Vermentino of Sardegna: the holy grail of white wines
Vermentino of Sardegna is part of the food and wine heritage that has made the ancient island of Ichnusa world-famous.
Looking at the Sardinian landscape, one gets the impression that Mother Nature used the ancient mosaic technique to create the island. The beautiful mountains and plains, immense beaches and sandy dunes, landscapes shaped made by the erosion of rivers, ponds and lagoons, cliffs sculpted by the wind that plunge into the blue sea and vineyards of Cannonau and Vermentino of Sardegna.
The vineyards of black and white grapes are part of the Sardinian landscape. The Vermentino grape is used to produce many wines of Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin, such as Vermentino di Gallura D.O.C.G, which have unique characteristics in terms of perfume, alcohol content, minerality and natural acidity. The result is achieved by a combination of the permeability of the soil, the high potassium content and the climatic peculiarities of the subregion of northern Sardinia.
Among the Controlled and Guaranteed Denomination of Origin wines made with Vermentino are the sparkly Alghero Vermentino and the Vermentino of Sardegna, the latter produced in the provinces of Cagliari, Nuoro, Oristano and Sassari have a persistent aroma and a colour ranging from white paper to a pale straw yellow with greenish shades. The palate is sweet and sapid, with a good freshness, average acidity and a delicate bitter aftertaste.
A glass of Vermentino of Sardegna recalls the fresh and light air of summer, the wind that smells of the sea and orange blossom, and pairs perfectly with fish appetizers, oysters and shellfish, grilled fish and the island’s typical pasta dishes.
Vermentino of Sardegna: a grape variety with ancient and mysterious origins
Vermentino is a semi-aromatic white grape variety also grown in Liguria where it takes on the name of Pigato, and in Piedmont and Corsica where it is known by the name of Favorita, but it is in Sardinia that it finds its ideal habitat.
The origin of this ancient and extraordinary vine is still debated in ampelography: according to some, it is native to Portugal or the island of Madeira, but the most likely hypothesis is that it comes from Spain and more precisely from the Aragon region. Later, from the Iberian peninsula, it was taken first to France, between Grosse Clarette, Malvois d’Espagne, Piccabon, Languedoc-Roussillon, and then to Liguria, in the area of the Apuan Alps, before arriving in Corsica.
In the island of the ancient nuraghi, the cultivation of the vine from which you get the Vermentino of Sardinia began in the nineteenth century and initially affected only the area of Gallura but in a short time spread throughout the island.
But other theories try to explain the origin of Vermentino: a hypothesis is that the vine has made a reverse journey spreading from Sardinia to other territories, while according to another theory, the Vermentino would have arrived on the island during the Arab domination.
Even the etymology does not give more information on the origins of the grape variety and only describes the plant. The name Vermentino seems to come from the word “vermena”, a term now in disuse and adopted especially during the Middle Ages to indicate a “young branch, thin and flexible”, which in turn derives from the Latin “verbena” regarding “herbs and twigs of evergreen plants”.
Vermentino of Sardegna DOCG, which includes a wide variety of wines, from the most structured to the simplest and freshest, should be served in medium-sized flared tulip glasses at a temperature between 8-10 º C. The Spumante version should be served at a temperature of 6-8 C. in a goblet flute and is perfect to accompany fruit tarts.
The label accompanying each bottle of wine must mention the Denomination of Controlled Origin along with all other legal indications such as:
Specified region of origin of the product
• Description of the product consisting of the combination of the vine variety from which the wine comes and the geographical area in which it is grown
• Nominal volume of wine
• Name or company name and location of the bottler
• Number and bottler code that may also appear on the closing system (cap or capsule)
• Name of State
• Indication of the lot
• Ecological indications.