Saraja, a new project established in the Gallura region of northern Sardinia, is one of the island’s most exciting new producers, excelling with all 3 of its key varieties (Vermentino, Cannonau and Carignano).
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 Saraja winery, overlooking the sea (and due to be completed in 2023), will house the latest technology and winemaking facilities. Until then, the first few vintages have been vinified and bottled in Calangianus, around 10 km from the estate.
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.
They further bolster their portfolio with Sardinian reds from the best-regarded areas of production. They have prime vineyard sites under long lease in Romangia (north-western Sardinia) and Ogliastra (to the east) where they cultivate Cannonau; and Carignano grapes are currently bought in from selected growers in Sulcis, the south-western tip of the island.
The quality of the portfolio shows through, and after just a few vintages their reputation is growing – the result of exceptional wines and a consistency that is hard to find in Sardinia.
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.
Classic Sardinian Vermentino from the estate’s higher altitude, older and lower-yielding vineyards...
A bright, textural Vermentino from this excellent new estate in the Gallura region, the variety's Sa...
A fine, perfumed style of Cannonau (Grenache) from a single vineyard in Romangia in northwest Sardin...
A richly flavoured, complex style of Carignano from the Sulcis zone in the south of Sardinia, renown...