How about enjoying a boat ride to the inviting emerald green waters off the coast of Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, with snow-white beaches, mountain peaks, and a charming natural environment. The homemade pastas, delightful peppercorn-filled Pecorino cheese, and bright, fruit-forward red wines are part of the culinary splendour you will experience on this island. Come along to explore exquisite Sardinia.
The wine region of Sardinia includes the vineyard area across the entire island. Sardinia is located off of the west coast of Italy and is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily. Upon arrival, admire dream beaches, picturesque bays, and mountainous forest land throughout the island. Explore mighty grottos by the sea, ideal island vineyards, and former bandit villages all within a single day. Sardinia has over 7,000 nuraghi, or imposing tower-like structures, from the ancient Nuragic Civilization. The Nuragic people lived on the island during the Bronze Age and add an incredible historical presence to any visitor’s exploration of the island.
Overall when one thinks about Sardinia, the automatic associations are dramatic beaches and pristine clear waters. There is still so much more about the island that is still undiscovered. Taking a look at the local gastronomy scene and wine production the island has long been isolated from mainland Italy and is often considered slightly less sophisticated. The local wines and cuisine are unique in their own rite, Sardinia should not be underestimated for the flavor, aroma, and charm they create.
Architecture & Wine
If you are into architecture and traveling in the Sardinia wine region, you must visit Cantina Giuseppe Sedilesu. The architecture of the winery reminds you of the ancient culture of Nuraghi from 160 BC.
Location: Via Vittorio Emanuele Ii, 64, Mamoiada, Sardegna, 8024, Italy
Sardinia – Wines with Their Own Character
“All of those that come from overseas are strangers, and they will eventually all go away again.”
This local Sardinian quote very well explains the attitude of people from the island, the foreign influence might come their way, but will also leave again, allowing them to be their own unique selves. Of course “strangers” have influenced the culture on the island throughout time, even in the vineyards. It is said that the Phoenicians were the first to bring wine to the island long before the birth of Christ. Sardinia has planted many grape varieties and created many different styles of wine over the years. The finest Vermentino is produced in the north and powerful Cannonau is created in the south along with fortified wines reminiscent to Sherry.
Terrain, Climate, and Soils on the Island
Sardinia wine region covers around 40.000 hectares of terrain. Vines are grown mainly in the rolling hills of Campidano between the capital Cagliari and Oristano in the southwest and in the plateaus north of Olbia around Sassari and Alghero.
The Mediterranean climate in Sardinia leads to hot, dry summer and rainy, wet winters. Drought is prominent on the island, especially on the South Coast, so irrigation is often necessary. Temperatures vary significantly throughout several different parts of the island. In the cooler areas of the north such as Gallura, Anglona, and Alghero, mainly fresh, fruit-driven white wines with elegant aromas and good structure and acidity are produced. In the north of Sardinia, the only DOCG zone on the island encapsulates Vermentino di Gallura, which has more power and fragrance than typical Vermentino di Sardegna wines.
Vines in the wine region of Sardinia further benefit from the soils, which consist of granite, limestone, sandstone, and mineral-rich clay soils which offer diversity in the expression of Sardinian wines. especially on DOC and DOCG wines.
The southern and western sides of the island offer red, white, and dessert wines all good conditions which are divided amongst 17 DOCs. However, two-thirds of production is red wines, Cannonau, is the most important grape variety and in the best case the base for red wines full of character. The Cagnulari grape in the northwest and the Carignano grape in the south also have great potential for winemaking.
Sardinian Trio – Cannonau, Vermentino, and Carignano
Cannonau, Vermentino, and Carignano are the most well-known grape varieties from the Sardinian wine region, which best represent the region’s winemaking potential. There are also several indigenous grape varieties found on the island with the varieties, Bovale, Torbato, Semidano, Monica, Malvasia Bianca, Moscato, Nasco, and Nuragus. Sardinia is an exceptional grape-growing land with several undiscovered secrets. On a small scale, the international red variety, Cabernet Sauvignon is also cultivated.
The island provides bright, fruit-filled red wines, surprisingly crisp white wines, and fortified dessert wines, similar in style to Sherry.
Wines produced in Sardinia retain their distinct, regional character and are largely consumed on the island. Therefore, wines of Sardinia are considered quite rare as they hardly exist outside of the island.
The grape variety Cannonau is the most important grape variety of the island for red wine production. The resulting red wine is characterized by a balanced alcohol level and acidity and tannins, which combine with beautiful fruit flavors and pepper spice notes.
Another traditional wine from Sardinia wine region is is the fruit-filled delicate wines made from Vermentino.
