The Romans, being for the first time in front of this unknown vine, decided to call it “vernacular”, which meant “local” and hence the name Vernaccia.
The typical area for “Vernaccia di Oristano” wine includes sixteen of seventyfour municipalities in the province. The harvest begins in mid-September: the grapes, once collected, are then taken to the cellar where the pressing at low pressure takes place, separating then the juice from the solid parts. When the separation is over, the juice is poured into tanks at a controlled temperature.
Once the fermentation is finished, the product is ready to be marketed or to start its process of aging. The latter occurs in chestnut barrels from the average capacity of 600 liters: in this period a whole series of phenomena of physical-chemical nature occur and make this wine a “unique” Vernaccia.
From Vernaccia grapes a D.O.C. wine is produced and it has partcular characteristics that closely resemble the great wines of Jerez de la Frontera Andalusa, best known around the world as Spanish Sherry. This wine is white, dry, aromatic, aged and with an alcoholic strength of not less than 15%. This alcohol though, and therein lies the difference with Spanish Sherry-type, fully deriveds from the fermentation of grape must, so that the Vernaccia di Oristano can in no case be defined as a “fortified wine”.
From the organoleptic point of view this wine has the following basic requirements: pale straw color (which tends to darken during aging); delicate floral and fruity (apple, acacia) aroma; sour but harmonious taste.