Sardinia is Italy’s other big island. Though not as large as its southern neighbor Sicily, Sardinia has 107,000 acres of vineyards, making it Italy’s eighth largest wine producing region in vineyard acres, and the twelfth largest in quantity of wine produced. Nearly 13% of the wine produced carries a DOC label. Sardinia’s history as a rugged, remote, sparsely populated island meant that until recently most wine was made by farmers who drank it themselves or sold it to friends and local businesses. Owners of larger vineyards exported grape juice to be turned into bulk wines in Italy and France. But, as in Sicily, entrepreneurial vineyards owners in recent decades have improved their winemaking and marketed their own estate wines. Italy’s Gambero Rosso wine review notes that the “Sardinian wine horizon continues to expand (and) average quality is now high…” Because the Spanish Aragon dynasty controlled Sardinia for nearly 400 years, Spanish winemaking and Spanish grapes have been influential in Sardinia. Vermentino, thought to be a native Spanish grape, is the most widely planted white grape. Also planted are Malvasia and Vernaccia. The most commonly planted red grape is Cannonau, also called Grenache. Other red grapes of the island are Monica, Carignano (Carignan), and French varietals.