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Vernaccia di Oristano grapes

by | Nov 28, 2016

It is a grape variety which produces white wine and is grown-up on the Sardinia island of Italy.

Vernaccia di Oristano

This produces a wide variety of styles for the DOC Denominazione di origine contollata in the Oristano province.

This consists of both sweet and dry wines and also fortified wines like sherry aged in a solera.

Wine grape varieties

Origin and History

The grape flaunts a long history on the Sardinia Island with the natives asserting that consuming abundant amount of wines made from the grape may be the cause of the cases of malaria in the region.

Although their names and synonyms are similar, but Vernaccia di Oristano is a different variety which is not associated to Vernaccia which is a Tuscan wine used to produce Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

This grape is also not connected to the Grenache or Aleatico red wine grape varieties which are called as Vernaccia in several divisions of Italy.

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If we believe in the legends, then Vernaccia was brought to the Sardinia Island with the help of the Phoenicians, after the Tharros port was founded in 800 BC by the old Semitic civilization.

The first recorded reference of this grape was from an authorized document drafted in the Iglesias town in 1327 in south Sardinian, which indicated that wine producers were restricted to produce 1 barrel of wine from several grape varieties, such as Greco, Vernaccia, Vermiglio and Brusco Bianco, but each wine has to be kept separately.

Regions Where It Is Grown

There were 582 hectares in 2000 of plantings of Vernaccia di Oristano, almost completely in the Oristano province in the river valley of Tirso on the Island’s west coast.


Vernaccia di Oristano is known by several synonyms over the years such as Aregu Seulu, Cranaccia, Aregu Bianca, Garnaccia,Cagnaccia, Granazza, Carnaggia, Moranina, Vernaccia, Vernaccia Bianca, Vernaccia di Solarussa, Vernaccia San Rosalia, Vernaccia Orosei,  and Vernaccia Austera.

Wines with Vernaccia di Oristano grapes

Characteristics of Grape and Tasting Notes

The grape is slightly salty with pleasant levels of acidity. It exhibits lemon and green apple texture. Due to the barrel aging, creamy flavors are prominent with pineapple, pear and a touch of vanilla.

The grape wine is golden in color with amber reflexes. It has an intense, ethereal and a full bouquet with a typical hint of almonds in the flower.

The wine is full-bodied and dry on the palate with a long lasting finish. The harmonious and warm flavors of roasted almonds, candied peel, malt and smoke with an endearing and velvety backbone is observed.

Viticulture and Vinification

This grape ripens in the mid to late growing seasons which can be very susceptible to the hazards caused in the growing season by the late spring frost.

Also, it is vulnerable to the viticulture hazards and diseases from powdery and downy mildew.

The traditional methods are followed by instant gentle crushing and fermentation of the juice in a stainless steel vessel at a regulated temperature.

The ageing of the wine is carried out under flour yeasts in the chestnut and oak barrels for ten years, which naturally forms without any fortification.

Characteristics of Wine

The wines produced from Vernaccia di Oristano are generally produced by doing fractional blending using the Solera system similar to Sherry.

Here, the novel wine is put into the barrels on the Solera’s top and then slowly blended from some other vintages into barrels as it comes down from the Solera and gets bottled eventually.

This implies that there can be blends of many decades of vintage wines in a single bottle. Vernaccis di Oristano is also purposely matured in oxidative barrels like some sherry.

These barrels have an incompletely filled-leaving considerable ullage or space for oxygen to be in touch with the wine.

Due to this, some complexity is added to the wine and the occurrence of the sherry-like, nutty aromas and a dark golden color, typically for the sweeter dolce styles of wines can be seen.

Food Pairings with Wine

We suggest you to pair this white wine with soups, appetizers, desserts, almond pastries, Sardinian pastries and ewe’s hard cheese or as sipping wine. The wine can be served chilled as an amazing aperitif.


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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