vermentino In the northern part of the island of Sardinia vineyards cover much of the territory, in some cases coming very close to the sea. In the north west the landscape is that of the Nurra area and its lands reclaimed from the sea through draining projects; Anglona and Lugodoro are in the centre and moving east you come to Gallura. The Vermentino di Gallura DOCG was awarded in 1996 to a white which is quite rightly the toast of Sassari wine making. The DOCG production area is limited to 21 parishes in the province of Sassari, with Santa Teresa Gallura as the most important centre, with a further two parishes in the Nuoro province. The wine must be made with at least 95% of Vermentino grapes.
It is a strawcoloured white with slight green dapples; its subtle, delicate, intense aroma bears a hint of apples and meadow flowers. It has an elegant taste, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It is at its superlative best when drunk with lobster, although it is generally very palatable with hors d’oeuvres, delicately-flavoured pasta and rice dishes and fish courses. Beyond the Vermentino DOCG area, the recent DOC Alghero is growing nicely in terms of quality. Apart from whites based on Vermentino and other strains this area also produces sparkling wines and reds based on Sangiovese, Cagnulari and Cabernet.
Twenty-two parishes around Sassari, including Castelsardo and Tempio Pausania are in the Colli del Limbara IGT. The picture is rounded off by the IGT Nurra area, the Moscato DOC Sorso-Sennori area and the Romangia IGT. Inland to the south of Tempio Pausania, on the road that links Olbia to Ozieri, is Sardinia’s regional winery, in Berchidda.
This is probably a unique structure, an out and out museum to wine, complete with an experimental vineyard with the island’s native strains of grapes. The exhibition space is ample to host shows and meetings. The guide to local production is a digital sommelier, who uses an innovative approach to teaching and imparting information to prepare visitors for their tasting.


Herding and cheesemaking are the most typical of the island’s traditional activities; lately experiments have been attempted alongside the old tried and tested ways. Pecorino Sardo PDO is the most famous cheese in Sardinia and is produced all over the island. Made in two versions, pecorino sardo dolce and pecorino sardo maturo, it has a smooth, thin crust while the cheese itself is smooth, compact and white in colour.
The flavour is understandably stronger in the cheeses that have been seasoned longest. This cheese, and Sardinian pecorino cheeses in general, should always be accompanied by the island’s delicious honey.
Orange blossom honey is soft and acid-flavoured, while the arbutus berry variety is strongly-flavoured and bitter, thyme is aromatic and penetrating, heather is strong and red-tinged, cistus is saline. These and other Mediterranean plants are plundered by the bees to bring you the perfect foil for cheese and an ideal addition to numerous enjoyable experiments.

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