Why Visit Cantine di Orgosolo?
- You want to taste elegant, technically sound Cannonau
- You enjoy supporting small growers and/or boutique wineries
- You admire wineries who go the extra mile in the vineyard to produce wines representative of place
The Winery: Cantine Di Orgosolo
I first fell in love with Cantine di Orgosolo when I tasted a bottle of their 2015 Urùlu which some friends had brought over for dinner. This was definitely a love at first sip situation. A total wow moment. I knew immediately I wanted to visit this winery while in Sardinia. Little did I know at the time that Marco is friends with the winemaker at Cantine di Orgosolo. In no time at all, we were exploring one of Orgosolo’s many family owned vineyards, touring the small cantina, and tasting wines with the winemaker himself.
Cantine di Orgosolo is a cantina sociale, or a cooperative, in which each grower contributes fruit from their vineyards to produce wine under a single winery or brand name. Cantine sociale are popular in regions inhabited by numerous small growers and there are quite a few sprinkled throughout the various regions of Sardinia. Cantine di Orgosolo was founded in 2006 by a group of 17 local growers on a mission to produce the the ultimate Cannonau representative of their home terroir in Orgosolo. On average, each grower only farms about 1 hectare of vineyards. So, you can imagine the amount of care and attention that goes into cultivating these grapes.
The growers of this cantina sociale focus on preserving the oldest vineyards in Orgosolo, some of which are more than a century old. They also hold an emphasis on quality over quantity. One of the many regulations under the Cannonnau di Sardegna D.O.C. involves limiting vineyard yields to 110 quintali per hectare. For us Americans, that’s roughly 11 tons per 2.5 acres. Cantine di Orgosolo takes the quality control even further by limiting yields to 40-50 quintali per hectare, or 4-5 tons per 2.5 acres. Lower yields translate to higher quality fruit, as the vines energy and nutrients from the soil are dispersed amongst fewer clusters.
The Tasting Experience At Cantine Di Orgosolo
We were very fortunate to visit Cantine di Orgosolo with winemaker Angelo Corda, who in just his mid-twenties is producing wines that are technically sound, completely balanced, and a true testament to the terroir and culture of Orgosolo. This village can proudly bear its name on the label of these wines.
We started out in Angelo’s family vineyard, which was seemingly down in a valley but still at high elevation. This vineyard was first planted in 1912, but over time has been replanted and today is home to a plethora of varieties, including Cannonau, Bovale, and more.
We then drove up through the village to the winery, which I was delighted to discover is quite small. Cantine di Orgosolo only produces around 20,000 bottles per year with a handful of steel tanks, a couple of small concrete tanks, and a few larger oak vessels. We sat around a wooden table in the middle of the bottle storage room for our tasting. Angelo cut some locally made cheese and salsiccia for us and, of course, laid out some crispy pane curasau. He was even kind enough to open one of everything for our tasting and sent us each home with a favorite bottle of our choosing!
Locoe IGT 2018
- Half of the wine was fermented and aged in oak, the other half in stainless steel
- Blend of Cannonau and other local red varieties like Muristello, Bovale, etc.
- 14.5% alcohol
- Notes of juicy, red fruits and refined tannins
- Elegant and balanced with refined tannins
- Somehow bold and delicate at the same time
Neale Cannonau di Sardegna D.O.C. 2018
- 85% Cannonau and 15% Muristellu, produced in concrete tanks
- 15% alcohol, but not hot
- Notes of red, juicy berries, violets, and dried red flowers
- Well-balanced, layered, and great structure with soft tannins
- ‘Neale’ refers to a sincere person
Luna Vona 2018
- 100% Cannonau
- The first vino biologico produced by Cantine di Orgosolo
- 14% alcohol
- Lactic acid still present, aromas of yogurt, pepper, and spice
- Lighter on the palate, fruit forward with light tannins
Urùlu Cannonau di Sardegna D.O.C. 2018
- 95% Cannonau, 2% Carignano, 2% Bovale, 1% other varieties
- Spent 9 months in oak
- Aromas and flavors of raspberry, juicy red fruits, plum, macchia, tobacco
- Still my favorite, but needs more time in bottle because tannins are a bit young
Soroi Cannonau di Sardegna D.O.C. Classico 2016
- 100% Cannonau
- Matured in barrels for 24 months, then in bottle for 3 months
- Vineyards at even higher elevations than Urùlu with an average age of at least 30 years
The Territory and Climate of Orgosolo
Orgosolo is a village in the sub-region of Barbagia located in the Province of Nuoro in central Sardegna. To the east, Orogoslo is protected by the mountains of the Supremonte plateau, a harsh landscape on dolomitic limestone that is home to the largest holm-oak forest in Europe along with various species of flora and fauna. Orgosolo is also protected by Mount Ortobene to the north and the Sorasi hills and the Locoe Valley to the south.
The various vineyards of Cantine di Orgosolo mostly consist of granite soils and sit between 300-700m above sea level. The older vineyards are traditionally bush trained, while the relatively newer vineyards use the Guyot and the spurred cordon systems. The vineyards lie on rolling hills with shallow soils and good ventilation, which helps reduce the need for pesticide treatments. My favorite bottle, Urùlu, comes from a vineyard that sits at a much higher elevation than the most of the rest.
Orgosolo experiences a Mediterranean climate similar to the rest of the island. However, since Orgosolo is at a higher elevation in the mountains, the vineyards benefit from a large diurnal temperature swing during the growing season. The location in Barbagia in central Sardegna means hotter temperatures in the summer, ripening the fruit and increasing sugar concentration. Then that diurnal temperature swing alternatively helps slow the ripening process, allowing for longer hang time and preserving acidity.
Other than producing astoundingly good Cannonau, Orgosolo is a region historically famous for silk production. Cantine di Orgosolo honors this history by tying their unique bottle labels, which unfold to tell the story of the cantina, with locally made silk threads. Orgosolo is also known as the “painted village” because the walls throughout the village are covered in incredibly artistic murals, some telling the history of Orgosolo, others giving a nod to Sardinian culture and events in other parts of the world.