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How To Live To Be A 100: Move To Sardinia and Start Drinking Cannanou

on August 04, 2023

When it comes to wine, many enthusiasts and connoisseurs are becoming increasingly conscious of not only the flavors and aromas but also the potential health benefits. Cannanou wine has specifically gained attention as a fountain of youth. Last year I interviewed Alfonso Gagliano, author of Four Seasons In Sardinia:  A Cultural Journey Through An Enchanted Island.  As a native Sardinian who studied at University of California at Davis, incubator for master winemakers, finding a better authority on cannanou would be hard.  Especially now that Alfonso has added brand ambassador to his CV for Sella Mosca, one of Sardinia's largest wine producers.   

Island Life 

"[Sardinians] tend not to live by the clock, and punctuality is not necessarily considered a virtue.  Yet they outlive most clocks, for the island is home to some of the longest-living people on earth."  Alphonso prefaces this pronouncement by underscoring that natives prize social interaction and walk a lot.  However, while you cannot attribute everything to the Cannanou grape you cannot say that nothing stems (pun) from it either.  This is what makes Gagliano's book the comprehensive guide on the Sardinian lifestyle.  It is a thorough tour of what it is like to live, eat and most importantly drink wine on the island. 

The Origin of Cannanou

Cannanou wine, also known as "Cannonao," "Cannonadu," or "Cannonau di Sardegna," has its origins in the region of Sardinia, which is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea and is part of Italy. Cannonau is a red grape variety that is widely grown in Sardinia and is used to produce this distinctive wine.

While the exact historical origin of the Cannanou grape is still debated among wine experts, it is believed to have ancient roots in the Sardinian viticulture landscape. Some theories suggest that the grape may have been introduced to Sardinia by the Phoenicians, who were ancient traders and sailors. Another theory proposes that the grape may have been brought by the Spaniards during their rule over Sardinia.

Regardless of its precise origin, Cannonau has become closely associated with Sardinian winemaking traditions and culture.   

Antioxidant Richness

One of the strongest selling points of Cannanou wine is its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect our cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Research has shown that Cannanou grapes, and by extension, the wine produced from them, are particularly rich in these health-promoting compounds.  This is result to the way the wine is produced.  According to Gagliano, "The juice pressed from local Cannanou grapes goes through a long fermentation process while still in contact with its flavonoid-rich seeds and skins to produce a full-bodied and deeply flavorful red wine."  

Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Health

Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in grape skins, is often associated with red wine and its potential cardiovascular benefits. Cannanou wine, being a red wine, contains resveratrol in notable amounts. Studies suggest that resveratrol may contribute to heart health by promoting healthy blood circulation and supporting the function of blood vessels. 

With healthier heart function that may or may not be attributed to consumption of Cannanou Sardinia has according to "one study published in the journal Age and Ageing in 2012 estimated that there were about 22 centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants in Sardinia." Caveat:  this study focused on the province of Nuoro, well known for centenarians.   "Remarkably, unlike in most western countries, where the gender ration at 100 years is one to four in favor of women, in Sardinia it's one to one.  The same proportion of men and women reach 100 years of age," Gagliano writes.   

 Digestive Benefits and Gut Health

In traditional Sardinian culture, Cannanou wine is sometimes referred to as "the wine of life" due to its purported digestive benefits. It has been a part of Sardinian cuisine for generations, and locals believe it aids in digestion. While more research is needed in this area, it's interesting to note the cultural significance of Cannanou wine in promoting digestive health.

Wrap Up

Cannanou wine, with its origins in the picturesque landscapes of Sardinia, presents itself as a compelling option for those seeking a potentially healthier choice in the world of wines. Its antioxidant richness, resveratrol content, and moderate alcohol levels contribute to its appeal. As with any dietary choice, moderation is paramount.

The toast to 100 years in Italian is: "Cent'anni!"  With a glass of Cannanou in hand it really gives the toast new meaning.  

(Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.)



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