Q&A with Giancarlo Moretti Polegato of Villa Sandi

Slideshow Image

Villa Sandi is Family owned – how does that change the way it is produced?

A family is the outcome of tradition, of cultural heritage, of special bonds and when a winery is family owned all of this is projected and reflected into the wines it creates.
A family has been generally located in the production area for decades, if not centuries, and this creates a special feeling of belonging, a strong sense of identity. The family members are often involved in the winery activity and this usually strengthen family ties, makes it easier to take decisions and to keep to a production philosophy, which reflects the family values. A family owned winery feels specially committed to consumers, who know the owner by name and face.

Villa Sandi supports Slow Food, tell us about how Slow Food values run through Villa Sandi?

As a winery we are deeply rooted in our territory, the Prosecco area. From DOC to Valdobbiadene DOCG hills up to the special cru of Cartizze. Most of our production being from the typical grapes of the area, our territory means a lot to us. Viticulture is an ancient art in the Prosecco hills area.  Here, man has
learned the importance of respecting the environment, becoming familiar with it and learning to identify its characteristics. The ceaseless quest for high quality wines has always inspired our work and our commitment in wine world. We have contributed in setting the pace for Prosecco reputation as a wine and as a production area while keeping to extremely high quality and concern and respect for environment, Prosecco has always been the real genuine expression of this specific and unique terroir. Passion, commitment, dedication to create the best Prosecco have a wider scope and includes wider commitment in land protection and safeguard. The winery vineyards have received the “Biodiversity Friend” certification. The World Biodiversity Association has assessed the low environmental impact of green agricultural methods such as the ones used by Villa Sandi and which the winery is transferring to all the vine growers co-operating with the winery by delivering their grapes. We are also committed in producing wines with no added sulphites, as a member of a research group, called Wine Research Team, including 30 wineries co-ordinated by Riccardo Cottrell.

Prosecco is now the biggest selling sparkling wine in the UK, why do you think that is?

It is undoubtedly the symbol of Italian life style. The reasons are to be found in the crispy and light bubbles, easy to drink, to the low alcohol content, to the reasonable price. It is easy to match with most of the international cuisine.

 Why is Villa Sandi a Premium Prosecco?

Alongside with owned vineyards, Villa Sandi has developed a special co-operation with a group of vine-growers. Villa Sandi has been collecting grapes from the same vine growers for decades.  Our wine makers and agronomist monitor regularly the growing process to select grapes of the high quality standard required by Villa Sandi. After selecting the best grapes, Villa Sandi relies on a special production technique to get the very best Prosecco: To enhance and preserve freshness, floral and fruity aromas of Prosecco, our winemakers chill the must and store it. For any sparkling production, they start the sparkling process from the chilled must instead of starting it from wine.  The chilled must has maintained the freshness and the floral and fruity notes of Prosecco at their best (as if the grapes had just been harvested and pressed). The resulting sparkling Prosecco   enhances these typical features, making Villa Sandi Prosecco different.

Villa Sandi produces several Proseccos – which is your favourite, and
when do you drink it?

As our Prosecco range includes brut, extra dry, dry and Cartizze, all of them have a special and perfect situation to be enjoyed and I tend to love all of them.  We are a family…but if I have to tell just one, it’s Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta. The charm of Prosecco at its best. And a dream come true. Since I was a boy I have wanted to own a vineyard on the precious Cartizze hill in Valdobbiadene. I managed to purchase one and renovated most of it with new vines. It was the start of an exciting story. To produce a Cartizze in a brut style. Something new, as Cartizze is traditionally produced in the dry style for festivities and celebrations. It was a challenge which turned out to be a great success. With plenty of awards all over the world, including Best Prosecco according to a comparison of the Italian Wine Guides 2016.

Looking to the future, what will Villa Sandi be doing in fifty years’ time?

I hope it will be what it is today, a symbol of the area, representing the bond between history and agriculture, tradition and innovation. The villa, as a building, the winery headquarters, is the link between the magnificence of Venice   of the past centuries and the countryside. Centre of the   agricultural activities all around. Today it is a
cultural and quality wine symbol, and in 50 years I hope it will be even more a reference for wine culture.

If you could hold a dinner party with any guests (whether they are now
dead or alive), who would you invite and what would you eat and drink?

Napoleon is said to have spent a night at Villa Sandi during his Italy campaign. I’d like to invite him, this time. As a tribute to Venice, the Serenissima Republic, I’d like to offer him our Classic Method Sparkling, Opere Serenissima.  We produce a Classic method – named Opere Trevigiane-  which matures on the less in the underground cellars at Villa Sandi for long time, from 36 to 60 months.

Opere   Serenissima is only 24 months’ maturation, a fresher and more modern version. As food, I’d choose the traditional dish of festivity days in our area. We call lit ” spiedo”, meat on the spit, cooked slowly rotating near a fire on the fireplace for 5 hours

Giancarlo Moretti Polegato is the owner of Villa Sandi, a Slow Food Supporter


Slow Food in the UK relies on your memberships to keep going - join up now to support Slow Food in your area... find out more


Sign up to our newsletter to receive regular updates from Slow Food UK here.