Not far from the medieval village of Luogosanto, in Sardinia’s arid and windy north-eastern region of Gallura, is Siddùra, a winery driven by the combined genius of German businessman Nathan Gottesdiener and Sardinian entrepreneur Massimo Ruggero.
Siddùra is emblematic of the mood and ambition of recent times on the island, where a band of dedicated producers works tirelessly to increase the quality and profile of Sardinia’s wines, restoring them to a significance that was last at its height at the time of the Romans.
Blessed by cork forests, rocky outcrops, tracts of Mediterranean herbs and unforgiving clay, granite and sandy soils, this is the birthplace of the Vermentino grape. Here on this rough land, where the harsh sun combines with stiff and cleansing breezes from the Mediterranean, wines are made with the strength of concentration and finesse that made Vermentino di Gallura into Sardinia’s first DOCG denomination.
From its 37ha of vineyards, Siddùra makes three Vermentino wines: Spèra, Maìa and lastly Bèru, a Platinum medal winner at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards. Bèru is both a product of Siddùra’s progressive outlook and its desire to showcase the versatility of the Vermentino grape variety. Throughout its production process in the cellars the wine spends its time exclusively in oak, from fermentation through to nine-months maturation. Such is the power of the fruit that the marriage of fruit and oak not only fundamentally works, but is also wildly successful, with the grape’s personality and key characteristics never forced into the shadows.
Supplementing the Vermentinos are four reds made from what is another flagship grape from Sardinia: Cannonau, better known to the wider world as Grenache. The portfolio is completed with a majestic dessert wine, Nùali Passito. Made from 100% Muscat, this wine comes from well-ventilated vineyards planted on predominantly sandy soils which look down towards the sea on the north coast of the island. It, too, achieved great prominence in the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards, with 95 points and a Gold medal in this year’s competition.
‘We regard our wines as a true gift of nature,’ says Siddùra. ‘They’re grown with the love of the earth, nurtured by the warm Mediterranean sun and produced with a commitment to uncompromising quality. The results of this philosophy are most evident in the glass.’