By Paul Caputo

Vermentino has been going from strength to strength over the last few decades. From relative obscurity, it is now the star white grape of Italy’s Tuscan and Ligurian coast, not to mention its iconic status on the island of Sardinia. It thrives on Corsica too, and it’s even challenging the status quo in Provence, where it goes by the name of Rolle.

Sardinia, nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, is generally considered to be Vermentino’s spiritual home. Here it appears strongly in the consistently good Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, produced in a large area of the north of the island. Long, hot summers are offset by cooling sea breezes, while winters are moderate. The result is the development of intriguing aromatic profiles, for which Vermentino is famous.

The grape itself is naturally high in acidity, the principle characteristic behind Vermentino’s growing reputation as a fresh, mineral influenced wine. Resistant to drought, it prefers poor, infertile soils. The rocky coastal hills of Sardinia seem to offer ideal growing conditions.