So, in Aragon we have black Garnacha, grey Garnacha, rosé Garnacha, white Garnacha - we have all this great variety that we don’t find in Sardinia. In Sardinia we have a Cannonau only with black grapes, we don’t have other phenotypes, and this means that it has arrived relatively recently.
Episode 358 of the Italian Wine Podcast was a very special edition of Everybody Needs a Bit of Scienza. Stevie and the Professor took a question from the pod's number one listener, Sławek Komiński, in Poland. If you happen to be in Poland, head on over to Mine Wine and check out out Sławek's digs. In any event, the question was about the provenance of Cannonau and whether any new information had emerged lately to place its origins in Spain or Sardinia.
Listen to Episode of 358 of the Italian Wine Podcast and, if you don't happen to speak Italian, find below a translation, thanks to the always wonderful Anna Carnera, Scienza translator extraordinaire.
Stevie: Okay, hello everybody! Welcome back to Everybody Needs a Bit of Scienza! My name is Stevie Kim and I’m here with Professor Attilio Scienza, our favourite professor. So, today’s question (as you know we take questions from our VIA community) and today… OMG! I love this person, Mr. Sławek Komiński from Poland! Our number one listener of Italian Wine Dodcast. Did you know that this person is number one, the one who listens to us the most?
Stevie: Can we make him feel the love?
Scienza: Of course!
Stevie: How can we do it? Do you want to dedicate a song to him?
Scienza: I don’t know, I don’t know how to say like... (in English) I love you, because...
Stevie: I love you! Let’s say I love you. One, two, three:
Both: I love you Sławek Komiński!
Stevie: We can say that! Perfetto. Sławek, listen, you are great. We love you! Keep on listening, OK? I think, right now, you have no competition.
Scienza: Ha ha ha!
Stevie: I don’t know, I think you are just way, way above the others. So, this is the question from Sławek Komiński:
Sławek (recording): Good morning professor, this is Sławek Komiński speaking from Poland. I would like to ask you: have you discovered any new facts about the origin of the Cannonau grape that will end any dispute between Italy and Spain about the homeland of this vine? Thank you so much, I hope to see you soon.
Stevie: So, is it Spanish or Italian?
Scienza: This is a...
Stevie: An involved topic...
Scienza: ...a topic that is still open for discussion. It means that Italy and Spain are, in a sense, trying to claim the origin of Cannonau and Garnacha. I can say that this vine is a Spanish vine from Aragon. Because in this region we can find a lot of different phenotypes. What does this mean? It means that a vine likely gives us clues to its origin where it displays great variability in, let’s say, the color of its grapes or the shape of the plant.
So, in Aragon we have black Garnacha, grey Garnacha, rosé Garnacha, white Garnacha - we have all this great variety that we don’t find in Sardinia. In Sardinia we have a Cannonau only with black grapes, we don’t have other phenotypes, and this means that it has arrived relatively recently. It was the Spanish during the Aragonese period, who brought Garnacha to Sardinia where it took the name Cannonau.
Cannonau is an ancient word in the Sardinian language that identifies a valuable item. “Canonazzo '' means “precious coin,” a term for something valuable. Therefore, for Sardinians this vine became important in their agricultural economy. The origin of this term is also related to the way it was cultivated. This vine was grown using the Alberello method with low production, in order to have powerful wines, with high alcohol, to help preserve them. This was the meaning of the term Cannonau or Canonazzo: something valuable, important, or significant.
Stevie: Hey listen, you know, Sławek, I have a great idea. Attilio, listen, we can invite this kid - er, young man rather. Let’s invite him to our “gita scolastica.”
Scienza: Yes, sure! Sardinia seems the right place for him.
Stevie: Listen Sławek, we are organising (I don’t know if you speak in English or in Italian) but we are organizing our next “gita scolastica.” It’s a field trip, basically, with a small group of VIA community members. We will be traveling around Sardinia sometime in October so…
I don’t know when this session is going live. Jacob? When? No? Like… I don’t know when this will be happening, Jacob is not giving me an answer, he is so rigid. But, um, he has his own plan where he is completely in charge, I don’t have a say in the matter but...
Sławek, I think it would be really good, if you love Sardinia and you’ve never been, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to travel with us, myself included, with Attilio and VIA Ambassadors and experts. Let’s try to get that organised. If you are interested get in touch with Lan or Jacopo, writing to them at firstname.lastname@example.org, OK? I’m pretty excited about it. Sarà una gita bellissima! (it will be a wonderful trip).
Because of COVID, we’ve been kind of, of course, um, not been able to go ahead with our original plan but in October we are organizing a small group of the VIA community to do our “gita scolastica.” We went there last year, and I hope that we can organise this for you too, Sławek! This is one way to, you know, to thank you for being our number one listener as well as our number one fan.
So, thank you very much for the question and I hope that you can join us! So, thank you, and we’d like to, of course, thank all our listeners - not just Sławek - because it could not happen with just Sławek alone. Obviously, 270,000 “listens” in the past 12 months. It’s incredible, a milestone for all of us here. Because, this is a labour of love as you know.
So, continue to listen to Italian Wine Podcast on Soundcloud, on Spotify, or wherever you listen, and follow us on our social media. Whatever it is: Facebook, Instagram, we are all over the place and our favourite, my personal favourite social media right now - everyone hates me at the office cause I make them do these silly dances and whatnot - is Tik Tok! We are called Mamma Jumbo Shrimp.
So, with that I think we can close up this session of Everybody Needs a Bit of Scienza. Until next time! Arrivederci!
Scienza: Monty, we miss you! When are you coming back?
Stevie: Ma no, basta Monty! Ha ha ha!
Scienza: Ha ha ha!
Stevie: Ciao, ciao, ciao everybody! Arrivederci!