Pala Isola dei Nuraghi S'arai 2008
The Pala family began their adventure with wine in 1950 amongst the rolling, vine-covered hills of Serdiana, an idyllic village located in southern Sardinia. With mild winters and warm, dry summers, this part of Italy's second largest island is ideal for grape growing, with the traditional varietals finding a special home here. Under the guidance of Mario Pala as of 1995, the winery continues to be family-owned. The value of tradition and the innovation of modern techniques are both incorporated into the winemaking process at Pala.
Pala owns six different vineyard areas with a total of 68 hectares currently under vine. Each vineyard is planted with varietals that are chosen according to the microclimate and soil type of the individual site. Many of these varietals are indigenous to Sardinia including Monica, and Nuragus. Pala practices organic farming in the vineyard and does not use chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
A deep respect for tradition, special care and devotion to the vines and finally the production of great wines, have always been the fundamental philosophy of Pala. This dedication has resulted in wines of great character and elegance that are enjoyed by wine lovers around the world.
Hailed for centuries as a Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, multiple cultures over many centuries have ruled the large island of Sardinia. Set in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Phonoecians, Ancient Rome, and subsequently the Byzantines, Arabs and Catalans have all staked a claim on the island at some point in history. Along the way, these inhabitants transported many of their homeland’s prized vines and today Sardinia’s modern-day indigenous grape varieties claim multiple origins. Sardinia’s most important red grapes—namely Cannonau (a synonym for Grenache) and Carignan—are actually of Spanish origin.
Vermentino, a prolific Mediterranean variety, is the island’s star white. Vermentino has a stronghold the Languedoc region of France as well as Italy’s western and coastal regions, namely Liguria (where it is called Pigato), Piedmont (where it is called Favorita) and in Tuscany, where it goes by the name, Vermentino. The best Vermentino, in arguably all of the Mediterranean, grows in Sardinia's northeastern region of Gallura where its vines struggle to dig roots deep down into north-facing slopes of granitic soils. These Vermentino vines produce highly aromatic, full and concentrated whites of unparalleled balance.
Today aside from its dedication to viticulture, Sardinia remains committed to maintaining its natural farmlands, bucolic plains of grazing sheep and perhaps most of all, its sandy, sunny, Mediterranean beaches.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.