Our wine & food adventure traveling up, down & traversing through Corsica sadly came to an end. It was a great trip to say the least.
Our next adventure was explore the island of Sardegna just south. We caught a ferry, leaving Bonifacio, Corisca & arriving to the port of Santa Teresa di Gallura in the north part of Sardegna. After renting a car in Olbia, we drove to our hotel in Castelsardo, an hour & 40 minutes away.
It was immediately apparent Sardegna was very different–much flatter, warmer & we now drove on highways.
The first was Vigne Rada. Vigne Rada is located less than an hour outside the city of Alghero on the north end of the island. There really wasn’t a lot of road signs & GPS got us to the general area, but we eventually had to call for someone from Vigne Rada to meet us & take us to the winery. As we followed, it became real apparent we would not have found the winery otherwise. Even stops to stores in the area to ask for directions didn’t help. We quickly learned this winery is just too small & even the immediate area locals were not familiar with it or its location. The area was flat & each parcel seemed to be acres in size & so very different that what we saw in Corsica. It reminded me of going out to Waimanalo & seeing all of the farms out there.
Patriarch Luigi “Gino” Bardino started the winery with the support of his 2 sons & their first harvest was 2012. They own vineyards in 2 distinctly different areas–“Monte Pedroso, where the winery is located & features sandy, clayey alluvial soils with lots of riverbed stones & quartz; & the sloping Cubalciada site & its clay, limestone & some chalk soils“.
“Like Gino, the founder, the wines of Vigne Rada are honest, unpretentious & straightforward” AND are quite food friendly & really deliver quality for the dollar.
Vermentino de Sardegna “Stria” (100% Vermentino)–“fermented & aged for 3 to 4 months in stainless steel on the fine lees which are regularly stirred“. 2016–we really liked the stony undertones & its fresh, pure, liveliness & personality. He also opened & shared a bottle of their favorite to date–2012–nutty, lanolin nuances with a seamless flow from beginning to end & still had a very vibrant core. The edges were just seemingly rounder because of the additional bottle age.
Cannonau di Sardegna “Riviera” (100% Cannonau)–“destemmed & lightly crushed. Fermented in stainless, then 70% aged in stainless for 10 months & 30% aged in 225 liter & 500 liter OLD oak for 3 to 4 months“. 2016–Grenache like fruit, graceful, elegant & suave.
Alghero Cagnulari “Arsenale” (100% Cagnulari)–“destemmed & lightly crushed. Fermented in stainless, then 70% aged in stainless for 12 months & 30% aged in 225 liter & 500 liter OLD oak for 4 to 6 months“. 2015–pungent, seemingly wild, savory & more masculine-more like Carignano.
Isola dei Nuraghi Passito “3 Nodi” (Vermentino)–botrytis infected grapes left to dry on the vine until mid October. Fermentation in stainless for 40 to 50 days. typically 210 g/l residual sugar.