Wines of Sardinia: The Nuragus

The Nuragus

White Wine DOC

 

Although in the recent years we have witnessed its gradual decrease in cultivation, definetely the vine Nuragus is, between the white grapes, the most widely grown in Sardinia. Its cultivation is more concentrated in the provinces of Cagliari and Oristano, where it seems to have been introduced in ancient times, most probably by the Phoenicians. Adaptability to any type of soil and abundant productivity (its production after arriving to 1,000,000 hectoliters, is now around 300,000 hectoliters, that is more than a third of the entire Sardinian wine production) are responsible for its spread. This vine has no particular soil and climate requirements, it is quite resistant to the cryptogams and, as already mentioned, is of excellent yeld: in fact reached in the traditional vineyards  where it is used the alberello sardo technique, also 100 q / ha, when in similar circumstances other varieties arrive with difficult at 50 q / hectare. From the vinification of its grapes  you get the wines DOC Nuragus of Cagliari, sparkling or  sweet.

It is a wine with a medium alcohol content, and a delicate straw colour, sometimes with nuances of light green, hints of white flowers, green apple and light citrus notes, dry, fruity, harmonious and slightly acid and fresh on the palate. The wine was granted DOC Nuragus di Cagliari status in 1975.

Excellent as an aperitif finds its rightful place throughout the meal, preferring fish dishes and seafood. Serve at a temperature of 8-10 ° C.

DOC Nuragus of Cagliari

Grape: Nuragus min. 85%, max. 15% of other white non-aromatic grapes suitable for cultivation in the region of Sardinia.

Production Area: Territory of the Province of Cagliari and Campidano(territory of the province of Oristano)

Yeld in wine: Max. 70%

Alcoholic content: Min.10,5°

Type: Sec(also lightly sparkling), Medium-Sweet(also lightly sparkling)

wine,white wine,olive oil,cannonau,vermentino,moscato,malvasia,cagnulari,carignano,nuragus

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Spaghetti with botargo

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Spaghetti with botargo

Spaghetti with botargo

Spaghetti, botargo and a bottle of white wine

 

Today we have a very simple recipe, but very tasty. It is prepared with botargo, and so we have to explain to the uninitiated what the botargo is. The botargo is derived from the fish roe(eggs) of tuna or flathead mullet (also called caviar of the Mediterranean). The two products differ both in color and taste(stronger in the tuna). The origin of the product seems to have been Phoenician, but the term is derived from the arab word batārikh (“salted fish eggs”). The botargo of tuna has a color ranging from light pink to dark, while those of the mullet has an amber color. Even the sizes vary. The “baffa” (bag of eggs) of a tuna of  over 100 kilos may exceed the kilo in weight, while that of the flathead mullet has a weight of no more than 400 grams. The ovarian sac, called “gonad” extracted from the female fish without breaking it, is washed to remove impurities and then subjected to salting, pressing and curing. It is a food regarded for its high protein content. In the past, in Sardinia and Sicily, it was common practice to eat the roe, both the botargo of tuna or of flathead mullet, as an appetizer or as a sauce for pasta, grated as you do with cheese : the habit has spread throughout the Tyrrhenian Italy, especially on spaghetti, creating the recipe for “spaghetti alla bottarga”. In Sardinia is also common eat pizzas sprinkled with botargo. As a starter you consume the botargo slices cut obliquely, sprinkled with a little olive oil, or resting on buttered toast.

Famous is the botargo prepared in Cagliari(see post), Tortoli, S. Antioco, Marceddì of Terralba and especially that coming from the pond of Cabras, while among those of tuna we have to mention those of Carloforte(see post).

Ingredients for 4:

  • 320 gr of spaghetti
  • bottarga
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Put the water on the fire to cook the pasta, add salt and boil. While the water warms, grate a generous amount of bottarga. Peel one or two cloves of garlic and eliminate  the green sprout inside them (so it is easier to digest). Put the whole cloves in a pan with olive oil and heat on the stove; remove the garlic after a few minutes (alternatively, if you like garlic, you can chop it, and if you wish you could also proceed by combining the garlic with olive oil in a bowl to flavor the oil, and  use it as it is, cold). When the water is boiling, cook the spaghetti and when they are cooked, put them into the pan with the olive oil, adding a generous sprinkling of bottarga, and cook over a moderate heat(sautè the pasta) for a few seconds and served.

