The Piero Mancini winery has been a benchmark producer of Vermentino di Gallura for over thirty years. The winery is located near the port of Olbia in the northwest of Sardegna, near the chic beach resort area of the Costa Smeralda. Alessandro Mancini currently runs the winery along with his brother Antonio and sister Laura, though it was their father, Piero, who founded the estate. Piero was born in the Gallura area but after university, he moved to the south of Sardegna where he worked as a dentist. Throughout those years he maintained a foothold in the Gallura area – planting his first vineyards in the 1960’s and gaining important experience from other important wineries nearby. He eventually purchased 70 hectares of vineyards in the 1970’s. In the mid 90’s he followed his dream and retired as a dentist and moved back home full time, though it wasn’t until 1989 that he finally opened the current winery.
Today the family owns about 100 hectares split between three parcels from the heart of the Gallura zone: Balaiana, Lu Scolombrino and Montelittu. The terrain in Gallura is dominated by large outcroppings of granite which rise sporadically from the ground throughout the area. The soil itself in the vineyards is made up of that same granite, weathered and broken down into fine sand. This minerally soil helps to give the wines their fine pronounced underlying minerality. The Mancini’s vineyards range from 50 to 300 meters in elevation with varying exposures, but mostly south-facing. Vermentino, like other whites such as Assyrtico that thrive in the hot Mediterranean climate, maintains its firm acidity in the heat of coastal Sardinia.
The winery’s main production is an exceptional Vermentino di Gallura – a refreshing wine that along with the citrus notes and crisp acidity has great texture and layered notes of salinity and minerality. They also bottle a Vermentino Superiore bottling called Cucaione (Cuckoo Bird) which is aged longer on its lees and has added depth, complexity and concentration. In many ways, the family feels that this is the true calling card of Gallura. The cuckoo is also the bird depicted on the company’s logo.
Sardinian Vermentino is one of the great wines to pair with seafood. There is enough acidity to pair with shellfish, but also enough breadth on the palate to stand up to more meaty fish, or even fish (or light meats) on the grill.