If you don’t know Cannonau wine then you probably haven’t been to Sardegna (Sardinia in English). If you have had Cannonau wine then hopefully you experienced drinking it from a shot glass, or perhaps a juice glass, as the local Sardi people do. On the other hand if you’ve tasted the wines of Spain, Southern France’s Rhône Valley or California’s San Joaquin Valley then you do know Cannonau, but under an alias: Grenache.
Sardi are simple people and Sardegna is a mysterious land. A place where tradition lives on through a culture that has been under siege by outsiders for as long as time has been recorded. These outsiders came and went by ship taking with them vines to plant in their mother lands. Knowing this it should not surprise you that what’s become one of the world’s most used grape varitals, Grenache, originated in Sardegna.
During our holiday tour around the island we elected to not pursue Cannonau producers because of it’s ubiquity across the region. Instead we elected to visit this guy, Dino Addis, the charismatic proprietor of Cantina Gallura in Tempio Pausania on the North end of the island.
The grape du jour at Cantina Gallura isn’t Cannonau, but instead Vermentino. We’d tried a Vermentino a few months back from Cantina Gallura and figured that a summer time visit coupled with these wonderful white wines would keep us calm, cool and collected.
Here are some notes and photos of what we tasted:
Ladas: Dino carefully pours a splash of this Vermentino based brut sparkling wine into the first tasting glass, and then transfers it down the line to cleanse them of any impurities. It’s probably the best non vintage sparkling wine I’ve ever had and at a price of €6 a bottle from the winery it’s an absolute steal!
After taking two limestone rocks and grinding them feverishly together Dino passes them around for us to smell. “This scent is present in the terrior and thus in the wine, specifically the Genesi.” he says. The Vermentinos from Cantina Gallura come in many variations of flavor. Genesi was more in tune with the Arneis that we are accustomed to in the Piedmont, providing a limestone flavored finish.
Gemellae: With a bouquet of a light passion fruit and a lovely citrus after taste this wine is the perfect hot summer refresher.
Piras: Another vermentino this time with a more defined bouquet of tropical fruits and a ripe peach and apricot palate without the limestone flavor of the Genesi.
We had a great visit at Cantina Gallura and would recommend it for your holiday to Sardegna. Give them a call or drop them an email to set up an appointment! Ok now we’re on to Birrificio Lara, one of Italy’s oldest artisanal beer brewers. Man, this is exhausting work. Ciao for now!