You can enjoy this pasta with a nice white wine bottle of “Nuraghus” at a temperature of about 8-10 ° C.

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Beaches of Sardinia: Cala Brandinchi

Cala Brandinchi

Capo Coda Cavallo – San Teodoro(OT)

When I was little and I was going on vacation with the whole family, as I’ve already mentioned in my previous post (see post), the only hope for us children was to sleep. At that time (and even today, to be honest), the roads here in Sardinia were few, narrow and curvy and to get from Sassari to San Teodoro were needed, depending on traffic, about two hours (for a child an endless period ). However, arrived near Olbia, we began to see the sea and our attention was magnetized by the sun reflection on the water, by the glimpses of Tavolara island that we could see behind some trees, by the beaches that between a curve and the other left us literally breathless. Yes, today I will not do anything but repeat as usually,  that we will talk about a spectacular beach, a pearl of the Mediterranean, and you will think: “..but he does not say it all the time?”. I realize that I’m definitely repetitive, but the important thing is that what I’m saying is true. Here we are surrounded by an endless sequence of incredible beaches and hidden coves, long stretches of white sand, or beaches that have a water so blue and clear that leave you to believe of being in a huge swimming pool. Cala Brandinchi is one of them!

It is defined as the “Little Tahiti.” A dream beach with turquoise clear waters and a low sea bottom that is good for the games of the smallest and that make it worthy of the best exotic paradises. It is located in Capo Coda Cavallo, an area in the municipality of San Teodoro, about 7 km from the village. The beach stretches for over 700m and is made of fine white sand and is bordered by suggestive dunes (on which the beautiful white lilies grow wild) and by a nice, thick pine forest. Cala Brandinchi is part of the Marine Protected Area of ​​Tavolara – Punta Coda Cavallo, an area of ​​great interest in the flora and fauna, both on land and in the sea. The area of ​​Capo Coda Cavallo has become a protected area in 1997, and comprises the area that goes from the Pond of S. Teodoro until three areas designated as Areas of Special Protection: the island of Tavolara, Molara, and Molarotto.

The sea is the true protagonist of Cala Brandinchi, but just for that, it has one big drawback: it is very crowded in the summer, and to really enjoy it you need to get there early! If you don’t like live the sea asphyxiated by other swimmers in crowded beaches, not far from Cala Brandinchi, you can find a myriad of beaches and coves more or less big, equally beautiful and in some cases less crowded. In the next post, we will suggest a list of recommended “stops”  along the coast from Olbia down to the Gulf of Orosei (see other beaches in the Gulf of Orosei). Follow us!

Directions: from Olbia take the SS125 direction Siniscola and drive about 19.3 km; at this point turn left to Capo Coda Cavallo, continue for 900 meters and turn right into a dirt road, which continues for 1.3 km until you get to the beach of Cala Brandinchi. Equipped with a fee-paying parking.

GPS Coordinates:  Beach of “Cala Brandinchi”:  40.835402, 9.686088

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Not only beaches: The Mount Arci

The Mount Arci

A mount made of Obsidian

The Monte Arci is an isolated massif of volcanic origin in the province of Oristano, which stays within the territory of several municipalities in the plain of Uras; is made up of basaltic lava flows and reaches a maximum height of 812 meters with the tip Trebina Longa, which is flanked by the Trebina Lada (703) and Corongiu de Sizoa (463). This mount from the historical point of view has always played a huge significance for its rich deposits of obsidian, a glassy mineral, rare in the Mediterranean, extremely useful in the production of prehistoric tools and weapons. Since ancient Neolithic the Monte Arci became a very strong attraction pole for all those Mediterranean populations who came here in Sardinia in order to procure obsidian, giving rise to the first contacts of Sardinia with the peoples of the lands bordering the Mediterranean. At Pau, a municipality in the area, you can visit a unique museum of its kind dedicated entirely to obsidian, and it is also possible, starting from the museum, go on excursions around the mountain in search of the ancient quarries.

