Where it’s cultivated: The Cannonau is the most widespread black grape vine
in Sardinia and certainly the best-known off the island. It is cultivated throughout the whole area although the greatest concentration is in the central areas of Sardinia. Today, Cannonau covers 30% of the land under vines with a
total of about circa 7600 hectares overall, 70% concentrated in the Province of Nuoro.
Some history: For a long time, it was believed that the Cannonau originated in the Iberian Peninsula and had been imported from there. However, some significant archaeological finds have allowed its history to be rewritten. Hundreds of vine seeds, dating to 1200 BC, were found during the digs of Borore, in the Duos Nuraghes archaeological site. This confirms that the Nuragic people cultivated the vine and produced wine – the ancestor of the current Cannonau?
On the market: The CDO (recognised in 1972) now sets out a ‘classic’ area divided into three sub-areas – Jerzu, Oliena (or Nepente di Oliena) and Capo Ferrato.
How to recognise it: It has a special fineness in the flavour and perfume, which vary from area to area of production. It has a good structure and, in the nose, recalls fresh flowers or red fruit which change to mature notes and warmer, spicier tones in the reserve or liqueur-like versions.
Kitchen combinations: It combines well with the rich, structured traditional Sardinian dishes of like roasts, cooked dishes, cured meat and tangy, mature cheese.