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Details for Cantina del Giogantinu, Vermentino di Gallura Superiore

AppellationVermentino di Gallura Superiore
Cantina del Giogantinu
(click to find out more)


This Italian Mediterranean island has wonderful conditions for making beautiful wines but hasn’t entirely joined the modern winemaking world yet. It has plenty going for it though, including ancient bush vines of interesting local varieties. Many of those grapes came from Spain centuries ago, when Sardinia was controlled by the Kingdom of Aragon.

Sardinia is home to one of only a handful of DOCG white wines in Italy: Vermentino di Gallura, a crisp and characterful white that is a great partner to all manner of seafood dishes. The success of this wine comes in the marriage between the grape Vermentino and the northeastern region of Gallura, with Vermentino benefiting from Gallura’s high temperatures and sea breezes.

The island’s best-known red comes from the grape Cannonau (the native version of Garnacha) which is used to make both dry and sweet (passito) wines. These can be produced anywhere on the island to use the name Cannonau di Sardegna, just as Vermentino can be grown anywhere to be called Vermentino di Sardegna.

In the southwest of the island, gnarled old bush vines of Carignano (Carignan) produce what is probably the island’s best red, Carignano del Sulcis. This is regarded as the best spot in the world for Carignan, which elsewhere is almost always blended.

Other wines to look out for are reds from the Nebbiolo grape and whites from Moscato (Muscat) and Torbato.

Cantina del Giogantinu

Formed over 60 years ago, Cantina del Giogantinu are a dynamic growers' co-operative based in the village of Berchidda in the Gallura region of northeast Sardinia.  Initially just a handful of growers, they now have 250 menbers owning 320 hectares of vineyards.  They produce a range of blended and single-vineyard whites from Vermentino (including, unusually, a fizz) as well as reds from local Sardinian grape varieties.

about this wine About this wine

Sardinia is the largest Mediterranean island, and rather more famous as a beach holiday destination than as a source of fine wine.  Although it is part of Italy, its geography, climate and wine have rather more in common with French Corsica just to the north than with mainland Italy.  In the Middle Ages both islands were part of the Aragon Empire which was based in northern Spain.  Many of their grapes consequently hail from Spain ‐ but probably not this one.

Vermentino is the main white grape of Sardinia and Corsica.  It’s also grown on the Italian mainland in Liguria (as Pigato) and Piemonte (as Favorita).  You can find it in southern France too (as Rolle), but not at all in Spain.  Opinions are divided on whether it originated in Italy, France or Spain, but it seems most likely that it was born in Sardinia and spread from there.
The finest examples of Vermentino hail from Sardinia and, especially, the region traditionally known as Gallura.  So much so that Vermentino di Gallura was the first, and so far only, Sardinian wine to be honoured with a DOCG ‐ the highest classification in Italian wine law.
Gallura is the rocky and windswept north-eastern corner of the island, inland from the famous Costa Smeralda.  Here the combination of thin infertile soils, hot dry summers and strong sea breezes concentrate the crisp and lemony Vermentino to a degree not found elsewhere.
This handpicked wine was made from vineyards at an altitude of around 300 metres near the villages of Berchidda and Oschiri.  It’s a Superiore made from a selection of the ripest grapes, giving it a highish (for Vermentino) 13.5% alcohol.  After being cold-settled for 24 hours, the must was fermented in stainless steel at a cool 16°C to preserve the fresh flavours of the variety, before being aged in steel tanks for an unoaked style.

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