Carignan is an ancient blue-skinned grape varietal, thought to be indigenous to the Aragon region of Spain. However, today it is most commonly associated with the fine wines of southern France, and has been grown in many countries around the world which have the warm and dry conditions it requires to thrive. Carignan is recognized as being quite a sensitive vine, highly susceptible to all kinds of rot and mildew, although producing excellent results when given the right conditions and handled correctly. Its high tannin levels and acidity make the Carignan grapes very astringent, and as such, they are often used as a blending grape to give body to other, lesser bodied varietals. Despite this, with careful treatment, Carignan can produce superb single varietal wines packed full of character and unique attributes.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily).
The most popular and most planted variety is Cannonau (otherwise known as Grenache). It produced delicious and often ageable reds that are both dry and sweet, although more commonly dry. Carignano (Carignan) and Giro are other red varieties grown here. For whites, Vernaccia (not the same grape as found in other parts of Italy) di Oristano produces a dry, sherry-like wine, while crisp, dry whites are most often made from the Vermentino grape and found in the northern regions of Sardinia. Some wineries, like Sella & Mosca, are also growing international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These grapes can be bottled as single varietals or blended with local varieties, like Cannonau.