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Sardinia lies off the western coast of Italy, blessed with a sunny Mediterranean climate that has made the island prime real estate for both winemakers and jet-setting vacationers. As in Sicily, in Sardinia a quest for quality wine is happily overtaking the traditional emphasis on quantity.

Until 1708, Sardinia was a colony of Spain, so hints of classic Spanish style are apparent in some of the island’s wines. Cannonau, Sardinia’s best-known red grape, is descended from Garnacha brought from Spain centuries ago. Monica is another dry, red wine, this one found almost exclusively in Sardinia. The Italian variety Vermentino is used to make crisp and tangy white wines that pair beautifully with seafood, which seems right for grapes grown above the famous waters of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda.

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