Top Vermentinos: Sardinia Delivers Excellent White Wines for Summer

As the weather starts to warm up, I find myself looking to shed those heavy red wines and foods of winter. In particular, white wines that are both refreshing and interesting are on my mind. Italy has many great white wines, some of which have been discussed here before. Vermentino is made around the Mediterranean from Spain to Italy. It is even made in California. But for me, the top Vermentinos in the world come from Sardinia.

Off the Western coast of Italy, in the Mediterranean, lays the island of Sardegna (what we call Sardinia). The island has an ancient history, being controlled by the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Catalans.

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The House of Savoy ruled it until the 18th century when it was annexed by Italy. Perhaps more than any of the others, the Spanish culture has left it lasting imprints on the people as it controlled Sardinia from the 14th to the 18th century. Like Sicily, Sardinia’s culture has taken all of these great empires in stride and adapted itself, taking certain bits and pieces from each one to form its own. At the same time, Sardinia is an Italian culture.

The wine industry in Sardinia is well established. Possibly the best of these wines is Vermentino, a dry white wine. Vermentino is apparently of Spanish origin. It traveled East to Corsica before being brought to Sardinia at the later end of the 20th Century. It was originally planted on the slopes of the northern peninsula of Gallura. Today, the best Vermentinos come from there and are labeled as Vermentino di Gallura DOCG Tthe only DOCG in Sardinia, it was created in 1996.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.