wine in Sardinia  | traditional wines   

synonyms: Cannonadu, Cannonao, Canonao…

Geographical names
Oliena, Nepente of Oliena, Capo Ferrato, Jerzu.

  • Alcohol content: 13.5% Vol. -Cannonau D.O.C.- (Controlled origin); 11.5-12.5% Vol. (Cannonau I.G.T.)
  • Serving temperature: 16°-18° C

Organoleptic characteristics

  • Cannonau D.O.C.: red ruby colour, which tends to garnet red because of ageing. A fruity smell of ripe plums and blackberries, sometimes spiced; an ethereal fragrance, which tends to resinated, rich, floral, of faded rose. A dry, rich, tasty, soft taste. Bitterish aftertaste, lightly tannic.
  • Cannonau I.G.T.: red ruby colour with violet reflections; intense fragrance; round and balanced taste.

Food match
It the best wine to match with typical Sardinian meat dishes (roast suckling pig, roast lamb and kid) and seasoned cheese.

Cannonau is almost certainly a Spanish variety, imported during the Spanish Domination between the XV and XVI cent.
The area of origin of this vine is probably Spain, more specifically Aragon: from here, this vine spread in different Spanish regions, in Sardinia, in the South of France, in Algeria and Tunisia.

Areas of production
It is the most widespread black berry vine in the Island. It is grown in the entire Sardinian region, but especially in Ogliastra, in the Baronie, in the province of Nuoro and the surrounding areas, in Romangia and in other minor areas (Mandrolisai and Burcerese deserve special mention).

The fame of Cannonau
Cannonau is the most renowned among Sardinian red wines, locally and outside the Island.
Gabriele D’Annunzio celebrated it in the preface of the volume Osteria, by the German journalist Hans Barth.
The Calabrian poet, who was 19 years old at that time, witnessed the drunkenness of one of his travel fellows in Oliena: “a te consacro, vino insulare, il mio corpo e il mio spirito…Possa tu senza tregua fluire dal alla coppa e dalla coppa al gorgozzule. Possa io fino all’ultimo respiro rallegrarmi dell’odore tuo, e del tuo colore avere il mio naso sempre vermiglio…” (“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…”)
D’Annunzio addressed a kind scolding to the German journalist for not knowing the Cannonau of Oliena and for not having mentioned it in his book.

  • Other types: Red reserve (Rosso Riserva); Rosé (Rosato); Strong-sweet(Liquoroso), dry or naturally sweet.