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Bovale Sardo grapes

by Dec 7, 20160 comments

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Bovale is a term assigned to two wine varieties of Italy, which are commonly famous by their Spanish nicknames.

Bovale Sardo

The most extensively planted is Bovale Grande with larger berries, whereas Bovale Sardo has little berries and has a tendency to produce wines which are more austere and rare.

Wine grape varieties

Origin and History

The name Bovale identifies two grape varieties, Great Bovale also known as Bovale of Spain and the Bovale Sardo, both were imported to Sardinia during the domination of Aragones (in 1300) from the Peninsula of Iberia.

Current research verifies that the substantial distinction between these two grape varieties of Bovale.

The Sardinian Bovale extended all over the island: in Logudoro and Anglona, particularly in the province of Sassari, often supplemented with Pascale di Cagliari and Cannonau.

Bovale Sardo is a very tight producer and because of this reason, it is named as Baovabi mascu (male Bovale) by the locals. No sanctioned clones of Bovale Sardo are available.

The estates select mass selections when they require replanting as the old vines are plentiful. As of 2009, it was grown on 784 hectares of land on Sardinia, particularly in the region around the biggest city of Sardinia- Cagliari and also in the Terralba and Campidano production areas and widely spread on the island.

It grows incredibly well on the sandy and clay soils of Terralba, San Nicolo d’Arcidano and Uras, all the variety’s grand crus.

Regions Where It Is Grown

The Bovale Sardo is a local vine of red grapes grown in several parts of Italy. This grape variety is grown in nearly the complete island, but shows its perfect expression in Nuoro, in the Mandrolisai’s sunny vineyards and in the region of Terraiba, Oristano.

At present, this grape is found very rarely on its own. Most often, Bovale Sardo is blended with red grapes like Monica and Cannonau.  Korem is an amazing full bodied red wine made by Argiolas which is a blend made of Bovale Sardo.


Synonyms given to Bovale Sardo are Bovale Piticco, Bovaleddu, Bovaleddo, Bovale Piccolo, Cadelanisca, Carrixa, Cardanissia, Moraiola Minore, Muristellu, Nieddu Prunizza and Muristeddo.

Characteristics of Grape

The grape is distinguished by the high sugar level and the structure of the bunch.

The Grape has conical-cylindrical and medium-large bunches and the berries are oval in shape.

The leaves of Bovale Sardo are five-lobed.

A photo posted by Ilaria (@ila.san) on

The Bovale Sardo also shows a high intensity of flavones, pigments which have lately been identified as the main supply of antioxidants.

The grape is distinguished by good adaptability to distinct environment and climates, high productivity and a standard tolerance to the major crittogame. The grape is disgracefully low-yielding with low fertility and is vulnerable to rot and downy mildew, which implies that it, requires maximum notice in the vineyards.

The grape shows late ripening, but buds in the mid- to- late season. The vine is vigorous ad drought resistant.

The wine produced from this grape is characterized for its perfume and acidity; anyhow the growth is best favorable in limestone and clay soils, short pruning and cooler sites.

Characteristics of Wine

The wine is full of alcohol, extract and polyphenolic density, especially obtained from the vines cultivated using the alberello sardo technique, and is harvested in the end of the season.

The grape is vinified along with the other black grape variety which combines body, color and acidity to get precious wines, it enters the Campidano Terralba production in Oristano and Cagilari and the Mandrolisai produced in the DOC of Oristano and Nuoro.

When the wine poured out in a glass was inky black with immense saturation nearly out of the rim. The nose was a bit reserved with flavors of black fruit such as blackcurrant, blackberry preserves and black plums.

The wine was full/medium-bodied on the palate with high tannins and plush acid. There were flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, black cherries, smoke, blackberries, charcoal, black cherries and blackcurrants.

This is an intense, densely packed wine rich in earthy flavors and dark fruits which is perfectly balanced by the extreme acid level. The wine contains 11.5% of alcohol content.

Food Pairings with Wine

The wine can be paired with cheese, pasta, fresh cheese, risotto and warm spices like ginger and cinnamon.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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