Sardegna, the land of sunshine and heat.  It has been occupied by pretty much every civilization since the Phoenicians and probably before.  The result is a blend of styles and cultures that is likely unrivaled by anywhere else.


The wine culture in Sardegna is different than you would expect from an island.  The wines tend to be fuller and more meat friendly.  The reason being, as mentioned before, the island was occupied and pillaged by pirates constantly and so the inhabitants would take to the hills.   Sheep and goat are a large portion of the diet and thus call for bigger wines.


The two best known grapes are Cannonau and Vermentino which are grown all over the island.  Rather than discuss those, however, we will look at the two local varietals to Cagliari: Carignano and Nuragus.


We will start with Nuragus, a name 99.9% of the people have never heard of.  It is the oldest vinified grape in all of Sardegna.  Similar to wines like Soave, the production is spotty.  But with a deft hand and low yields such as Argiolas and Dolianova, the wine achieves a perfect balance of acid and fruit resulting in a beautiful wine.


Second is Carignano, which was transplanted from France where it is used as a blending grape.  It originated in Spain and now finds a home in southwest Sardegna where the Sciroccos, or hot winds off of North Africa, manage to bring the grape to its finest incarnation.  Two producers who make the grape sing are Santadi and Terralba.  


Ask your trusted wine shop for others not mentioned here.