Where the blue sky meets the blue Mediterranean sea, and where gentle hillside slopes nurture grapevines, you’ll find Cantina Mesa, on the island of Sardinia.
Sardinia is known for its pristine beaches, which are home to blue-headed kingfishers and bright pink flamingos, as well as the wild rosemary bushes and flowers that perfume the air. But it’s also a place where food and wine take center stage, creating a gastronomy-focused culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Here, Cantina Mesa pays homage to its unique roots through its line of expressive wines. The family-owned winery’s name reflects the region’s deep-rooted tradition of hospitality: Mesa means “table” in both Spanish and Sardinian, a nod to the universal place of gathering for meals and memories. This philosophy of hospitality drives the winemaking ethos and so much more at Cantina Mesa.
The winery itself vividly captures visitors’ imaginations. The striking, modern white structure stands out against the property’s jewel-toned hillside. But more than just an inviting place to greet guests, the winery’s location was chosen in order to utilize gravity flow during the winemaking process. The gentle transfer of juice yields wines that retain a purity of character. Through its terroir-expressive wines, Cantina Mesa explores the many facets of this unique winemaking region.
Among them is Giunco Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, which is made from Vermentino grapes grown in the far southwest part of Sardinia known as Sulcis. This wine is sure to appeal to lovers of Sauvignon Blanc: Highly aromatic, it shows bright citrus and tropical fruits, plus essence of herbs from the Mediterranean shrubs that grow throughout the island. Combined with lively acidity and freshness, a good amount of structure and complexity, plus a lovely texture from the four months of aging on the lees, this bottling is destined to be a crowd-pleaser.
Meanwhile, Carignan takes on a unique expression when grown in Sardinia, as evidenced by Buio Carignano del Sulcis DOC. Warm temperatures help grapes ripen, but the strong winds that blow through the vineyards cool them down and allow the fruit to retain a bright acidity. Although the region does not receive much rain, its limestone and clay soils retain water. In turn, calcium and micronutrients within the soils nourish the vines. These older vines produce a wine with dazzling complexity: bright red fruit aromas, Mediterranean herbs, and spices commingle in the glass. On the palate, ripe yet plush tannins lend polish to this bold red wine. Serve slightly chilled to maximize enjoyment.
Looking for something a little different? Buio Buio Carignano del Sulcis DOC Riserva is a selection of the oldest Carignano vines grown in Sulcis. The name buio means “dark” and refers to the inky color of the grape skins, but it could easily reference the rich and brooding tones of this wine. As the wine opens up, nuanced flavors of red fruits, floral notes and spice unfurl. Full-bodied and luscious but structured thanks to smooth tannins—yet still fresh—this wine is an ideal match for roasted meats, lamb keema and mature cheeses.
Those searching for a delicate white will find it in Primo Bianco Vermentino di Sardegna DOC. Also made from the Vermentino grape, it’s a more youthful expression of the variety. White floral notes add a layer of intrigue to this energetic white wine that is redolent of citrus fruits. And for a fresh and lively red, Primo Scuro Cannonau di Sardegna DOC is sure to become your new go-to. Made from 100% Cannonau (also known as Grenache/Garnacha), it is aged in stainless steel, which allows red fruit and violet tones to shine through the gentle tannins.
From complex and structured to easygoing and approachable, Cantina Mesa produces wine in a multitude of styles, but all still speak to the winery’s homeland.
Last Updated: May 9, 2023