Villa Sandi at Olive & June, one of Austin’s top Italian restaurants

Above: Housemade pastas at Olive & June, one of the top Italian restaurants in Austin where the food scene has been booming in recent years.

Since its opening in 2012, not only has Olive & June stood out from the crowded field of new Italian restaurants in Austin, Texas, but it has also set a new benchmark for Italian wine in the state’s capital: Its all-Italian wine list offers what is by far the city’s largest and most comprehensive selection of wines from Italy (see the wine list here, updated this week).

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, rivaled only by Houston. And it’s also one of the country’s hottest restaurant markets. It seems that a new Italian restaurant opens there nearly every week.

Even with so many new Italian dining destinations popping up across the city, Olive & June remains a local favorite in a city with some of the best food in America. And the owners have never strayed from their devotion to an all-Italian wine program.

We couldn’t be more proud that Villa Sandi is poured there by-the-glass.

Thank you Olive & June for making us part of your thoughtful, soulful wine list. Evviva il vino italiano!

Image via the Olive & June Facebook.

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A wonderful article on Cartizze and tasting note from Seven Fifty Daily, a leading American wine blog

Seven Fifty Daily has rapidly become one of the most widely read and influential blogs in the wine world today. The caliber of the writing and reporting — across the board — is superb. We were thrilled to see this excellent feature article on Cartizze, including an interview with Villa Sandi winemaker Stefano Gava and the following tasting note for Villa Sandi’s single-vineyard designate from Cartizze, Vigna La Rivetta. Great wine writing by Bryce Wiatrak, who also writes regularly for Guild Somm. This piece is a fantastic overview of Cartizze and its role and importance in Prosecco. We highly recommend it to you.

Villa Sandi Superiore di Cartizze Valdobbiadene Vigna La Rivetta Brut

Villa Sandi’s 17th-century Palladian estate is one of the greatest architectural marvels in Prosecco territory. Today, along with the winery on the same grounds, it is owned by the Moretti Polegato family. While Villa Sandi has long made a more traditional Cartizze with purchased fruit, the estate now offers a second expression made with grapes from a parcel acquired in 2007, located mid-slope on the boundary between Cartizze Alto and the lower zones. The first brut in the category, according to the winery (although still via the Charmat method), the drier style also offers a new palette of flavors, marrying more typical notes of banana and vanilla blossom with herbaceous tones—sage, mint, and chamomile. The wine finishes long, with stony precision.

Bryce Wiatrak

Read the complete article here.

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Grape Collective features Villa Sandi winemaker Stefano Gava

Above: Grape Collective founder and editor-in-chief Christopher Barnes interviews Villa Sandi winemaker Stefano Gava at Vinitaly. Grape Collective is one of the leading online wine magazines in the U.S.

“Located in the hills of the Marca Trevigiana,” writes Grape Collective editor-in-chief Christopher Barnes, “Villa Sandi is centered around a Palladian style villa dating back to 1622. Owned by the Moretti Polegato family, Villa Sandi farms vineyards in some of the best parts of the Prosecco DOCG. Their estate includes parcels in the Cartizze vineyards, generally described as the ‘Grand Cru’ of Prosecco due the exposure and steep slopes.”

His profile of Villa Sandi and interview with the estate’s winemaker Stefano Gava (“Understanding Prosecco: Interview with Winemaker Stefano Gava of Villa Sandi”) is currently featured on the site’s landing page.

Click here for the complete interview.

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to welcome Christopher — a great guy and a leading figure in the U.S. wine community — at our stand at Vinitaly in Verona this year.

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“This is a Prosecco of great elegance and harmony!” Forbes features Villa Sandi Vigna La Rivetta

We couldn’t have been more thrilled to see Villa Sandi’s Prosecco Cartizze DOCG Vigna La Rivetta featured this week in veteran Italian wine writer Tom Hyland’s piece on “Italy’s Best Sparkling Wines.”

Here’s what he had to say about Vigna La Rivetta:

    “[This] wine is sourced from one of the highest locations of the Cartizze hill and the 2016 version is extremely refined with jasmine and peach perfumes, backed by excellent persistence; this is a Prosecco of great elegance and harmony!”

Click here to read the entire article (an excellent introduction to Italy’s greatest sparkling wines).

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High praise for Vigna La Rivetta from an unlikely source: The Piedmont Post

Not a lot of people beyond the affluent Bay Area suburb of Piedmont, California are familiar with the Piedmont Post. It’s a print-only journal devoted to life and lifestyle in one of northern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

Because of the town’s proximity to (and love of) California wine country, the paper’s “Wine Corner” column is one of the state’s most prestigious wine review resources.

Authored by Pierre DuMont (whom most know to be a pseudonym for an otherwise leading but anonymous wine critic), the column focuses primarily on California wine, its “local” beat.

But after he (she?) attended the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting in San Francisco last night, DuMont decided to profile his top tastes from the gathering.

Here’s what s/he had to say about Villa Sandi Vigna La Rivetta, winner of the Tre Bicchieri (Three Glass) award in the 2019 edition of the Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy, the most coveted prize in all of Italian wine:

If all you have ever experienced are bland, dull, cheap Proseccos served at parties by a host too cheap to spring for Champagne, then I have something for you to try. This beautifully crafted Prosecco will not leave you pining for Bollinger. It has a sweet perfumed floral bouquet and intense citrus and apple flavors on the palate and a crisp tingling finish. Ideal with oysters, fish, pâté… anything you would serve Champagne with.

Click here to read the other top picks.

