Sardinians are great travellers, called from home by their status as an island people, their colonisation by different Mediterranean nations and their need to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
If that's a historical truth, it's one which has taken on new meaning for the people of the Sulcis area in south-western Sardinia in recent times. Think of this as Sardinia's Yorkshire (but with better weather), a coal-mining region where the coal mines have been shut by government decree.
For the people of Sulcis, alternative employment came typically either through migration, it's said that if you look in any Italian restaurant kitchen in London you'll find at least one Sardinian working there, or through grape-growing.
Local producer Santadi is a product of that process of reinvention, with the company's dozens of growers producing wines prized throughout Italy for their suppleness and refinement.
They don't tend to shout about it, Sardinians are often unassuming and, by Italian standards, even introverted, but these Carignano and Vermentino wines are suffused with distinctive character and a perfectly pitched combination of warmth and freshness. That's because of the inherent quality of Santadi's vineyards, but it also owes a debt to the involvement of legendary Antinori winemaker Giacomo Tachis, who was involved in the setting up of the business as a consultant.
Exclusively Carignano grapes from bush-growth and counter-espalier vineyards in the lower Sulcis area. The soil composition is a medium mixture, tending to lose, with clay, sand and limestone composition. The climate is Mediterranean with hot and dry summers, mild winters.
Fermentation takes place on the lees at a controlled temperature between 25°and 28° with frequent periodic remontage. After malolactic fermentation, maturation takes place in resin coated vats. The wine refines in bottles for few months before release.
This fills the nostrils with violets and toffee, then seduces the mouth with blackcurrant and dried figs, followed by intriguing secondary flavours of tar and mushroom to keep the drinker paying attention.
Ideally drink with spicy meat and fish dishes, matured cheeses and game.