SARDEGNA (SARDINIA) Off the western coast of Italy, Sardinia is an extraordinary land with a history of viticulture that reaches back 5,000 years. From the dusty roads to the tiny towns separated by miles of landscape to the 7,000 prehistoric stone structures known as nuraghi (which date back 3,500 years) scattered all over the island, much of Sardinia seems lost in history. As close to Africa as to mainland Italy and nearly grazing the French island of Corsica it is fiercely distinct and wildly colorful.
CORSICA One has to include the French Island of Corsica in this journey to the islands. It is only 7 miles from Sardinia, 51 miles from Tuscany and, in fact, 500 million years ago the two islands were geographically connected. In 1347, the Genoese took possession of the island, and controlled it for nearly 400 years. The French seized it in 1769 from the short-lived Corsican Republic, Napolean was born here and the rest is history. It is a rugged mountainous island that produces figs, olive-oil and deeply flavorful wines.