Here is a short guide to choosing the right Sardinian white wine for each recipe. You will discover the scents and aromas of the best Sardinian wines
Sardinian white wine tells an oenological story that began millennia ago. The particular microclimate of Sardinia suggests that the vitis vifera is indigenous to the area and that Sardinian wine was already being produced here 3000 years ago.
Before getting to know this blond nectar of the gods, we must emphasise how pleasant it is to sip a Sardinian white wine on many occasions.
Its aromatic and taste complexity makes it the ideal wine to pair with traditional Mediterranean dishes. If you want to discover the secrets of choosing the best Sardinian white wine for your recipe, all you have to do is let yourself go and read our suggestions. They will be your guide through the scents and aromas of a land immersed in a stretch of sea that has always produced so much wealth.
History of Sardinian white wine: viticulture in Sardinia
The pedo-climatic conditions of Sardinia are the basis for an ideal development of viticulture. It is thought, in fact, that vine-growing on the island started during the Bronze Age.
A soil rich in mineral salts, favourable sea breezes and optimal temperature ranges have favoured the production of fine Sardinian wines.
In Sardinia wine production flourished during Roman times, but then declined due to the barbarian invasions. However the vine was always stronger than events. The Basilian monks, in fact, resumed planting new vineyards around the monasteries.
A considerable boost was given during the Middle Ages thanks to the promulgation of the Carta de Logu, which regulated wine making through codes. Wine production continued to grow over the centuries, especially during the Spanish domination between the 14th and 18th centuries. To understand how developed Sardinian wine production was, it is enough to know that before the arrival of phylloxera in the 19th century, Sardinia boasted about 80 thousand hectares of vineyards.
Today, Sardinia boasts an important wine production with medium-intensive farms that guarantee a high standard of quality. In addition to the most famous Sardinian wines such as Cannonau and Vermentino, there are many others that are true oenological gems. Fine Sardinian white wine is the result of a special microclimate that allows the perfect vegetative development of the grape varieties.
The varieties on which Sardinian white wine is based are grown in the central-northern part of the region. For example, Vermentino di Gallura is able to express itself with great vigour in the north-eastern part of the island in the Olbia area. Vernaccia di Oristano, on the other hand, enjoys the sea breezes coming from the western Mediterranean, particularly in the province of Oristano.
Let us discover together Sardinian white wine through the rediscovery of characteristic corners of Sardinia.
Best white wines from Sardinia: the identity of a highly suitable region
The best white wines from Sardinia are those that capture the essence of this region, which has been offering its marvellous territory to the production of fine white wines for thousands of years.
The wide variety of grapevines is the basis for the production of Sardinian white wine, ranging from dry to sparkling, including the spumante version. This means that the grape varieties are so versatile that they offer plenty of scope for high-quality wine making research.
The white wines from Sardinia listed are among the most elegant and refined to be paired with the most important Mediterranean dishes. Through the discovery of the organoleptic characteristics, you will be able to indulge in convivial dinners in which wine becomes the absolute protagonist.
Vermentino di Gallura DOCG
Vermentino di Gallura DOCG is a wine obtained from 95% Vermentino grapes, therefore, in purity. Its production area is located in north-eastern Sardinia in the area of Olbia and to a lesser extent in the provinces of Sassari and Nuoro.
The soil here is characterised by granite rocks and porous components. This favours the formation of mineral hints in the grapes. This Sardinian white wine is characterised by good alcohol content and acidity thanks to the good temperature range.
Vermentino di Gallura can be tasted in 4 versions:
- Vermentino di Gallura Superiore
- Vermentino di Gallura Spumante
- Vermentino di Gallura Passito
- Vermentino di Gallura Late Harvest
Vermentino Superiore – also in the sparkling version – is ideal with fish and shellfish. The late harvest pairs well with white meat and structured first courses. The passito is perfect with desserts and dry pastries.
Vernaccia di Oristano
Vernaccia di Oristano is one of the oldest vines on the island and its origin is still unknown. It is grown in the province of the same name, in the central-western part of Sardinia. Certainly, its grapes offer a wine characterised by great softness, aromaticity and great taste-olfactory persistence.
Its peculiarity lies in the curious method of vinification, similar to Jerez, which ensures the beautiful golden colour. In other words the potential of Flor is exploited, i.e. a film of yeast that gives its oxidised appearance. Actually, Vernaccia di Oristano is not a sweet raisin wine but a wine that lends itself to many pairings with fish.
Vermentino di Sardegna
This famous Sardinian white wine is made almost purely from Vermentino grapes grown in the provinces of Cagliari, Nuoro, Sassari and Oristano. The characteristic terroir can be either coastal or hilly, but always with good temperature ranges and porous soil.