Vernaccia di Oristano is a famous fortified wine from Sardinia which was the first wine to receive DOC status on the island in 1971. The aging process takes place in oak or chestnut barrels, as the taste profile is similar to Sherry despite the varied production style which is pure with no addition of alcohol for fortification. Depending on the age of the wine, it is golden yellow to amber and has an intense, very characteristic bouquet in which the scent of almond blossoms resonates. In the taste, it is powerful and dry, but at the same time warm, velvety soft, and harmonious. It has a long finish and a pronounced aftertaste that is slightly reminiscent of luscious almond.
Where Can You Taste Sardinian Wines?
Since the region of Sardinia is still quite unknown, most wines have not left the island in large volumes. The best way to explore the wines of the region is to visit the producers directly. We have made a list of Wineries in Sardinia to visit, making your exploration process simpler.
Cantina Giuseppe Sedilesu
Cantina Giuseppe Sedilesu lies in a small Sardinian village – Mamoiada, in the heart of the Barbagia. The architecture of the buildings is old, and it reminds the ancient culture of the Nuraghi 160 before Christ.
Visit the winery and discover their story, while tasting amazing cannonau wine paired with local food.
Explore Cities and the Natural Surroundings of Sardinia
The island has a unique distinctive culture with many different layers of history. The best expression of this diversity in their language, Sardo, which is heavily influenced by Spanish, Arabic, and Latin. As for the natural setting of Sardinia, the island is filled with sunshine, turquoise blue waters, and thousands of green trees and grasslands. The area is a largely untouched paradise for hikers and nature lovers due to vast forests and famous nature parks.
Ancient Cultures Protected in the City of Cagliari
Cagliari is undoubtedly one of the most attractive cities in Italy. The city is the cultural, educational, political, and artistic center of the Island, where you will find authentic Italian island life in full swing. A great reason to visit Cagliari is that it boasts a more local vibe with fewer tourists compared to other seaside holiday destinations throughout Italy.
Begin your exploration of the city hitting all of the main attractions as your drive towards the center of town, landing in the harbor to explore the old town on foot.
Must Visit Places:
Cathedral of Santa Maria
Museo Archeologico Nazionale
Bastione di Saint Remy
Visit local charming cafés and bars, take in some local shopping, and visit the San Benedetto Market, which offers traditional food options from early morning to 14:00. During your exploration of the city, you can also discover many historic sites with excavations. Keep your eyes open, so you don’t miss any of them.
Cagliari also has an extensive beach – the Poetto – where you can admire the multicolored Mediterranean Sea.
While you are in Cagliari, don’t miss a chance to visit Cantine Paulis, one of the first wineries established in Sardinia.
Visit the winery to discover the story of the winemaker, who is dedicated to making Sardinian wines famous abroad and produces wines that are loved by people.
Feel the charm of Sardinia in Pula, the town with Mediterranean flair, lively parties, fresh markets, and pure sunshine.
Everyday life pulses between the Piazzetta, the old town, and the sea. Dream beaches around southern Sardinia are just a stone’s throw away. Pula’s casual versatility as a small metropolis possesses winding streets, colorful home facades, and an array of street art. Spontaneous dancing can begin in Pula’s small and large town squares and the culinary pulse of Pula is diverse with a variety of restaurants, from typical pizzerias to fine dining fair. Culinary Pula also scores with a variety of restaurants, from the typical, simple pizzeria to fine dining.
Tuesday is a big market day as the region shows what it has to offer. Farmers, cheesemakers, honey producers, and many other vendors gather together to present the colorful diversity of Sardinian products.
Location: It is situated in car park on the outskirts of Pula, Via 25 Aprile.
The Best Beaches of Sardinia
Chia Beaches – Europe’s Caribbean Blue Waters
Looking for dream beaches in Sardinia? The Bay of Chia includes several nice options with turquoise water, fine sand, and child-friendly waters.
Optimal wind conditions make this part of Sardinia a hot spot for surfers, kite surfers, and sailors. Characteristic sand dunes of 30 meters in height, surround the beaches and are crisscrossed by wild juniper bushes. And the crystal-clear water in the Bay of Chia invites you for dreamy walks in the gently sloping sea. The unique diversity in the Bay of Chia offers a first-class sandy beach in Sardinia – and is a true Eldorado for families, active vacationers, and romantics.
The approximately 6 km long coast of Chia is dominated by the Eponymous Tower, which can be seen from all its beaches. In addition, in the area of Chia, you can visit the archaeological site of the Punic City of Nora, considered the oldest town in Sardinia.
