The history books explain the reason they make “sherry” in Sardinia, Italy is because the Phoenicians brought the tradition with them when they landed on the island 2800 years ago. Francesco, on the other hand, tells us they were growing vernaccia and making this style of wine long before and it was proven when they found grape seeds in the tombs of the Nuragic civilization from over 4000 years ago. There are only a handful of winemakers still making this wine and Francesco is one of them producing just about 800 cases annually and selling them after 10 years in very old chestnut barrels.
Philosophy: Francesco will tell you his philosophy is just to do everything perfectly, be there all the time. You can’t miss anything. He doesn’t till his vineyards because they are naturally very fertile. He does green pruning to cut away grapes and squares off the vine leaves. They slightly dust the grapes with sulfur at the harvest and then there is no further addition and the wines tests at 0ppm free, and around 20ppm total at bottling, which is about 10 years later. Francesco says Vernaccia is either born healthy or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then you just have to throw away all the grapes. These wines are a great alternative to Sherry, especially in all-Italian accounts, also are great for cocktails, and a great food pairing option. Only about 6 producers still make these traditional DOC wines.