This Sardinian wine is white in colour, turning straw yellow as it matures. The taste-olfactory examination reveals good freshness, discreet softness and a pleasant bitterish aftertaste. Its ideal pairing is with fish soups and crustaceans, especially lobster.
The Sardinian white wine is produced in different versions:
- Vermentino di Sardegna DOC
- Vermentino di Sardegna DOC Frizzante
- Vermentino di Sardegna DOC Spumante
Sardinia Semidano DOC
Semidano is a very ancient grape variety that certainly arrived in Sardinia thanks to the Phoenicians. After a period of abandonment, the cultivation of this variety has been recovered especially in the area of Campidano di Oristano.
The production is limited enough to be considered a true oenological gem. It requires precise pruning systems, a mild climate and is very sensitive to disease.
The wine produced has a straw yellow colour with floral sensations. It is particularly fresh and elegant on the palate and pairs well with white meat, fish soups and well-structured first courses.
Finally, the wine appellation is divided into:
- Sardegna Semidano DOC
- Sardegna Semidano DOC – subzone Mogoro
Moscato di Sardegna DOC
Moscato di Sardegna is produced throughout the region. The grape variety is Moscato Bianco, which is common throughout Italy.
This grapevine is able to adapt to different soil and climate conditions. In Sardinia, it adapts well to both coastal and inland hilly areas where the temperature ranges are more pronounced and the soil more mineral.
Sardinian white wine made from Muscat grapes is generally sweet, intense and aromatic to be paired with desserts and sweets. However, there is also a dry version.
Moscato bianco DOC Cagliari
This Sardinian white wine is made from Moscato Bianco grapes grown in the province of Cagliari. The wine is sweet and is considered one of the finest on the island.
In addition to the classic Moscato bianco DOC Cagliari, it is also possible to find Sardinian wines that bear the Riserva label. These wines are aged for a minimum of 9 months and at least 2 years in barrels. In the latter case, the fine Sardinian white wine has a bright golden yellow colour and complex, honeyed hints.
Moscato di Sennori
This sweet Sardinian white wine has a rather limited production in vineyards located in the northern area of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari.
The types are:
- Moscato di Sennori Bianco – sweet, fine and with a long persistence
- Moscato di Sennori Passito – ethereal, elegant with a bouquet reminiscent of dried fruit
- Moscato di Sennori Spumante – floral, fruity and with a fine perlage that enhances the aromatic component
- Moscato di Sennori Liquoroso – elegant, sweet with notes of caramel and Mediterranean broom
Malvasia di Bosa
Malvasia di Bosa is one of Sardinia’s lesser-known white wines, but no less important. Today, the vine is grown in the Planargia, a small handkerchief of Sardinian land on the north-western side, but its origin is in Greece.
The wine has a straw-yellow colour, which can turn to golden. The sweet taste of this Sardinian white wine makes it ideal in pairings with dry pastries or as an aperitif.
Nasco di Cagliari
The list of Sardinian wines could not fail to include Nasco di Cagliari. The Sardinian white wine is made from grapes of the Nasco variety grown in Cagliari and Oristano.
The types are:
- Nasco di Cagliari DOC
- Nasco di Cagliari DOC Liquoroso
- Nasco di Cagliari DOC Liquoroso Riserva
This Sardinian wine ranges from straw yellow to golden yellow depending on the type.
The aroma is delicate but amplified by a pleasant aromaticity. It can be included in the category of light Sardinian white wines for the whole meal.
Nuragus di Cagliari
Nuragus is an ancient vine introduced to Sardinia by the Phoenicians. It is the basis for the production of one of Sardinia’s best white wines, produced in a restricted area in the province of Cagliari and partly in Oristano.
This Sardinian white wine has a pale straw-yellow colour tending towards greenish. It is fresh, sweet and pleasant to drink, and pairs well with fish dishes.
The Nuragus di Cagliari is produced in two types:
- Nuragus di Cagliari DOC
- Nuragus di Cagliari DOC sparkling
Granatza Barbargia IGT
The Granatza vine is one of Sardinia’s oldest indigenous varieties. For a long time, it had been used in addition to Cannonau to improve its acidity. Today the vine has been brought back to life, giving one of the best Sardinian wines. The Granatza Barbargia IGT has a nice acidity tamed by maceration on the skins.
In Sardinia wines for true connoisseurs!
With Italia Delight, you can taste Sardinian white wine (and more!) by visiting the family-run organic winery led by our Food Expert in Mamoiada. You will discover how this family takes care of Sardinian wines from Granatza and Cannonau grapes, from the vineyard to the winery.
A great opportunity to discover Sardinian white wine with the producer! 🥂