In Pau there is also the Neolithic site of “Su de forru is Sintzurreddus” while in Villaverde the nuragic complex of “Brunk ‘and s’omu” and in Morgongiori the sanctuary in the cave of “Sa domu de is coambus“. The mountain is located within the park to which it gives the name, The Regional Natural Park of Monte Arci, and most of its surface is covered with holm oak forests, but there are also cork oaks and large areas of the mediterranean scrub. One of the largest and most beautiful oak woods is that of Acqua Frida in the territory of Ales, to which there are numerous springs. The fauna of this area is very rich and have recently been reintroduced deer and fallow deer, which had disappeared, while among the birds that nest here there are peregrine falcons, sparrow hawks, goshawks, kestrels and the lesser kestrel.

In the area you can also visit the “Nuraghe Cuccurada” and the archaeological site of Santa Anastasia, which is located in the upper part of Sardara, a nuragic sanctuary inserted in a structured civil and religious settlement, still being excavated.

Directions: From Sassari follow the SS131 direction Oristano/Cagliari. Pass over Oristano and continue towards Cagliari. At the junction of Uras take the direction of Laconi and follow the SS442 through Morgongiori and Ales. At the exit of Ales in the direction of Laconi, turn at the fork to Pau, SP 48 At the entrance of the village, follow the signs to the “Obsidian trail”.

GPS Coordinate : Regional Natural Park of Monte Arci: 39.755356, 8.748701

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Wines of Sardinia: The Bovale Sardo

Bovale Sardo

Red Wine DOC

 

The Bovale Sardo is a native vine of red grapes, also present in other parts of Italy. It is characterized by the composition of the bunch and the high sugar content. The Bovale Sardo also has a high concentration of pigments, flavones, which lately have been recognized as major sources of antioxidants. The term “Bovale” identifies two varieties, the Bovale Sardo and Bovale of Spain also called great Bovale, both arrived in Sardinia from the Iberian Peninsula probably during the Aragonese domination (about 1300). Recent research confirms the substantial differences between the two varieties of Bovale. The Bovale Sardi is cultivated in almost the whole island but finds its best expression in the sunny wine lands of the  Mandrolisai in Nuoro, and in the zone of Terralba, Oristano. It has various synonyms: the most common is  “Muristellu” or “Muristella”, but is also called “Bovaleddu” or “Bovali piticcu”, or Vitis affinis, being similar to the Monica variety. The wine is rich in extract, in alcohol and polyphenolic complexity, particularly where derived from vines grown using the alberello sardo technique, and is harvested late in the season. Is vinified together with other black varieties to obtain valuable wines that you can pair with roast meats: in particular along with Cannonau and Monica it has the DOC title of Mandrolisai; it is also used with the Bovale of Spain  for the DOC wine Campidano Terralba or Terralba.

Food pairings: the produced wines  are paired with game, roast meats and eel, cheese, salami, pasta or risotto, fresh cheese (depending on the percentage of different grapes that make the wine).

 

DOC Mandrolisai

Grape: Bovale Sardo min. 35%, Cannonau from 20 to 35%, Monica from 20 to 35%, max. 10% of other grapes suitable for cultivation in the region of Sardinia.

Production Area: Municipalities of the Province of Nuoro and Oristano belonging to the territory called Mandrolisai.

Yeld in wine: Max. 70% (Red) e 65% (Rosè).

Alcoholic content: Min.11,5°(Red and Rosè); Min.12,5°(Red Superior);

Aging: Two years, one of which in barrels for Superior typology.

DOC Campidano di Terralba o Terralba

Grape: Bovale Sardo e Bovale of Spain; Max. 20% of “Pascale di Cagliari”, “Greco Nero” and “Monica”.

Production Area: Municipalities of the Province of Oristano./p>

Yeld in wine: Max. 70%.

