Friday, September 2, 2022

Cannonau and the Nuraghe of Sardinia with Surrau

Sardinia is Italy’s 2nd largest island located off the western coast of Italy separated by the Tyrhhenian Sea.  Today our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group (#ItalianFWT) is led by Jill Barth of L’Occasion as we highlight the wines and food of Sardinia, called Sardegna in Italian.   

Sardinia is one of the few regions I have yet to explore in Italy and I’m not sure why.  It has a rugged, mountainous interior with forests and scrub covered land.   It also has about 1,200 miles of coastline, some jagged, but the rest with beautiful beaches and blue-greenish crystal waters.  Some years ago I attended a wine tasting and luncheon hosted by Susannah of this group and Vigne Surrau.  I had the chance to taste through a number of their wines and meet the owner Martino Demuro alongside some pairings at a Boston restaurant.  I recently picked up a bottle I wasn’t familiar with of theirs, a 2020 Surrau Naracu Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, so I’ll be sharingthat today along with some more information on Vigne Surrau. 

The Winery ~ Vigne Surrau 

Vigne Surrau was established back in 2001 by the Demuro family whom are native Sardinians.  One of the twelve siblings, Tino, purchased vineyards in Arzachena at that time and began producing wines. They own 148 acres across 8 different locations in the northeastern corner of Sardinia.   The winery is named after the Surrau Valley in which it is located between the comunes of Palau and Arzachena, which is located right in the heart of Gallura.  The Gallura area of Sardinia is well known for its Vermentino, which is the only DOCG in Sardinia.  Vigne Surrau’s production is 70% made of Vermentino since this area shows the best expression of this grape on the island.  They are also only a 15 minute drive from the Emerald Coast, or the Costa Smeralda. 

Gallura wine area of Sardinia
Copyright of Vigne Surrau

The Wine  

The 2020 Surrau Naracu Cannonau di Sardegna DOC is made up of 100% Cannonau.  Under the Cannonau di Sardegna DOC the wines must have a minimum of 90% Cannonau with up to 10% of local red grapes. Cannonau is also known as Grenache in France and Alicante or Garnacha in Spain.  It is the primary red grape of Sardinia that is high in antioxidants including polyphenols and anthocyanins.  It may be part of the reason the Sardinian population has a life span of 90-100 years old.  Sunshine, great food and wine rich in antioxidants! 

2020 Surrau Naracu Cannonau di Sardegna DOC

Surrau’s Naracu, is named after the Nuraghe, which are ancient stone fortresses that are found all throughout the island.  The vines are located in sandy soils of granite origin, typical of this part of Sardinia.  The wine spends 6 months in stainless steel with an additional 3 months in the bottle. The wine was ruby in color with some transparency. The aromas reminded of a combination of raspberry and blueberry jam with a hint of spice. A dry, medium-bodied with moderate tannins. Juicy blackberries filled the palate with a hint of sweet tobacco that lingered on with a lengthy finish ending with finesse.  

Nuraghe of Sardinia
The Nuraghe - sourced by Wikipedia copyright of Jack Aubrey

It’s been a crazy few weeks with the kids going back to school, sports starting and my normal routine all a fluster. I wanted to pair this wine with a Sardinian dish, but time and planning has been lacking these days. Although, there wasn’t anything wrong with my chosen dish of a Tuscan chicken and pasta dish with sundried tomatoes. I meant to throw in spinach, but realized I forgot to pick it up so I did throw in a side of fresh green beans with this lovely oil I so graciously received from my trip to Firriato in Sicily.  

Cannonau wine pairing with Tuscan chicken

What are your personal Sardinian favorite wines or dishes? 

Join our fellow Italian food and wine friends as they share their Sardinian wines and food pairings.  Catch us live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am EST @ #ItalianFWT.  See you there! Ci vediamo!

  • Culurgiones (Sardinian Pasta Dumplings) + Pala i Fiori Cannonau 2019 published by Culinary Adventures with Camilla 
  • Wine and Cheese Delivery! Quartomoro Orriu Cannonau di Sardegna and a Cheese Board from Curdbox #ItalianFWT from Wine Predator
  • Vermentino from Sardinia – Sunlight in a glass over at Crushed Grape Chronicles 
  • Mamoiada: When a Wine Area Finds A New Fresh Voice by Grapevine Adventures
  • Zuppa Gallurese and a Cannonau di Sardegna over at A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Learn about the Italian island wine that has been called 'Sardinian Sherry’ in a republication of Rare Wines From Sardinia And Sicily Are Complex And Historic here on l’occasion


    1. What a beautiful place. Is the Emerald Coast the coast on the East or Northwest side in Gallura? I need to learn more about that.

    2. I love Sardinia. I would like to visit there but don’t have company. May be good will help find me great companion

    3. I enjoyed our wine from Sardegna as well. It is a busy time of year, I am just impressed that you found the time to cook, pair and join. Your dish looks yummy.

    4. Sardegna is one of my favorite places on the planet. I definitely need to get back there now that I know a bit about the wine production. Can't wait!