Vermentino

Vermentino: Mediterranean Sea in a glass

Vermentino white wines Italy

Vermentino is a semi-aromatic white grape mostly grown in Italy even if the increasing
number of new plantings around the world shows how this variety is internationally
appreciated. In regards to the origin of Vermentino is still confusing but seems that it was
introduced from Spain to Italy in the XIV Century during the Aragonese domain.

Vermentino is a late-ripening grape and thrives better in a warm dry climate. It can adapt to different soils but in granite and rocks is where performs the best. Although is not rare to find an oaked, sparkling or sweet version, especially in Sardinia, Vermentino is usually vinified only in stainless steel tank to preserve its aromatic compounds. It gives wines with an intense bouquet of citrus fruits and Mediterranean herbs such as basil and thyme.

On the palate can be light to medium-bodied, depending on where is grown, with moderate
alcohol and a nice refreshing acidity. The distinct factor in Vermentino is the mineral and
saline note which gives to the wine a pleasant summer taste.

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Vermentino white wines Italy

The relation that this grape has with the sea is quite evident and is not random the nickname “Wine of the Tirreno Sea”. In fact ,the best Vermentino can be found close to the sea in particular along the coast of the 3 regions that form the “Italian Bermuda triangle”: LiguriaTuscany and Sardinia.

In Liguria, Vermentino is the most grown grape in the region with almost 400 hectares on
vineyards. Colli di Luni DOC is the most relevant appellation and counts half of the whole
Vermentino production in Liguria. The vines are placed close to the coast, between 40 to 80 meters above the sea level on a rocky soil.
Vermentino in Liguria tends to be less alcoholic than in the other regions but it is highly
valued for its fine elegance and the lovely stone fruits aromas.

Vermentino

Vermentino white wines Italy

 In Tuscany, although Vermentino is not the main variety there are 700 hectares of vineyards.

Among few small appellations Bolgheri DOC is the one that represents its terroir with a
distinct identity and great quality. The vineyards are few kilometres inland from the coast
where can still benefit from the influence of the sea and can also take advantage of the cooler microclimate along the hills of the Mediterranean scrub. The vines are usually between 100 to 350 meters above the sea level and the soil is made of stones, clay or sand going close to the coast.

The Vermentino Bolgheri DOC is light bodied and on the palate displays flavours of citrus
fruits within an outstanding minerality that is unique to this terroir.
Sardinia counts the 80% of the whole Italian Vermentino production within 4000 hectares.
As an island, Sardinia, can surely offer the best environment to a grape like Vermentino
which thrives with sun, sea and poor soil. In fact Vermentino in Sardinia is a must-do and this is the reason why is present pretty much in any vineyard, for personal or commercial use.

However the 2 most relevant appellations are Vermentino di Sardegna DOC and Vermentino di Gallura DOCG.
The regulations regarding Vermentino di Sardegna DOC don’t require a specific geographic designation and allow growing up to 16 tonnes per hectare. The amount of Vermentino used has to be a minimum 85% and the remaining can be completed by other white local grapes.
Vermentino di Sardegna DOC , as planted in various areas, can range from the lightest to the heaviest style but generally speaking is fuller in body and alcohol than the other regions of production.

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The appellation Vermentino di Gallura DOCG is much stricter and concedes the label only to 23 communes in the north-west of Sardinia. In the “Gallura zone” is possible to plant up to 10 tonnes per hectares and must be used at least 95% of Vermentino. However, the granite soil and the strong wind make this part of Sardinia the most inhospitable for any planting except than for growing vines. In those conditions, the vines tend to produce less than in other areas but deliver much more quality because of the massive concentration of nutrients provided to the crop.

Therefore the wines are very savoury and aromatic but also well balanced by gentle notes of exotic fruits like pineapple and nice refreshing acidity.

Vermentino, depending on the style, can be well paired with raw sea food, light or semi-cured cheese, up to stir fried white meat or fish in tomato sauce. Hence it can be good as an aperitif, light meal or even good to enjoy on its own, especially in the warm season.

Vermentino , nowadays, has gained international consent and fame as one of the italian white wine flagships. 

In conclusion, Vermentino, by the same colour as the sun and the
flavour of the sea, encloses the perfect Mediterranean expression in a glass.

Author: Riccardo Pepi

Sardegna Bacco Tours
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