The Winery ATHA RUJA Poderi of Dorgali was founded in the early ’90s, thanks to Pietro Pittalis and Annita Salis’ shared dream. This story, like all the most beautiful ones, did not evolve in a linear way like the rows of vines, it was not “love at first sight” but rather the convergence of a two generations-long tradition of winemaking.
Dopo un’infanzia in cui sia Pietro che Annita imparano a conoscere e ad amare i profumi e la tradizione vitivinicola, così radicata nella Sardegna centro orientale, le loro vite prendono altre direzioni affermandosi il primo nel campo dell’imprenditoria e la seconda della medicina.
However, in the early ’90s, the never fading memories of that period and the driving force of their passion steered them to return to their origins and dedicate time and resources to setting up the Atha Ruja company.
Together with the oenologist Marco Bernabei, an essential figure for the development, growth and quality of wines. And so they embarked on this adventure with the same enthusiasm of when, as children, they harvested and collected the grapes in small reed baskets, emptying them in juniper wood vats lying in wagons that were pulled by oxen yokes headed to the cellar to undergo the winemaking process.
HOW A GREAT WINE IS BORN
This may come as no surprise: it is the result of years of experience, dedication and passion.
A school of thought maintains that a good wine is born in the vineyard: this is true. But it is also true that a good grape harvest must be discerningly handled once it arrives in the cellar.
After carefully sorting the grape bunches, we collect them in small baskets during the cool hours of the day and dedicate the evening hours to winemaking. The grapes are then fermented in small steel tanks to diversify the various batches, so that temperatures do not exceed 30°. This phase is characterized by frequent pumping over and regular délastages to help regulating the fermentation of the skins and the extraction of the phenolic content.
After 3 to 4 weeks of fermentation, the skins are pressed and the must undergoes a first phase of rest and decantation.
The young wine is then taken to the barrel cellar where it will be aged in French oak barriques or tonneaux depending on its end use. The different toasting of the wood will give over time aromas, scents and tannins, in line with the variety of the various blends.
Malolactic fermentation, on the other hand, takes place in barrels. Rigour and science are the salt of our daily life: all phases, from the harvest of the grape bunches to the fermentation and maturation processes, are constantly monitored by our oenologist who, with the support of his own analysis laboratory, oversees the whole wine making process.
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The secret of a great wine
Sustainable viticulture means respecting the ecosystem balance. According to our philosophy, a “great wine” is born first of all from the passion for one’s work, which guides the intuition and talent necessary to achieve excellence.
In addition to that, it is necessary to love nature wholeheartedly in order to attain a respectful understanding and glean its fruits; one must not over-exploit the generosity of the land beyond what it can naturally grant us.
Often the generosity of the vines has to be compensated with a reasonable thinning to restores the plant’s optimal balance, and in doing so we can return to nature what was prodigally given to us.
And this careful selection surely yields the magical fruit that will contribute to creating a great wine.