Sardinia in Spring 2

Eight inland itineraries

La Maddalena National Park
La Maddalena view of the bay  photo by F.F. Sakanatravel 2018

Article first appeared on Gambero Rosso Year 21 -number 116 – march 2018 pag. 72


La Maddalena and Coastal Gallura

La Maddalena is the largest island of an archipelago in the northeast of Sardinia. In all it consists of 60 islets that face the Gallura coast. There is only one inhabited centre by the same name and a coastal road of less than 50 km runs along the perimeter of the island. The coastlines are jagged, and characterized by granite rock walls that in some cases plunge straight into the sea. These rocky bluffs alternate with beaches and delightful coves boasting white sand that is reflected in the crystalline sea. For a long time La Maddalena was a base of the Italian Navy, proof of this is the Nino Lamboglia naval museum. Within the village, reachable form Palau with a 20 minute ferry ride, are beautiful eighteenth-century dwellings and the church of Santa Maria Maddalena.

It’s wonderful to tour the hills, and explore the woods and the granite quarries; even more sensational is discovering the hidden bays, white sand dunes, breathtaking sea floor habitat and visiting the other islets. This unique insular environment gave life to the National Park of the Maddalena archipelago, born in 1994 and which includes about 18 thousand hectares of surface ( of which 13 thousand are the marine extension).

The Wines

Cantina Vini Mura – Vermentino di Gallura Cheremi ’16

Vini Mura Azzanido’ photo by F.Fenu 2018

Siblings Marianna an Salvatore Mura passionally lead the family business which is located in one of the most suitable areas for Vermentino. The Cheremi is a white wine of great elegance and flavour, fresh and pleasantly acidic: excellent with seafood risotto.

Cantina Zanatta – Vermentino di Gallura Sup. le Saline ’16

The Zanatta winery produces two reds and two whites. Among the latter, Le Saline represents the highest selection of Vermentino di Gallura. A part of the mass ages in oak and the result is a riot of olfactory complexity; savoury and of good depth. Perfect when paired with a bitter vegetable flan.

Cantina di Masone Mannu – Zurria ’15

It is not just the white wines that star in the production of Masone Mannu. The goodness of some labels makes it clear that Gallura is also the ideal territory for traditional red wines. A fine example comes from Zurria, a wine made form carignano grapes vinified in steel: perfumes of Mediterranean scrubland, myrtle, but also of spices, blackberry and cherry. The mouth is rhythmic and juicy. excellent if enjoyed alongside roasted veal fillet.

Cantina Tondini -Moscato Lajcheddu

The winery produces Karagnanj, a great Vermentino di Gallura But within the range we also find Lajcheddu, a splendid passito wine made from muscat grapes. The bewitching olfactory notes are all based on strawberry tree honey, ripe peach, apricot and dried fruit. The mouth is sweet, but never cloying, rather sapid and fresh. Well-paired with traditional desserts or with Fiore Sardo sheep’s milk cheese.

artwork by Stefania Saragoni


A Word from the Chef

“Ode to La Maddalena always in my heart”

I was born 34 years ago in the Sinis peninsula, a land with long history: home to Monti Prama giants and great traditional products like Vernaccia and bottarga. But  first experience was in Gallura, at Baia Sardinia for 6 months of seasonal work. It was the year 2000 when Costa Smeralda was a magnet. Quality ingredients were sadly  not a priority in hotels back then, the preference was using products of large distributors. Then something changed. Over time, thanks to a vision acquired around the world, the search for quality ingredients finally started, no shortage of which in Gallura. la Maddalena is an island in Gallura with granite rocks and crystal clear beaches. Inland are mushrooms, wild herbs and farms; and then the sea’s bountiful catch: molluscs, crustaceans and other marine life. Besides ingredients, Gallura owns great gastronomic history, result of a peasant cuisine that blends elements of sea and land. Zuppa Gallurese or Chiusoni ( hand-stretched pasta with a beef ragout) are sculpted in y memory, as well as Sa Mazza Frissa Gallurese, clotted cream made with the remains of fermented milk and cooked aith wheat: umble yet tasty. The memories of this cuisine are alive and I bring them with me for inspiration  – Salavatore Camedda chef at Somu n San Vero Milis

Article first appeared on Gambero Rosso Year 21 -number 116 – march 2018 pag. 72








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