell you about Moreno and his family
At the big oak on the left, just before the junction to Jerzu, we head towards the countryside crossing the neat rows of a vineyard under beautiful fall colors.
Moreno welcomes us at the gate of his farm, he shakes our hands and pauses to know who you are, while preparing the barbecue. An enthusiastic and curious man, with thousand of skills and an iron will, a man that changed his life to live his own dream.
His house overlooks the valley, a great view point over the Ogliastra region, and introduces us to Ilaria, his wife, the other half of heaven.
They want to know the stories of those who came from the other side the world: Florida, Colorado, Vermont.
Ilaria is the great organizer of the hearth, and she must have an immense strength … for sure with 4 children !! The table is set, simple yet neat, and shows all the dishes they proudly prepared for us. By the way, the sweet and sour onions with honey are just to die for.
Meanwhile in the kitchen Mara, part of the family, is preparing the “culurgiones”, a local kind of Ravioli, stuffed with potato and mint.
She handles the dough and closes each culurgione by pinching it with the fingers, getting each time a perfect shape.
By her hands we see a tradition that has been passed down to her from the past, she manages this art and each Culurgione is a masterpiece. We would like to try, but no one asks Ilaria..she reads our minds and in a moment we have aprons and flour on our hands … of course the result is quite different from the masterpieces of Mara, but never mind, the atmosphere is magical.
We all are sitting at the table, chatting, tasting delicious food and listening about the life of Moreno and Ilaria and their wonderful children.
We talk Sardinian, American, Italian, and we “breathe” hospitality, that was woven during this day of November.
A walk along the rows of vines, while the children hide and steal few grapes, complete and concludes an unforgettable day in Jerzu with its magic atmosphere, a day that may change the perception towards hospitality, helping to grasp its true meaning.
It’s time to go back home with the promise to meet again, even if the ones who say it come from Vermont or Montana, because today is such a good day for everyone’s heart and life.[:]
On a beautiful day at a friends house, which we’ll tell you more in the next days, with a group of American friends we kneaded, stretched, cut, filled, closed, and cooked some wonderful culurgiones of Ogliastra, which are a kind of ravioli. Oh, we’ve also eaten…
This is the recipe, try it yourself, but don’t expect the same result obtained by the skilled hands of a lady from Ogliastra:
- 1kg of potatoes
- 500 grams of durum wheat
- 300 grams of cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 10 fresh mint leaves
You boil the potatoes whole, then peel and mash it. You knead the flour with warm water and a little of salt, until the mixture is smooth and elastic. Now you should wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let rise it for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan brown minced onion and garlic, then combine them with mashed potatoes, along with the grated cheese and chopped mint and mix between them.
As the dough has risen, stretch it and make circles using a large glass, on which you put a tablespoon of filling. Now we are ready to close culurgiones. But here is the hard fact, achieving closure with the typical plait requires a good teacher, a good manual skills and lot of experience. It will not be today, in fact. Looking forward to perfect the technique, we can fall back on a simple closed semicircles, folding the circles on them and seal the edges with a light finger pressure.
You are now ready to enjoy your culurgiones!
This is Roberto Petza, and he defines himself as a cook, not as “Chef”.
This subtle difference describes him as a modest person that, thanks to his work and his team, really promotes Sardinia.
In a world that has too many Chef superstars , it’s a pleasure to meet somebody not bigheaded.
He has a record of challenges and success, certified by the Michelin star award, but also by being known as a pioneer.
His last creation was the opening of S’Apposentu restaurant on the buildings of a former pasta manufacturing plant, in the small village of Siddi, located in the Marmilla region famous for agriculture and its excellent foods.
This choice, plus the exclusive use of local grown food, even from the restaurant vegetable garden, shows a business thats it’s totally integrated in the environment.
S’Apposentu it’s not jsut a restaurant, but a Temple of Taste, a place that teaches the cooking from professional chefs to cooking passionate, sharing a cuisine able to innovate yet respecting the sardinian traditions, never campy and always focused on conviviality.
This is a place not to miss!