Gradiente vernaccia contini

An enduring bond

A centuries-old bond links the Contini family to the Vernaccia grape. This amber gold, typical of Oristano, has been intertwined with the origins of the winery since 1895 and, thanks to Contini 1898, has gained significant recognition.

Flor Contini

Contini's constant commitment to the selection and marketing of Vernaccia di Oristano has contributed to its diffusion to the extent that, in the 1960s, it became the best-known and most prestigious wine of the island. Thanks to Totino, Antonio and Paolo Contini, considered the protagonists of the campaign to promote Vernaccia, in 1971 Vernaccia di Oristano became the first DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) wine of Sardinia. 

La Vernaccia di Oristano DOC

Vernaccia Contini

Vernaccia is among the most valued white grape varieties in Sardinia and, in particular, the most typical of the area around Oristano. The etymology of the name, from the Latin “vernaculum” or “local grape”, suggests that this vine was autochthonous and probably cultivated since distant eras. Some seeds similar to these grapes, in fact, were found in archaeological excavations conducted at the Sa Osa site. Their dating to around 1300 BC would indicate white wine production in the area as far back as 3,000 years ago, well before the arrival of the Phoenicians. This recent discovery therefore makes Sardinia the original home of wine within the Mediterranean basin.

Where our Vernaccia is born

The Vernaccia di Oristano vines thrive in the soils of the central-western coast, between the Sinis Valley and the lower Tirso Valley.

The Vernaccia di Oristano vines thrive in the soils of the central-western coast, between the Sinis Valley and the lower Tirso Valley.

Vigne di Caombus Sinis

Thanks to the course of the river Tirso – which creates lagoons, ponds and swamps – and the typically humid Mediterranean climate, the soil here is particularly fertile. The sharp changes in temperature between summer and winter, in addition to determining the taste, provide the wine’s distinctive colour, with warm amber hues. Based on their characteristics, the soils can be classified as Bennaxi, generally more alluvial, deep and cool, close the banks of the Tirso, or Gregori, older soils with a pebbly matrix mixed with compact clay.

Foto Stagno di Cabras

How to recognise Vernaccia di Oristano

The Vernaccia di Oristano vine can be identified by its medium-sized, orbicular and three-lobed leaves. The bunches are compact, short and cylindrical, while the grapes are medium to small and spherical with thin, pruinose skin of a golden-green colour.

The Vernaccia di Oristano vine can be identified by its medium-sized, orbicular and three-lobed leaves. The bunches are compact, short and cylindrical, while the grapes are medium to small and spherical with thin, pruinose skin of a golden-green colour.

The magic of flor

Lieviti Flor Contini Vini

After the first classic fermentation, Vernaccia has the appearance of a normal white wine with olfactory and gustatory characteristics typical of the vine and with a considerable alcohol content that must not be less than 15° in order to stimulate the successive activation of film-forming yeasts. At this point the wine is ready to age in small to medium high-quality wooden barrels that are not completely filled, in which the magic of the Flor yeast takes place, forming a film that resembles a blooming flower.

In the quiet semi-darkness of our cellars, the magical flor yeasts effect biological oxidative refinement: thanks to oxygen, in fact, they appear as a patina on the surface, the “flor”, which protects the wine, preserving its aromatic components and provoking important metabolic transformations. Under its protective blanket the wine evolves, acquiring the bouquet and finesse that render the notes of Vernaccia di Oristano unmistakable.

Flor Contini

The intensity of Su Murruai

In particularly favourable years, the full characteristics of Vernaccia di Oristano DOC are expressed thanks to what is defined in the local dialect as “Su Murruai” (a name probably deriving from the ancient custom among Greeks and Romans of treating wines with myrrh). Su Murruai is an unmistakable spiced and typically bitter aroma, with notes of peach and almond flowers and hints of toasted hazelnuts, which immediately floods the senses, evoking powerful emotions. Tradition tells us that its presence and intensity indicate a vintage of excellent quality, with a level of perfection matured without any intervention. Su Murruai is a generous gift of nature that makes Vernaccia di Oristano an even more intriguing wine.

Vernaccia Contini Oristano

Our Vernaccia wines

Cantina Contini vini Cabras

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