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.
From vineyards located in 5 municipalities of the lower Sulcis district, with counter-espalier training, on different types of soils.
The hand-picked grapes are soft-pressed, and the must obtained is fermented in stainless steel tanks under controlled temperature, so as to preserve its fragrance and aromas. The wine is then left in contact with its lees for several months before being bottled.
Brilliant straw yellow, with green and golden tinges. The nose is fresh and pleasant. A nice fresh finish on the palate, together with an attractive mineral note.
An ideal match with seafood dishes, antipasti or as an aperitif. Try it with one of the following; fried fish with Moroccan-style herb sauce, poached salmon fillets with dill creme fraiche or tatsoi and warm scallop salad with spicy pecan praline.