The Calabrian poet, Gabriele d'Annunzio, who was only nineteen years old at that time, said of the 'Nepente' Cannonau: "I dedicate my body and my soul to you, Island wine may you unceasingly flow to the drinking cup and from the cup to the gullet. May I rejoice at your smell till my last breath. May my nose have always your vermilion colour...". I have to add that Gabriele d'Annunzio was also famous for having one of his own ribs removed so he could masturbate with his mouth! Oh, the joy of trivia!

Cannonau is a dry, red wine produced 
Cannonau Grapes
right across the island in large quantities with its main concentration being in the central areas. Its ruby red colour varies in intensity depending on the region or year and as the wine gets older it takes on a slightly orange hue. A Sommelier would say it contains the faint aromas of cherry and mint but to be honest I couldn’t tell the difference - I just like it!

Most Sardinians drink Cannonau with traditional meet dishes such as suckling pig, lamb and even goat. It is Sardinia’s most popular wine and some argue the Mediterranean’s oldest. Even though most of the experts believe that it comes from Iberia recent study has proved it is endemic to Sardinia. Plant seed remains have recently been found on the island dating back some three thousand two hundred years. So, if Cannonau wine was produced on the Island in 1197BC it would surely be the Mediterranean’s oldest vintage. My favourite Cannonau is Nepente di Oliena from the province of Nuoro. It comes from grapes grown on a kind of soil extremely rare in Italy, a clay similar in composition to the one where the Champagne of Reims is cultivated. More on Sardinian wine coming soon!