UNESCO protected La Maddalena-Archipelago
The La Maddalena Archipelago, made up of seven main islands, is another UNESCOWorld Heritage Site in Sardinia. The water is clear and clean and attracts numerous snorkelers year after year looking for a pristine seabed in the Mediterranean Sea. Full or half-day boat holidays can be arranged throughout the archipelago. Tours usually include a visit to the islands of Spargi and Budelli with the famous Pink Beach, Santa Maria Beach and Caprera Island, and finally La Maddalena Island. Alternatively, you can rent a car on the island of La Maddalena and explore the local beaches on your own.
The green Coast of Costa Verde
Costa Verde is a stretch of coast in the southwest of Sardinia with incredible waters, sand, and sun. Even the journey to the Costa Verde is an experience in itself. It is characterized by winding roads and the crystal blue waters. This is what makes it a popular holiday destination for campers, motorcyclists, and divers.
The green slopes in the interior are outlined by beautiful beaches and rock outcroppings as they form fantastic panoramic views. The beaches are almost empty even in high season – just right for those who want to spend a few hours alone on a dream beach. South of Marina di Arbus the most scenic section of the Costa Verde begins.
Here you can discover with 50 m above sea level, the highest dunes on the island. The dunes add protection for sea turtles as they lay their eggs on the beaches of Costa Verde. Compared to the more populated Emerald Coast, Costa Verde is less touristic and gives an added bonus of beautiful island flora and fauna.
Flamingo Beach – A Bird Watching Paradise
The San Teodoro lagoon is a well-balanced ecosystem characterized by a green Mediterranean bush and several species of animals and plants that can be seen from the fence bound paths. You can access the lagoon from both the north and the south just behind La Cinta Beach, just behind the beach La Cinta. It is protected by the municipality of San Teodoro and is undoubtedly a place for slow exploration – get ready for a dip in authentic nature. In the Sardinian language the flamingos are called “Genti Arrubia”, red people – a respectful and noble name for these birds, which inspired the imagination of many Sardinian writers.
TIP! On the lagoon, there is also the Ittiturismo La Pischera, a restaurant with fish menus and a wonderful view of the pond.
Cultural mix of Sardinian cuisine
More than just a Regional Kitchen
Sardinia is the island of enjoyment. The location of the island between Italy,Spain, and the African coast is also reflected in its local cuisine. On the coast, you have fish, shellfish, and crustaceans, or octopus. Inland, meat, and poultry dishes are widespread. Sardinian cuisine largely relies on simple ingredients that were present in the houses of shepherds, farmers, and fishermen, and usually also has simple, less complex, or even artfully differentiated preparation methods. Little effort is needed to make these hearty and delectable local dishes. The inherent taste of Sardinian cuisine is prominent and the refinement in preparation takes a back seat.
Spaghetti con la Bottarga – The “Parmesan of the Sea”
Bottarga, the “Sardinian Caviar” is salted fish roe. Bottarga is usually made from the mullet (di muggine), more rarely from the tuna (di tonno). The word bottarga is derived from the Arabic word “butārikh” and means salted fish eggs. The settlements around Cagliari are the traditional places for the production. In the shallow water areas along the coast, the mullets were caught in elaborate traps.
Together with some garlic, olive oil, and chili “Spaghetti Alla Bottarga” is a simple and quick recipe that consists of only a few basic ingredients … and tastes just delicious!
Fregola with Seafood – Tastes of Sardinia
Fregola, which means “crumb of bread” in Italian, is a type of pasta made from semolina. The semolina is formed into small balls. There are hundreds of different recipe recipes to cook fregola, but the most delicious is the seafood variation, with mussels, shrimp, a little saffron, and a piece of toasted bread. Saffron, his rare and delicious spice, is part of many Sardinian dishes and is often called the “Red Gold”. The saffron stems are picked individually from the beautiful purple flowers and then dried.
Dolci Sardo – An Artistic Pastry
Dolci Sardo – Sardinian sweets – must be tasted. They are sold in small shops or in the supermarket. The Dolci Sardo is in the broadest sense, pastries that are very close to our cookies. Ornate and colorful icing decorations, which are almost too beautiful to eat, adorn these treats. They are extremely popular throughout Sardinia. The artfully decorated biscuits made of honey and almonds are offered at important festivals such as communions.
Don’t forget to check wine tastings & tours in Sardinia wine region, if you’re planning a trip to this magical island! You will discover the beautiful world of wines, ancient traditions, and distinctive cuisine.
Calabria is a jewel on the toe of Italy. Calabria has a large number of wineries that offer wine tasting and tour. Visit our website to book beautiful wine-filled experiences and learn more about the wine region.