The oldest Sardinian vine of the Mediterranean
Our peninsula is rich in products of the highest quality that have an ancient origin. One of these is the Cannonau wine that comes from this black berry variety, very common in Sardinia. Italian Traditions will lead you on to the discovery of one of the excellences of the Sardinian island by telling you about its history. In addition, we will talk about the different types present and where it is still produced today. Finally, we will present some typical traditional Sardinian recipes that go well with this type of wine.
The origin of the Cannonau is a much debated issue that has been resolved thanks to recent findings of ancient cultivations of this vine in archaeological sites in Sardinia. This allowed to place the birth of this type of cultivation in the Mediterranean area and in particular on the island.
The discoveries have shown precisely how the nuraghic populations cultivated the vine and produced this quality of wine. Up to this moment it was wrongly believed that it came from Spain from where it would have been imported in the 1400s.
The vines from the Caucasus and Mesopotamia area were progressively cultivated also in other areas. Initially they spread to Anatolia and Egypt and then passed to the Aegean islands and the rest of Europe. Thanks to the Phoenicians they then reached the Mediterranean and Sardinia, where, according to recent discoveries, it was already known.
What is it
The Cannonau wine is precisely what is produced from these grapes and is a DOC product, or denomination of controlled origin. Its content consists of 99% of these grapes and the remaining 1% of other types of local production. This type of drink requires a minimum aging time of one year of which six months in oak or chestnut barrels. There are three different sub-denominations depending on the area of origin. These are:
- Cannonau di Sardegna Capo Ferrato
- Cannonau of Sardinia Jerzu
- Cannonau of Sardinia Nepente di Oliena.
Territory of origin
The territorial area where Cannonau is produced is that of the interior of the Sardinian island. Its location in the Western Mediterranean means that it is located between the temperate climate of European origin and the sub-tropical climate of Africa. Sardinia is characterized by frequent winds. This is one of the main natural components of the Sardinian climate. Another key feature is the short distance that separates all points of the island from the sea.
There are different types of this traditional Sardinian wine. These are:
The first involves an aging of three years of which at least 2 inside wooden barrels. It is then stored in glass bottles for a variable period. Its alcohol content is 13.5%. In the rosé type, the “white fermentation” is carried out, which makes it possible to have a bright pink color. To obtain the liqueur Cannonau viticultural alcohol is added to the must or to the natural wine. This type of Cannonau can reach an alcohol content of 18%.
Many typical Italian products have seen a wide diffusion throughout the national territory over the years and not only in the region of origin. In particular, the presence of certain traditional products is also very interesting, even outside the Italian borders. If you want to discover other products of the Italian culinary tradition we recommend reading this article too. Now that you know the Cannonau wine I’m sure you will want to get a bottle and taste it?