Thursday, October 27, 2016

Trip to Sardinia (Day 6)...Visit to Panevino in Nurri

(October 27)

The stay in Cabras was only one night, so we packed up again and left the town in the morning to head to all the way to Nurri, a secluded inland village, about 2 hours from Cabras.

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Gianfranco, the owner, farmer, winemaker, and baker of Panevino met us near one of his vineyards and gave a walking tour of his vineyard sites. He focuses on organic farming and winemaking.

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Our adventure started and we were greeted by the beautiful view of the hills and sheep hanging out in the distance.

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He first took us to the vineyard plot where the grapes for his rose wines are grown. He said this plot was leased from a local landlord. He plants multiple grape varieties including both local and non-local grapes (such as Barbera) there. He said he was not hesitant to plant non-local varieties, as he wanted to see how they would do in this land.

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Then, we kept walking to different vineyard sites. It was like a fun hiking. Many of his vineyards are located in the very hilly land, and according to Gianfranco, there are 40 - 60 different grape varieties co-planted in these vineyards! In this very hilly plot, the vines are over 100 years old and planted by alberello (bush vine) training system. The yield from each vine is very small.

We ended up spending almost 2 hours walking around and check out his vineyards. Gianfranco said he does all the work in these vineyards and he was so proud. So, he was so excited to show us these sites and explain about the terroir and his grape growing philosophies in detail.

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Gianfranco guided us to his cantina. Tables were set up in the beautiful patio, and his family was busy getting lunch ready for us!

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We tasted his newly bottled (but not yet labeled) wines over homemade lunch courses.

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Tempura of home-grown vegetables with pecorino. They were simply seasoned with sea salt and honey. So good with his un-filtered and un-disgorged Spumante.

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Fregola in tomate broth with escargots. These wild snails were caught from his vineyards! They were so flavorful. In fact, almost everything served here was from their property and homemade. Not only the bread (his family still runs bakery) is homemade, but also the cork is made from the cork tree in their yard!

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Beef tongue and red onion stew was so tender and wowed everybody.

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Gianfranco in the kitchen. His beautiful daughter was helping serving dishes. He also has two sons who were helping.

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Braised rabbit and potatoes in caper sauce. So great.

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It was simply fantastic meal, tasting all the homemade dishes, paired with homemade wines by them in their patio. The experience was really priceless and I would choose it over any fancy restaurant meals!

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Gianfranco's wife. She was so sweet.

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Here's the wine lineup. Some of his wines are made from the blend of unknown number of grape varieties, as those vineyards are co-planted and the wines are co-fermented among many different grape varieties.

2015 Spumante (unfiltered)
2015 "Survivor" (rose)...made from the grapes that survived the hails and hurricane in the year.
2015  "Tino Rosa"...blend of Cagnurali and Vermentino
2015 "Foreign Grapes"...difficult year, so made from purchased ("foreign") grapes.
2014 "Cicipi", Cannonau...from old vines up to 200-year-old vines. Very rich fruit.
2014 "Picci", Cannonau...from the same vineyard as "Cicipi", but different selection. More round.

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It was already late in the afternoon when we left Panevino, but we made it to Barumini to visit "Su Nuraxi", the World Heritage Site. This archeological site consists of complex of nuraghe, stone structure built in different phases from 15th century BC. It was so impressive.

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And, the view of the sunset over the nuraghe was amazing.

We left Barumini to head south to Cagliari. We finally got to our hotel after 8 pm. Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and it's also the biggest city in the island. We walked to a traditional Sardinian cuisine restaurant about 10 minutes from our hotel.

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The place is called Sa Domu Sarda, and it's a popular place among locals. When we got there, the place was so busy and the inside smelled so good.

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Antipasti plates came one after another. They were so good. We had the snails again!

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I was so happy that I could finally try Culurgiones, Sardinia's traditional ravioli dish. They are large ravioli (look like gyoza!), filled with potato, mint, and cheese, and served with tomato sauce. I loved the soft chewy bouncy texture and also the hint of mint flavor in the dish.

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We also had other typical Sardinian pasta dishes...Fregola (with zucchini, its flower and tomato ragu), and Malloreddus all Campidonese (with tomato and wild boar ragu). Everything was so delicious!

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And, all the local wines, again.

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We left past midnight. We closed the restaurant!