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Olianas – A holistic approach to winemaking in Sardinia

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A key name to watch on the Sardinian winemaking scene, Tenuta Olianas has become internationally recognised for its focus on sustainable agriculture.

Situated in the heart of the subregion of Sarcidano, in southern Sardinia, Tenuta Olianas lies 50 minutes to the north of Cagliari. Boasting 35ha of vineyards, the estate – the only Demeter-certified company in Sardinia – focuses on key native varieties Cannonau, Vermentino, Bovale, Malvasia, Nasco and Semidano. Flagship wines include the Cannonau di Sardegna DOC and Vermentino di Sardegna DOC.

With owner and oenologist Stefano Casadei at the helm, Tenuta Olianas sits within the Famiglia Casadei group portfolio; a venture which first took shape at the turn of the millennium in collaboration with the Olianas family from Gergei.

Oenologist, Stefano Casadei and agronomist and technical director, Alfredo Figus

Oenologist, Stefano Casadei and agronomist and technical director, Alfredo Figus

A new approach to agriculture

Olianas is guided by an all encompassing philosophy in every decision taken, spanning work in the vineyard, winery and beyond. Developed by Casadei himself, this holistic approach is known as BioIntegrale and is used across the family’s three estates: Castello del Trebbio (Chianti Rufina, Tuscany), Tenuta Casadei (Alta Maremma, Tuscany) and Olianas (Sarcidano, Sardinia).

The BioIntegrale approach is built upon organic, biodynamic and socially engaged practices. The method’s principles seek to promote biodiversity and sustainable farming, working in harmony with the surrounding environment in order to guarantee future prosperity. In the vineyard, for example, horses, rather than machinery are used to work the vineyards to help prevent soil compaction. Other initiatives include green manuring, geese that roam the vineyards removing invasive weeds, hand harvesting, employing local labour, sourcing from local businesses and using renewable energy sources.

Elena Casadei

Elena Casadei heads up the Tenuta Olianas’ amphorae project – Le Anfore di Elena Casadei

Ageing in amphorae

The Olianas estate uses amphorae as the chosen vessels for vinifying and ageing a selection of their wines. These historic winemaking vessels are made from Georgian and Tuscan terracotta, which plays a key role in crafting the desired style. Calling for only the best quality fruit, the amphora acts as a magnifier, highlighting the grapes’ distinctive aromas and flavours.

Casadei’s daughter Elena heads up the amphorae project (Le Anfore di Elena Casadei), where the unique combination of the Sarcidano terroir, native grape varieties and terracotta results in wines of incredible focus and purity. Key examples include the collection’s elegant expression of Cannonau, and ‘Migiu’, made from a selection of the estate’s finest Semidano grapes.

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The Olianas estate uses amphorae to vinify and age a selection of their wines

The Olianas estate uses amphorae – historic winemaking vessels made from Georgian and Tuscan terracotta – for vinifying and ageing a selection of their wines

Olianas is redefining what it means to make wine in Sardinia, using its BioIntegrale approach and harnessing the power of native Sardinian grape varieties and amphorae to make wines which are true expressions of the island’s unique terroirs.

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