Sardinia and wine
Wines, grapes and a bit of history
Until a few years ago you had fragmentary information about the origin of the culture of the wine on the island, in fact some sources believed that he had developed independently, while others that it had been introduced by the Phoenicians or the Carthaginians, and others claimed it was a culture well-known during the Roman period. The most recent findings instead show us how already in the Nuragic Era Sardinians cultivate the vine and wine would produce. According to experts, the Cannonau would be one of the oldest wines of the Mediterranean.
Date back to the Roman period instead some references to the Vernaccia found in the city of Tharros, the ancient Punic-Roman center, of which there are some ruins on the coast near the town of Oristano. The Roman period and the invasions of the Vandals, was followed by a resumption of winemaking by some monks who introduced new varieties in the island and relaunched the cultivation of the vine planting new vineyards close to the monasteries. But was after the Middle Ages that the cultivation of vines in Sardinia experienced a strong growth, primarily in the area of Oristano, and especially thanks to the work of Eleanor, the famous judge and author of a collection of laws known as the “Carta de Logu” that provided inter alia the prohibition to keep badly cultivated vineyards.
In modern times, after the World War II the viticulture of Sardinia continued to prosper, yet always remaining confined to local consumption. A big increase, with subsequent spread to the outside of the island, it was through the efforts of a major private company, the Sella and Mosca.
There are numerous and sometimes little-known indigenous grapes and in recent decades the main producers of wine islanders have struggled trying to restore their value. These vines have found their natural habitat on the island and used in special blends gave rise to wines of high quality. The main ones are:
- Bovale: there are two variants of Bovale, the “Bovale Sardo” and “Bovale of Spain”, and recent studies indicate that the two varieties are completely different. The first, Bovale Sardo, apparently coming from the wild vine, still very much present in Sardinia. The Bovale of Spain may be joined at the Carignano for characteristics and productivity, and it seems to be a variant of the same
- Cagnulari, typical of Sassari
- Cannonau is the Sardinian grape symbol of the wine culture. Of very ancient origins, probably nuragic, is grown primarily in the territory of Nuoro (70% of the cultivated area)
- Arvesiniadu, indigenous grape of Goceano, which was in danger of disappearing.
- Girò, vine introduced in the Spanish era. In 1972 one of his wine, Girò of Cagliari, got the “Designation of Origin”(D.O.C. Denominazione di Origine Controllata)
- Malvasia, probably arrived on the island during the Byzantine Era
- Monica is a wine considered among the oldest introduced in Sardinia. It is present throughout the region
- Vermentino from uncertain origins
- Nasco, white grape known in Roman times. Its name derives from the Latin muscus i.e. musk probably because of its characteristic aroma
- Albaranzeuli, white grape, of distant Spanish origin. Is common in some areas of Oristano and Nuoro, where it is called Lacconargiu or Lacconarzu. It is currently in danger of extinction
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