Italy’s indigenous varieties hail from the Alps as well as the Mediterranean sea and the islands. These two varieties, Bovale Sardo and Bovale Grande come from Sardinia. The former has smaller berries and the latter larger ones. They are both said to be related to the Bobal grape of Spain. It is thought that they were brought over during the Kingdom of Two Sicilies.
For those who have never been to Sardinia, you have a real treat ahead.It is a gorgeous island with beautiful beaches, hiking and lunar landscapes. I was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Sardinia learning to sail and scuba dive, it was heavenly. The Sardinian cuisine is also very interesting and the wines are very noteworthy. Bovale is generally not made into a monovarietal wine, at least not that I have found.
These two grapes are used traditionally with other local varieties sometimes Carignano or Monica. They both make full bodied ruby red wines. Perhaps you have had them in one of the Argiolas wines, Korem, Turriga or Perdera. If you haven’t tried them yet, run to the nearest wine shop.
These wines are widely available in the US and are distributed by Winebow. I went to the Winebow tasting for a bit yesterday but didn’t have time to taste through too many wines. It was immense. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.
There is an Italian honor that many covet: being designated a “Cavalieri del Lavoro” for their work in their sector be it agriculture, commerce or industry. The organization was created in 1901 by Vittorio Emanuele III.
When I worked at an Italian company in Milan, I spent the better part of a year trying to get my boss to be nominated. It was one of his most desired goals. Each year, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano nominates 25 new members right before the annual “Festa della Repubblica,” June 2. This year, a fabulous wine producer Francesco Argiolas from Sardinia was nominated as one of the 25. Argiolas has brought fame and recognition to Sardinia as a whole as well as his family winery, of course.
Here is a Women in Wine post I did on Valentina Argiolas almost three years ago
I love the wines from this winery and found the people who own and run it engaging, kind and available. All great traits in my book. Auguri e tanto di cappello to Mr. Francesco Argiolas.
In other news, I receive Wine News everyday. It’s an Italian website that brings updates on Italian wines and other wine industry news. It is a great resource, check it out.
I was looking through some websites earlier and came upon the news that wine maker and family patriarch, Antonio Argiolas from Sardinia has died at the age of 102. The Argiolas family is integrally linked to the history of Sardinian wine making. He will surely be missed but his life and achievements leave much to celebrate.
While Turriga is his most famous wine, I had the rare opportunity to try a wine made in his honor for his 100th birthday at Vinitaly 2008.
The wine called Antonio Argiolas is made in very small quantities and I don’t think this wine is imported but if you are in Italy, try to get some. It is made from Cannonau and Malvasia Nera which were left to dry on the vine before being harvested. It is wonderful and would be amazing with chocolate. It was rich and deeply satisfying.
Many of the Argiolas wines are available in the United States however. To see which wines are imported, go to Winebow , their importer.
I have met a number of members of the Argiolas family and interviewed Valentina Argiolas in 2005 and in 2008. She and the whole family were warm and welcoming.
My thoughts are with them.