Province of Cagliari
Owners: Co-operative di Santadi
Winemakers: Marco Saint Santarelli
Production: 1,700,000 bottles
Hecatres under vine: 600
In the early 1980’s, Antonello called on Giacomo Tachis to consult for Santadi. Creator of Sassicaia, Tachis would go on to become the man behind Italian wine’s worldwide renaissance. Even after retirement, Tachis continued to work with his friend Antonello, saying “I’m absolutely passionate about Vermentino and Carignano….there are still parts of Sardinia which I consider virgin land, it’s a spectacular island, especially the south, which is the true soul of the island.”
the Sulcis peninsula is, geographically, Sardinia’s most ancient area, rich in archaeological sites, and offers an astonishing palette of variations and contrasts, with coastal sand dunes, gentle hills and inlets, narrow strips of flatland and inland mountains, rugged cliffs overhanging the seas interspersed with silky-smooth white beaches, pine trees, junipers and vineyards. In these sandy soils, pre-phylloxera vines continue to survive and thrive.
Santadi produces a full suite of Sardinian wines, from Vermentino to Nuragus, Monica and Cannonau, but it is the Carignano vine that they are most famous for. Thought to have been brought by the Spanish, who ruled the island for hundreds of years, Carignano is very productive, late ripening and high in acid with tannins that need taming. But the perfect growing conditions in Sulcis allow the wine to have a velvety richness with softer tannins.