My secret love affair with Sardinia’s red wines

I’m not going to lie. I love Cannonau so much that it runs through my veins like blood. Heck, even Dr. Oz spoke about the health benefits of the Cannonau variety on his show – stating that if you drink Cannonau you could live to 100 years of age! I must admit, the amount of Cannonau I’ve drunk in the last week will skyrocket me to 200 years of age!

Cannonau grape varieties are the most common variety found on the island. All Cannonau must be made with 90% Cannonau grapes to be certified with the Cannonau name. Cannonau is aged in oak barrels for one year before gracing tables with its strong elegance.

Here are three of my favourite Sardinian reds:

Jennifer Avventura cannonau


Cagnulari 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. This is a rare grape type grown in the north-western part of Sardinia and is used to produce a sexy, full-bodied red wine. This variety is seldom found outside of Sardinia and considered a regional speciality. Be sure to try it!


Terre Rare 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. This grape variety was introduced to Sardinia by Provence or eastern Spain. Carignano del Sulcis vines grow abundantly in the south-west corner of Sardinia.


Cannonau di Sardegna 2010 – Alghero, Sardinia, Italy. Sardinia’s most popular variety is this sensuous full-bodied wine. Some say the Cannonau grape variety was introduced by the Spaniards in the 1400′s during Spanish rule. Others argue that Cannonau is indigenous to Sardinia. It doesn’t matter who is right in this battle, as one thing remains clear: Cannonau is one spectacular wine not to be missed on the island of Sardinia.

My favourites:

Have you sampled this fine wine from Sardinia? Can you find this variety in your local wine shop?

20 thoughts on “My secret love affair with Sardinia’s red wines

  1. Hi, I just discovered your blog and facebook sites, very nice!
    I’ve been visiting Sardinia now for over 30 consecutive years and I still love it there. My heart also pumps Cannonau with a preference for the variety from Oliena called Nepente.
    Another wonderful red wine from the west coast near Cabras (Tirso valley), also indigenous is Nieddera Rosso. I only know of two cantinas offering it, Contini and Cantina della Vernaccia. Try them if you haven’t already.

    • Hello and thank you for dropping in with a comment! Where do you like to spend your time while in Sardinia? 🙂 I’ve had the Nepente and it’s amazing, I wish I could have it now but Sardinian wines are hard to find in Canada. Wishing you well.

      • Hi, we have two regular places on Sardinia that we have been frequenting for years now, one near Oliena just beneath the Supramonte mountains (agriturismo Guthiddai) and the other on the west coast, Sinis peninsula (agriturismo Villa Gaia). Then we always choose new places i. e. near Iglesias, near Muravera, costa sud, near Tempio…
        We started as windsurfers and were many years in Palau. After that we started discovering the island. Very useful is the fact that my wife speaks Italian and I at least know foods and beverages and can order in restaurants.
        All the best to you and maybe we’ll meet some day in Sardinia.

      • I’ve never been to the places you’ve suggested, but have read up on them. I will check them out when the time is right. There is so much beauty to be explored in Sardinia, time often escapes me.

  2. I brought back some bottles of Agritourismo Tentua Pilastru own wine but I’m not sure what grape they used. Will check on last bottle’s label when I get home! A really lovely wine.

  3. Hi Jennifer

    Yes we had some when we visited Anela, and their Ichnusa beer, both amazing and both we cannot get here in our area, but the Cannonau can be ordered through. an International vendor. We have not tried that experience as yet! We have looked and asked everywhere for the Ichnusa but no luck as yet! Great wine, love, love, love, it as my husband loves both!! Happy safe drinking and enjoy! Here’s looking at you kid!!!!

    The Sard/American

  4. I am a huge wine fan! I have never tried it heard if this variety before. I will have to see if our local wine shop carries it as I love trying new varieties!

  5. Hey Jenniffer, great post and looks like we are sharing the same passion 🙂 If you like Cannonau try next time some bottles from Barbagia region. Cannonau vine is very common in whole island but the one from Barbagia grow 600-800m above see level and the wine has more intense and stronger flavour. I recommend Mamuthone 2009 from Cantina Sedilesu in Mamoiada. It is one of my favourite and I hope you will enjoy it too! Salute!

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