NURAGUS is an ancient white wine grape found on the Italian island of Sardinia (‘Sardegna’) where its main wine is Nuragus di Cagliari DOC‘Nuragus has an interesting provenance: some experts believe that it was brought to the island during the XII century B.C. by Phoenicians [‘nur’ was their word for fire]; others believe that it’s a native variety [domesticated over time] because its name is similar to the famous neolithic stone construction of Nuraghi. It’s always been a resistant and adaptable variety and a good yielder: for this reason it is also known as “pagadeppidus” (pay debts), “preni tineddus” (fill up vats), and “uva de is paberus” (poor man’s grapes),’ says Doug Wregg.

Vineyard area | 2010 1,345 ha (3,324 acres) according to Italy’s 2010 vine census (Oxford Companion, 2015, p513).

In the vineyard | At a tasting at the Vinitaly International Academy on 01st December 2015 at Signorvino, Veneto, Italy hosted by Dr Ian d’Agata he said Nuragus was ‘drought resistant and could be productive, especially if it has access to water, and is thus popular with growers. It needs shade, meaning overhead pergola is a good fit for it, otherwise it drops its acid very fast when ripe. Its thick skins protect it in bad weather.’

Wine style | Lightly aromatic. The wines can be low in acidity, rustic, tannic and with the potential for bitterness. Dry, still wines are typical. It can also be sweet and ‘frizzante’.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Burton Anderson, Vino – The Wines and Winemakers of Italy (London, 1982).

Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy (Mitchell Beazley, 1990), p288.

Ian D’Agata, Native Wine Grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014 p46, 377-78.

Italian Wine Unplugged (Positive Press, 2017), p.122-3.

Oxford Companion to Wine 4th edition ed. Jancis Robinson MW and Julia Harding MW (Oxford University Press, 2015).