The island’s wine culture is largely influenced by Spanish tradition. When in 1200, James I of Aragon, with his fleet, conquered the Balearic islands and gained control over the western Mediterranean, many Catalans moved to Sardinia -mainly the wester coast- bringing with them their native traditions.
In addition to wines of clear Spanish origin, Sardinia, especially in the last twenty years, has started to produce wines that best suit contemporary taste, trying to achieve a balance between lightness, freshness and the strong character of regional traditions. The flourishing summer tourist market and the vaguely exotic charm of some wines of Catalan origin are the reasons for the remarkable success of some of these wines.
In Sardinia, there are three main wine areas. The first, to the north, includes the Gallura hills, land of “Vermentino“, where the cool climate and the good degree of humidity, favored by the presence of extensive wooded areas, create ideal conditions for the cultivation of white grapes, used to produce fragrant wines with a high level of acidity.
The second, in the center, can be divided into two other areas: the ventilated and dry hills around the massif of Gennargentu, which produce the “Cannonau”undoubtedly the most important dry red wine of the island, and the western territory, from Bosa, to the north, to the Gulf of Oristano, where the Spanish influence is still strong and the local production includes wines such as “Malvasia di Bosa“.
The third area, to the south, includes the vast Campidano, a kind of long plain between two mountain ranges, and the Flumendosa Valley. The plain is ideal for the “Nuragus“, a grape of unknown origin (some believe it comes from Sardinia, while others refer to ancient vines imported from the Middle East) today found exclusively in Sardinia, where it is widely spread.
The hills are cultivated with more important red grapes, even if the very high temperatures and the frequent dry winds from Africa make them also suitable for the production of dessert wines, such as “Nasco” and “Moscato“.
The region has many activities related to wine and many wineries offer the opportunity to taste the best CDOs (Denomination of Controlled Origin; DOC and DOCG wines (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin).
HST Experience – Wine
Tastings in cellars.
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