Sardinia in 7 Bottles

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At last, my article on Sardinia has come out in the May/June issue of Tastes of Italia.

My critique: I much prefer my title: Sardinia in 7 Bottles: Drink your way through the history of Sardinian wine. That’s a pretty intriguing hook, in my humble opinion. But it’s the editors who decide the headline and dek, for better or worse; that’s the nature of the beast in the publishing world.

I also don’t get to pick which photographs run, or have any input on layout. The writer’s job is simply to supply the selection. Most times, it’s my own photos—which I spend a lot of time and energy shooting. I like to photograph and believe it’s an essential part of a writer’s toolkit. But for whatever reason, the editors saw fit to occupy a whole lot of page space with two stock photographs. Since I happen to prefer my own, I’m presenting a few here, along with a PDF of the article. You can download it here, or else go to page 29 of the magazine's digital edition.

My history starts at Sella & Mosca. Sardinia's largest winery. (You can even see their vineyards on Google Earth, close to the Alghero airport.) It was started by two piemontese entrepreneurs, who first created a vine nursery (shown here).

My history starts at Sella & Mosca. Sardinia's largest winery. (You can even see their vineyards on Google Earth, close to the Alghero airport.) It was started by two piemontese entrepreneurs, who first created a vine nursery (shown here).

Emanuele Ragnedda, son of Capichera’s founder, stands in front of a 3500-year-old Nuraghic burial site on their property. “I used to play here as a kid,” he said. They’ve since donated it to the city of Arzachena. — at Nuraghe La Prisgiona.

Emanuele Ragnedda, son of Capichera’s founder, stands in front of a 3500-year-old Nuraghic burial site on their property. “I used to play here as a kid,” he said. They’ve since donated it to the city of Arzachena. — at Nuraghe La Prisgiona.

Capichera's Vermentinos are considered to be the island's best—an age-worthy style. The DOCG area of Gallura is known for its granite mountains, so I dragged this bottle on a hike amidst the strange and fantastic formations. — at Lu Pastruccialeddu.

Capichera's Vermentinos are considered to be the island's best—an age-worthy style. The DOCG area of Gallura is known for its granite mountains, so I dragged this bottle on a hike amidst the strange and fantastic formations. — at Lu Pastruccialeddu.

The remnants of my tasting at Vigne Surrau. In my article, this winery represents the future of Sardinia, a new chapter of enotourism. Vigne Surrau courts visitors with a gorgeous tasting room/restaurant and year-round events. Wonderful hosts.

The remnants of my tasting at Vigne Surrau. In my article, this winery represents the future of Sardinia, a new chapter of enotourism. Vigne Surrau courts visitors with a gorgeous tasting room/restaurant and year-round events. Wonderful hosts.

Vigne Surrau's enologist, Mariolino Siddi, spent a good bit of time with me, along with the export manager, the agronomist, and general manager. The owner even popped in, a whirling dervish of energy.

Vigne Surrau's enologist, Mariolino Siddi, spent a good bit of time with me, along with the export manager, the agronomist, and general manager. The owner even popped in, a whirling dervish of energy.

Argiolas had photos of centenarians on display throughout the winery, celebrating Sardinia’s wealth of over-100 oldsters. Some attribute the number of centenarians to cannonau wine. And after a book came out suggesting this link, sales of cannonau shot through the roof.

Argiolas had photos of centenarians on display throughout the winery, celebrating Sardinia’s wealth of over-100 oldsters. Some attribute the number of centenarians to cannonau wine. And after a book came out suggesting this link, sales of cannonau shot through the roof.

Argiolas' flagship wine, which helped put Sardinia on the map among wine cognoscenti. The label features a Nuragic fertility statue found on their property, now in the Cagliari museum.

Argiolas' flagship wine, which helped put Sardinia on the map among wine cognoscenti. The label features a Nuragic fertility statue found on their property, now in the Cagliari museum.

My favorite interview was with Raffaele Cani, president of Cantina Santadi. Funny, passionate, and a good friend of Giacomo Tachis, he was full of tales. This was another interview done in Italian, and I’m proud to say I hung on just fine. Besides, how can you not love a man whose last name means “dogs”?

My favorite interview was with Raffaele Cani, president of Cantina Santadi. Funny, passionate, and a good friend of Giacomo Tachis, he was full of tales. This was another interview done in Italian, and I’m proud to say I hung on just fine. Besides, how can you not love a man whose last name means “dogs”?

Father and son at Pala winery. Despite the fact that the daughter was getting married the next morning, they both sat with me and talked a good 45 minutes. The son is 17, still in school, and knows very little English. (The dad none.) Some of the best price/value wines on the island are found at Pala.

Father and son at Pala winery. Despite the fact that the daughter was getting married the next morning, they both sat with me and talked a good 45 minutes. The son is 17, still in school, and knows very little English. (The dad none.) Some of the best price/value wines on the island are found at Pala.

After a week of intensive reporting, I spent my last day in Cagliari on the southern coast. Fantastic city. And I timed it just right to catch an exhibition of these Bronze Age 'giganti', stone warriors from the Nuragic civilization.

After a week of intensive reporting, I spent my last day in Cagliari on the southern coast. Fantastic city. And I timed it just right to catch an exhibition of these Bronze Age 'giganti', stone warriors from the Nuragic civilization.