Alcoholic content: 11,5°;

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Volcanic Wines 2014

Volcanic Wines 2014

Mogoro – Sardinia

 

On 26 and 27 September at Mogoro(in the province of Oristano, Sardinia) you will experience two intense days dedicated to the volcanic wines(or magmatic), there will be experts and journalists and 15 wineries and volcanic wine producers. Two days rich of debates and promotions of the territory with guided tours and tastings of the local food and wine products, a special trip in the universe of those wines that come from magmatic soils. Unique soils that give to the wines of those territories, flavors and quality not found elsewhere. Friday, 26 of September, the day will begin at 9:00 am with a visit to the Winery of Mogoro (who joined the Consortium Volcanic Wines), located near a dormant volcano, Mount Arci, and will continue, only for professionals, with samples, tastings and visits to other wineries in the area. The second day, Saturday, 27 of September, will be rich from early morning, of meetings to be attended by the protagonists of the national wine scene: experts, professors, journalists and writers. At 13.00 there will be a tasting of local products.

To go to Mogoro and live this intense “two days,” from Cagliari follow the SS131 in the direction of Oristano. After the junction for Sardara, turn right in the direction of Mogoro (GPS coordinates of “The Nuraghe” Winery of Mogoro: 39.658531, 8.741054). From Sassari follow the SS131 in the direction of Oristano/Cagliari. After passing Oristano, continue in the direction of Cagliari, after the junction for Uras, turn in the direction of Mogoro (GPS coordinates of “The Nuraghe” Winery of Mogoro 39.658531, 8.741054).
In the area you can also visit the wineries, “Cantina del Bovale” Terralba(see our post about Bovale Sardo – GPS coordinates: 39.721761, 8.652505) and “Cantina Su Entu” (GPS Coordinates: 39.562868, 8.899895) of San Luri.

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Wines of Sardinia: The Carignano

Red Wine “DOC Carignano del Sulcis”

Territory of Sulcis(CA) – Sardinia

 

The Carignano is a red grape variety that you can find in all wine-growing areas of the western Mediterranean, and in Sardinia its production is almost entirely concentrated in Sulcis territory between the last mountain reliefs of the south-west of Sardinia and the sea. It may have been introduced by the Phoenicians, the founders of Sulci in the island of S. Antioco, but it could also have come later, in the Aragonese period.

This grape variety has good resistance to salt winds and cryptogams and it is perhaps for this reason that it is grown on sandy and sunny soils of Sulcis; has no particular soil and climate requirements. The low yield per vine and the particular land of cultivation, give the wine a distinctive intense ruby ​​red color, a rich scent reminiscent of plums and cherries, chocolate, licorice and black pepper. On the palate is balanced and aristocratic. Since 1977 it is recognized as a DOC wine and it is marketed under the name of Carignano del Sulcis. Despite its limited distribution, the Carignano can be considered one of the most important and prestigious wines in the wine scene of Sardinia.

DOC Carignano del Sulcis

Grape: Carignano min. 85%, max. 15% of other red grapes suitable for cultivation in the region of Sardinia.

Production Area: Municipalities of the territory of Sulcis, in the province of Cagliari

Yield in wine: Max. 65% (Red) e 60%(Rosé).

Alcoholic content: Min.11,5°(Rosé); Min.12,0°(Red); Min.12,5°(Red Reserve); Min.13,0°(Red Superior); Min.11,5°(Novello); Passito 16,0° (di cui 2,0° da svolgere).

Aging: Min. two years in a barrel of which at least six months of aging in bottle for the Riserva and Superiore and min. six months in which at least three in the bottle for the Passito.

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Turriga Fifth Best Wine in Italy

Turriga Red Wine IGT – 2010

Serdiana(CA) – Sardinia

 

The Turriga, 2010 vintage, by the winery Argiolas from Serdiana reached the fifth place  in the Top 50  of “Best Italian Wine Awards 2014” . Great satisfaction for the Cantina Argiolas for this outstanding award which reconfirms the great quality of this red wine, IGT, with intense ruby ​​red color, with great structure, character deeply Sardinian, made with grapes Cannonau, Carignano, Bovale Sardo, Malvasia Nera.

