From the moment our trip was booked we’d planned to head to some Sardinian vineyards, little did we know we’d find this one practically on the hotel’s doorstep!
Having been exploring in the car through the mountains in search of Lago di Liscia we’d passed plenty of vineyards with roadside signs stating who owned them and ‘Vigne Surrau’ certainly took precedent.
On our return to our hotel in Baia Sardinia, we asked the concierge about the vineyard, whose wine was also recommended in the hotel wine list, and he brought out a map to show us the short drive.
The next day we headed to nearby Porto Cervo in the morning, but after having wandered the artificial streets and window shopping in the luxury stores we decided it wasn’t for us, so where to next…? A vineyard of course!
On arrival it doesn’t look like much from the car park, some barrels tower over the entrance road and the car park was more or less desolate. We wandered to the driveway and made our way to the main building entrance. As soon as we stepped inside it was a wine lover’s dream… so I was in heaven. We were greeted by a young sommelier who welcomed us to try some of their wines. He selected four for us initially, two red and two white; from the Cannonau and Vermentino grapes, famous for Sardinian wine.
We began with the Branu Vermentino di Gallura, Commended in the Decanter World Wine Awards. Translated from Gallurese, Branu means ‘spring’ – with its straw colouring, this wine was fruity with a relatively long finish and mineral undertones and would be perfect served with a local fresh fish dish. Next up we tried the Sciala Vementino di Gallura, which was slightly higher in alcohol content at 14% but had a smooth and long refreshing finish.
Then we moved onto the reds, the Barriu Isola dei Nuraghi and the Sincaru Cannonau di Sardegna. The blended Barriu has won multiple awards but both tasted great to me as I’ve been a lover of Cannonau since my early trips to Sardinia. It’s hard to get hold of in the UK so was worth savouring!
As we tasted sommelier Simone talked us through the wines and how the vineyard now welcomes over 10,000 visitors a year. We also exchanged conversation about his time in Ireland (which had led to his fantastic English), and how his parents and grandparents are all from different regions across Italy – however our common thread we discovered was he was from Cagliari, where my Sardinian journey began 10 years ago!
We took in our surroundings and looked at the hundreds of bottles of wine, along with wine books and other paraphernalia, the little deli fridge filled with cheeses, salami, honey and chutneys. Then Simone asked if we wanted to try a dessert wine and mirto (the Sardinian digestif) – naturally we obliged.
The main building also has a panoramic seating area overlooking farmer’s fields where they serve a flight of wines accompanied with meats and cheese, my friend Enrico said it was best for this later in the day from 5pm onwards when it’s a little busier.
Simone, then to our surprise asked if we’d like to see the cellars and after checking with his colleague we were lucky enough to see the beautiful barrels ageing the wine, including some of the winemaker’s most recent trials that they only had a limited number of. It was truly remarkable, the sheer size of some of the barrels for one and then other smaller barrels marked with the age of when they bought them to ensure any oak wasn’t too strong. Older barrels give a softer, less intense oaky flavour to the wine.
After being mesmerised by so much wine, we picked up a few bottles to enjoy back in our room as we didn’t want to risk packaging them in the suitcase. Fortunately we managed to buy some bottles at Olbia airport but at a much higher price tag. Since returning I’ve found Ocado stock the Cannonau and Vermentino di Gallura.
All in all it is the perfect way to spend an hour or so enjoying great wines and hospitality from the team there. I will definitely be returning!