Young Italian Winemaker In Sardinia
Making wine is the highest artistic expression for a winemaker. Our wines are the representation of what we do in the vineyard every day, they are a photograph of our beautiful territory, they are the love for this ancient land and its vines. From Cannonau, Cagnulari, Vermentino and Moscato grapes, we give shape to our dreams and our efforts. This is us, this is our wines.
A young winemaker from Sorso in Sardinia Italy, with a passion for engines, travel, food and nature. Since he was a child loved writing and drawing, he has always been very curious, liked to understand how things worked and over time learned to understand it also thanks to the scientific studies he has faced. He graduated in Agriculture to embrace his roots but also to be able to better understand and face the challenges of modern viticulture.
Being a young winemaker in Sorso, Sardinia, for him means not surrendering to the social and economic conditions of his land, it means regaining an ancient bond between man and nature, it means protecting a territory that is too often exploited and impoverished.
This is why sharing, respect and protection of diversity are fundamental aspects of his thinking, both in life and in work. He loves making wine for this too, because it gives him the opportunity to express himself, wine is sharing, respect, but above all it is a beautiful tool to appreciate the diversity, between people, vines and territories.
The art of transforming grapes into wine has been handed down in my family for 5 generations
Winemaker in the fifth generation. Originally his great-great-grandfather was a notary in the area who decided to invest in viticulture, an extremely profitable business for the time in this territory, famous for the production of quality wines. It was he who started the family tradition, trading the wine also produced abroad, especially in France. The youngest of four children, decided to follow the family farm; in those years his great-grandfather reclaimed several plots, paving the way for my grandfather and his brother. When grandfather Mario took over from his father, he was just over twenty years old, the vineyards were still worked with the hoe and with the horse and to reach the various plots moved on foot. Those were the hard postwar years, but grandfather was tireless and raised the future of the company with great passion and sacrifice, planted new vineyards and increased the production of grapes and wine. He expanded the company by purchasing other plots, including Montizzedu. In the 90s it was the turn of his father, Leonardo, who modernized the vineyards and the processes, with innovations but with great respect for tradition and nature. He built the new cellar under his house and concentrated on the production of quality wine grapes without following the fashion of that period where many planted international vines; he renewed the old vines using the selections of the old family vineyards as propagation material, focusing on the native vines, Cannonau, Cagnulari, Vermentino and Moscato. Most of the grapes were sold to important wineries in the region, great blazons that benefited from their quality productions, but part of the grapes were vinified for the production of bulk wine.
When over the years young Mario became aware of what he wanted to do when he grew up, he realized that hey could not continue to sell wonderful grapes to other wineries and began to think about bottle their wines, to finally become architects of the future. So after completing his scientific studies in high school, he decided to graduate from the Department of Agriculture of the University of Sassari. The family tradition was not enough for him and the curiosity led me to study a lot and deepen the science behind being a winemaker. In 2014 he decided to vinify the grapes that for the first time in the history of the family would end up in the bottle and in June 2015 he bottled the wine for the first time.
It was a great leap in the dark, a step of madness and courage, but he knew that this was the right way to give the right value to the many sacrifices made by all previous generations and the great work in the vineyard. From that moment on, the continuous experimentation and the continuous search for quality inspire him and stimulate to improve what he does year after year, in the vineyard as in the cellar, aware of not being able to disappoint those who preceded him.
Vineyards are in Sorso, on the North West coast of Sardinia.
This area is characterized by the presence of a very long coastal strip of about 18km with mostly sandy soils immediately close to the coast and by a hilly area of limestone matrix that is increasingly accentuated towards the hinterland. To divide the hills there are numerous valleys that slope to the North West towards the sea.
The territory has been known for the production of wine since the Neolithic era with the testimony of several archaeological sites in which numerous wine vessels and grape seeds have been found, as well as fossilized strains. In this context, particularly suited to the production of healthy and quality grapes, there are the three family Crus. Montizzeddu, Olieddu and Pianu Mannu.
Over the generations there have been 4 cellars, each under the house of each winemaker. The winery has always followed the winemaker and today it is located under his parents’ house, dug into the tuff and with the old cement tanks for winemaking that in the village they call “li lacchi” which they use for the maceration of the grapes. The storage tanks are mostly made of steel with tanks of various sizes to accommodate the production of each cru.
In recent months, the design of the new cellar has been started which will be built in the Montizzeddu cru, set on the top of the hill, with the processing and storage area facing north and the reception area facing the sea and the vineyards.
Each winery traditionally, in Sorso, has always had a space reserved for friends and customers, many centuries before there was talk of wine tourism, in Sardinia it Washington tradition of hospitality and the new structure will keep faith with this ancient vocation that has also characterized all the different family cellars.
If his grandfather had seen the vineyards now, he would not have seen great differences with what he did, because over the years modern processing techniques have not replaced traditional methods, but indeed they have perfected and improved them.
In the vineyard they use sulfur, copper and algae against pathogens and to defend the salt plants, chemical herbicides have never been used and most of the processing is manual, obviously including the harvest.
During the winter they let spontaneous meadows of grasses and legumes grow, which they overthrow to increase the content of organic matter in the soil and the water retention capacity. In fact the vineyards do not have irrigation systems and they rely on dry farming techniques to raise the plants, this leads to less production, but a positive impact on the water resources of the territory.
The brackish winds help them keep the vines dry and free of moisture for most of the year, giving the opportunity to minimize the use of sulfur and copper. It is a sustainable, traditional and at the same time very demanding approach, but which pays off with authentic wines and unspoiled nature.
In the cellar they follow the same logic, intervening strictly necessary to guide the wines towards their natural evolution, without forcing and without adjuvants. Each wine is produced from spontaneous fermentation with its own indigenous yeasts, each cru has its own tank and its own yeasts, in order to maximize the deep bond between the grape and every single particle of the estates. For the whites carry out pre-fermentation macerations ranging from 12h to 24h and for the reds the macerations go no further than 15 days. For the reds, only soft fulling is done and none reassembly. Once drawn off, the masses rest in the tanks to follow different periods of aging before being bottled and finally enjoyed.
Location: Sorso (SS), North West Sardinia
First bottling: 2014
Total area: 9.5 ha
Soil: Sand and Marl
Grapes: Cagnulari, Cannonau, Vermentino, Moscato
Age of the vines: from 5 to 50 years
Training systems: Sapling with fruit head, spurred cordon
Enologist: Emiliano Falsini
Agronomist: Mario Bagella
Type of farm: In organic conversion, dry farming
1SORSO Cannonau – 100% Cannonau
1SORSO Vermentino – 100% Vermentino
Olieddu Moscato Secco – 100% Moscato
Pianu Mannu Metodo Ancestrale – 100% Cannonau
Olieddu Cagnulari – 100% Cagnulari
Olieddu Vermentino – 100% Vermentino
Olieddu Macerato Vermentino – 100% Vermentino
Olieddu Cannonau – 100% Cannonau