The jury of this event, was born from an idea by Luca Gardini, Best Sommelier in the world WSA 2010 and by Andrea Grignaffini food and wine expert, and was composed of some of the most important professionals and opinion leaders of the Italian wine industry and of international experts in food and wine tasting of the most important publications in the field.

Our congratulations go to the Cantina Argiolas, for the result and for his commitment to search for constant improvement of its wines!

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Tagliatelle of the grape harvest

Taglietelle of the Grape Harvest
Porcini, white grape, wine Vermentino

 

Autumn has officially begun, time of grape harvest, and then to inaugurate it with something tasty we suggest to you a dish with typical autumnal flavors and ingredients, made just with two protagonists of autumn: porcini mushrooms and white grape.

 

Ingredients for 4:

  • Tagliatelle
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 porcini mushrooms
  • 12 berries of white grapes
  • salt
  • white wine (we recommend the Vermentino)
  • parmesan cheese
  • parsley
  • pepper

 

Preparation time: about 20 min.

Preparation: After you put  water on the fire  to cook the tagliatelle, we prepare a finely chopped shallot sauteed with a bit of olive oil. We add the porcini mushrooms cutted in pieces, first the stems that are harder, and then after a few minutes the mushrooms caps and the grapes cutted in half, we salt, we mix the ingredients and we simmer with white wine until reduced. Cook the tagliatelle and drain them when they are “al dente”. Add them to the sauce and mix Parmesan in  and then add a sprinkling of chopped parsley and pepper.

Plate up and pair these taglietelle with Vermentino wine served chilled at 8-10 ° C (you can use the same wine used during cooking).

Bon Appetit !!!

wine, olive oil, Cannonau, Vermentino, Moscato, Malvasia, cagnulari, carignano

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Beaches of Sardina: Porto Pino

Porto Pino – Sardinia

Province of Carbonia-Iglesias

Porto Pino is a territory in the south-western coast of Sardinia visited every year by thousands of tourists. It is part of the municipality of Sant’Anna Arresi, in the Province of Carbonia-Iglesias. The beach of Porto Pino is made of fine white sand, bordered by the typical Mediterranean vegetation, it also presents a rare pine forest of Aleppo pine which, according to legend was the preferred wood by the Phoenicians for their boats. The Kermes oak joins the Aleppo pine, typical of coastal environments and also very rare in the island.  In the pine forest there are also other species, including Phoenician juniper. On the western side, beaten by the mistral winds, lies instead the low mediterranean scrub and the garrigue dominated by phillyrea, rosemary and several species of Cistus. Instead, on the cliffs, where rock emerges,  grows the rare maritime asterisk  and the sea lavender.

The area of Porto Pino is characterized by a system of ponds used for fish farming that are directly connected to the saline of Santa Caterina. The area is frequented by numerous bird species, including the pink flamingo, egret, kingfisher, common sandpiper.

The sandy strip that separates the sea from the ponds is about 70 meters wide and is occupied, in the inner part, by a pine forest, also this spontaneous, which is directly in front of the beach, which extends for a length of 4 km and is traditionally divided into three portions: two separate beaches, separated from the ruins of a pier, which once protected another adductor canal, and the area of the sand dunes. The so-called first beach stretches behind the municipal parking lots and is formed from compacted gray sand(it is the most frequented by bathers because of the tourist services provided). The second is a beach made up of white sand  and is less crowded, except in its beginnings and ends, which are more easily accessible by roads and parking (it is administratively divided between the municipalities of Sant’Anna Arresi and Teulada). Finally, the area of the dunes, or the white sands (Is arenas biancas), around 1 kilometer long, is located in the municipality of Teulada and within the perimeter of the polygon military of Cape Teulada. Access is allowed only in the summer.

Porto Pino is everywhere famous for its sand dunes, among the highest and largest in Sardinia. A charming scenery which every year attracts a large number of bathers.

 GPS Coordinates Beach Is Arenas Biancas”: 38.939794, 8.624106

 GPS Coordinates Parking of Porto Pino: 38.963308, 8.597972

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