Vermentino di Sardegna Mon’Serra
Vermentino di Sardegna is a wine DOC of Sardinia, introduced in February 1988. The increasing quality of Sardinian Vermentino production at that time was signalled by the arrival of this DOC, a full 15 years after most of its counterparts around the island. One can only assume that the improvements continued as the new millennium approached, because, in 1996 the Vermentino di Gallura DOC was promoted to full DOCG status.
Vermentino di Sardegna is a regional DOC, much less origin-specific than its DOCG cousin. It covers Sardinia in its entirety, spanning the whole island from Sulcis and Cagliari in the south to Gallura in the north – a distance of approximately 175 miles (265km). It is one of several DOCs to have this broad catchment area: the others include Cannonau di Sardegna, Moscato di Sardegna and the Sardinian curiosities Monica di Sardegna and Sardegna Semidano.
As is clear from its title, Vermentino di Sardegna wine is made from the Vermentino grape variety, which is increasingly significant in Sardinian wine. Some ampelographers suggest the precise origins of Vermentino are more complex than they first seem – most wine students accept the grape at face value as being Italian, with particular focus on the north-west of the country, specifically Liguria. Further inspection reveals that the variety is also widely represented in the most southerly French regions of Provence and Languedoc Roussillon, where it has been known as Rolle for many centuries and is now sanctioned for use in AOC and IGP wines. Most significantly here, though, it is a key variety on the island of Corsica.
Corsica lies immediately north of Sardinia (the two are separated by the Strait of Bonifacio, just seven miles across), and the two have a great deal of mutual history. Prior to the Quaternary Period (the geological age we currently live in) the two were a single island, and today their regional flags bear the same emblem of a Moor’s head wearing a white bandana. The arrival of Vermentino in Sardinia, then, could be traced just as easily to southern France as northern Italy. There is also strong evidence that Vermentino is of Spanish origin, even if the variety is barely known there now. If this theory is accurate, then the variety would most likely have arrived via Alghero, which has had a succession of rulers of Spanish origins over the centuries.
Whatever the origins of Vermentino and however it arrived in Sardinia, today it is becoming one of the island’s most successful varieties and it may prove to be the wine with which Sardinia becomes associated in the future.
Here, in the sun of Sardinia, the vines and wines have been growing for thousands of years.
Since the winery was founded – the first in Sardinia – things have only changed for the better. Today it is among the most productive around, having made improvements in technique and investment in knowledge to make the wines a challenge to any others in the area.
The unique surroundings of the winery leads to benefits exclusive to the area, in particular Cagliari.