Paul ( the Wine Guy), " I promised to visit a vineyard in Sardegna....want to come?"
Elizabeth and me (the Wine Drinkers), "Duh...Yah!"
After a car ride to Rome and a short flight. we are on the island of Sardegna. Technically, Sardegna is part of Italy, but for all intents and purposes, you find yourself in a different country.
Our destination is the region around Dorgali, a two hour drive from Cagliari, on the eastern part of the island, This is the home of Cannonau di Sardegna, the ancient grape of remarkable structure.
Sardegna seems to be ringed with huge jagged mountains with white rock streaked with gold and red, which plunge into the sea. Don't look for any scenic seaside roads here, it is all hairpin turns and switchbacks up and down the coastal mountains.
We descend into a valley that seems uninhabited, save for some vineyards and olive groves. The land is dry, rain being scarce.
Everywhere you look you encounter terrible beauty. It is as if some great ancient god ( they are still here, by the way) tore a large chunk of earth out, leaving this jagged mountain range.
As Paul talked wine business with Manuela, Elizabeth and I , along with Betty tried to absorb this wonderful paradise until it was time for the........
We were in a small stucco hut (cantina) tasting world class wines (92 point rating). What's not to like? But, as the day grew long we had to retire to the hotel on the other side of the mountains.
As we pass through a tunnel we emerge facing the Mare Tirreno and way down below sits the seaside village of Cala Gonone. What can I say, the town has a 'La Dolce Vita' quality to it( aside from the multitude of gelateria's). The beaches are golden red and the sea a stunning aquamarine.
At night we dined on local seafood and roast suckling pig, porcheddu. We promised our host to return in October for the harvest. We returned to Cagliari to catch our flight back to the mainland. But, I could not help myself and had to buy a 'souvenir' from Sardegna.
"The best tuna in the world!"
- Tonino di Avellino