CHARLES'S WINES. Sardinia’s Favorite Red: Cannonau
20% of all the wine produced on Sardinia is Cannonau di Sardegna. It is believed that the Spanish introduced the Cannonau grape variety to the island and today it is the most planted red grape variety.
It is interesting to note that in France, this same variety is known as Grenache and it was also
introduced there by the Spanish, who call the variety Alicante. This is the general accepted theory, though some experts argue that it is native to Sardinia.
Cannonau di Sardegna Rosso wine can be produced all over Sardinia as a DOC but the grapes grow best on the warm sandy soils of the coastline and on the harsh rocky terrain of the mountainous interior. Cannonau is the principal grape variety in the wine but other recommended varieties can be added. It can be produced as a Rosso, which must be aged for at least 7 months and have an alcoholic content of at least 12,5%. To be labelled a Riserva, the Rosso must be aged for at least two years and have an alcohol content of at least 13%. A Rosato, which has a bright rose color, can also be produced, as well as two dessert wines, Licoroso Secco and Licoroso Dolce.
Cannonau Rosso is a robust, full bodied wine with deep color and aromas and flavors of berries, hints of spice and high alcohol content. Sardinians enjoy it with a wide variety of foods including hearty soups, meats and cheese. It is a perfect match with a bowl of Chick Pea Minestrone Soup.