Italian Indigenous Varieties: Carignano Nero – Sardinia

Carignano Nero is a grape variety that was brought to Sardinia from Spain by way of Corsica and the South of France. A hearty grape variety it produces red wines of considerable weight and alcohol with a relatively dry mouthfeel.

It is the principal grape variety in the wines from the Carignano del Sulcis DOC. Sardinia was ruled by Spain from the 1300s under the Kingdom of Aragon until the War of Spanish Succession which took place in the period from 1701-1714. Many Spanish grape varieties are grown in Sardinia as a result of this long occupation.

The wines made from Carignano can be made into a variety of styles including a red, a riserva, a rose’, a novello and a passito. There are a number of Sardinia wineries that just about everyone knows, among them are Sella & Mosca and Santadi, the cooperative cellar which makes fabulous wines including one from Carignano called Terre Brune.

Other smaller wineries also make wines from this interesting grape variety that does well in Sardinia’s hot climate. Sardinia is at the same altitude as Calabria on the mainland, the Alentejo in Portugal and Murcia in Spain so you can see why this grape variety does well there.

Carignano is also grown in some of the central regions of Italy including Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche.

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