Where it’s cultivated: The Carignano vine is a red grape mainly cultivated in the Sulcis area, in south-west Sardinia. The area cultivated accounts for just 7% of the regional total; despite its limited diffusion, it’s certainly one of the most interesting vines in Sardinian oenology. The vine is highly resistant to sea winds, which has enabled it to take and develop in the sandy, sunny soils of Sulcis.
Some history: It is assumed that it may have been brought to the island by the Phoenicians through the ancient port of Solky, whose ruins can still be seen on the Island of St. Antioch. The idea is supported by the existence of the vine in other wine-producing regions of the Mediterranean with Phoenician settlements such as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. A second theory links its introduction to the Aragonese period, in consideration of the fact that the vine is also known with the dialect name of Axina de Spagna.
Carignano can also be found in Spain and France.
On the market: It is used in Sardinia for the wine-making and production of Carignano del Sulcis DOC (recognised in 1977) and various IGTs.
How to recognise it: It is a long-live wine with an intense, brilliant ruby colour, and features warm, enveloping scents and a slight vegetal hint. It is dry, tangy, full and persistent in taste.
Kitchen combinations: A union of great harmony with red meat roasts, cooked game, and tangy, aromatic cheese with long maturation.