Alcohol Grade: 14%
Aging/ Vinification: The soil is a combination of loam and sand, with additional clay and quartz rocks. At the start of September the grapes are hand-harvested into small crates. They are destemmed and softly pressed at low temperatures, then fermentation takes place in stainless steel over a period of 15 days. The wine spends 6 months on lees, and a further 2 months in bottle before release.
Best to have it: 6-10ºC
Production: 48,000 bt.
Size: 750 ml
The Winery: Saraja
Mark Hartmann is effectively the ‘front-man’ for the project, but this is in fact a collaboration between a team of five, all with a wealth of previous wine experience. They also work with renowned Italian consultant and winemaker Federico Curtaz. Despite many of the group having their roots in northern Italy, in Valle d’Aosta, they have a shared belief in the potential that Sardinia has to offer.
The estate consists of 49 hectares of owned vineyards near the winery in Gallura, between Telti, Monti and Calangianus. Mount Limbara, the highest mountain to the north of Sardinia, looks over their vineyards to the west. Gallura is the heartland of Vermentino, the mainstay of Saraja’s production.
Sardinia has a very dry climate that allows Saraja to farm the land according to ‘integrated agriculture’ – essentially cultivating their vines according to organic principles, but not organically certified, as they retain the option to resort to minimal treatments if environmental conditions demand it.
They manage their vineyards sustainably, encouraging biodiversity, and avoiding herbicides and insecticides. They fertilise the soils with compost and employ a maximum of four treatments per year. They also use eco-compatible materials in the vineyards, source local raw materials, conserve energy and use light-weight bottles. They plan to keep developing their sustainability credentials.