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Cartizze and Villa Sandi’s Vigna La Rivetta seen from the air

Every year at Vinitaly, the Italian wine world’s annual trade fair in Verona, Villa Sandi organizes helicopter tours of Valdobbiadene and Cartizze via the estate’s dedicated helicopter.

Select guests (mostly clients and top wine writers) are invited to board the helicopter just outside the fair grounds at Vinitaly’s official heliport. They then fly roughly 10 minutes from Verona to Valdobbiadene where they are given an airborne view of Prosecco’s most famous and most coveted subzone (Cartizze).

You can see Villa Sandi’s rows marked by a red carpet outside the estate’s hospitality center there — a small farm house where the winery hosts tastings and intimate events.

As you can see from the photos above and below, not only is the winery’s Vigna La Rivetta located in the heart of Cartizze. But it is also surrounded by woods, one of the elements that helps to create biodiversity there.

Click here to see Vigna La Rivetta on Google maps, including a satellite view and other photos from the ground.

Next year, if you’d like to join one of the tours, please let us know! It’s an experience you’ll never forget and it’s the best way to understand the unique topography of Cartizze.

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Villa Sandi featured in Decanter

Above: The 17th-century Villa Sandi, an architectural icon and symbol of the Villa Sandi winery.

In case you missed it, earlier this month the editors of Decanter magazine featured Villa Sandi (April 2019 issue).

“Located in the heart of Prosecco DOCG country, Villa Sandi is a family-owned and operated winery, and producer of some of Italy’s most critically acclaimed sparkling wines,” write the editors in “Stewards of the land: Villa Sandi Premium Prosecco.”

“Blending the latest research and advanced technology with respect for the terroir and deep love for the region, he has made Villa Sandi a landmark producer through unwavering commitments to quality and the environment and by having an international outlook.”

Click here to read the complete story.

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Happy Easter!

From all the families at the Villa Sandi winery and estate, we wish you and yours a very happy Easter holiday!

See you back here on the blog next week…

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Thanks for a great Vinitaly!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our stand to taste and meet this year in Verona!

It was another great Vinitaly. Looking forward to next year.

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Villa Sandi acquires leading Friulian winery Borgo Conventi

We look forward to seeing you at Vinitaly in Verona this year, April 7-10! Please come and taste with us in Hall C, Stand E4.

This week, Villa Sandi announced its purchase of the Borgo Conventi estate, one of Friuli’s most venerated wineries and prized properties.

Founded in 1975 by Gianni Vescovo, the estate includes 30 hectares planted to vine in the Collio and Isonzo DOCs and currently produces 300,000 bottles per year.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Borgo Conventi to our family,” said Villa Sandi owner Giancarlo Moretti Polegato (above) in a statement. “It’s a top estate and it’s been managed with skill and passion by the Folonari family,” who bought it 2001.

The Moretti Polegato family plans to improve the estate’s sustainability.

“We’re well aware that the future depends on sustainability and care for the environment,” said Giancarlo, “and so we are planning to implement the same low-impact farming practices that have allowed Villa Sandi to obtain Biodiversity Friend certification.”

The winery will continue to be managed independently although Villa Sandi will distribute the wines.

The name of the estate — Borgo Conventi, meaning “convent hamlet” — dates back to the 17th century when a local land owner donated it to Dominican friars on the condition that they build a monastery there.

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Forbes: Villa Sandi’s wines are “outstanding,” “exceptional,” and “superb.”

We look forward to seeing you at Vinitaly in Verona this year, April 7-10! Please come and taste with us in Hall C, Stand E4.

Part of our mission here at the Villa Sandi USA blog is to aggregate accolades for our wines.

Here’s a recent review penned by veteran wine and spirits writer Joseph V Micallef for the Forbes magazine website:

[Villa Sandi’s] Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta Brut is outstanding… Try also the Villa Sandi Asolo Prosecco Superiore Brut DOCG… The latter can be hard to find, but represents an exceptional value. Both wines offer aromas of fresh cut white flowers, along with notes of citrus, apple and pear and a fine, delicate, long-lasting mousse. For an entry level offering, try the superb Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC Treviso.

Click here for the complete article.

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Verona, a UNESCO Heritage designated city

We look forward to seeing you at Vinitaly in Verona this year, April 7-10! Please come and taste with us in Hall C, Stand E4.

Next week, thousands of wine professionals from across the world will gather in Verona for Vinitaly, the annual wine trade fair. It’s the biggest and most important event in the Italian wine industry.

The four-day fair gives Italian winemakers the opportunity to connect with domestic as well as foreign buyers, international and local media, and key players in the trade.

For foreigners, it represents a unique opportunity to taste new vintages and new releases from producers from all of Italy’s 20 regions.

But one of the most exciting things about the fair is the host city itself: Verona, a UNESCO Heritage designated township and one of the most beautiful places on earth (see the Wikipedia entry for Verona here).

Shakespeare set two of his plays there, including “Romeo and Juliet” (that’s Juliet’s balcony in the photo above).

It’s also home to one of the most well preserved Roman arenas, the famed Arena di Verona where classical, pop, and rock concerts are still held regularly and where some of Italy’s most famous opera productions are mounted.

The history and culture of Verona is as rich as the city is beautiful. There’s even an unparalleled literary legacy there: Dante “found his first refuge” in Verona after he was exiled by the city of Florence for his political activism.

Unfortunately, many trade members are so busy with the fair, tastings, and meetings that they don’t take the time out to enjoy this magical place — one of the world’s greatest artistic and cultural treasures.

No matter how busy you are at this year’s fair, be sure to take time out for a stroll in Piazza Bra (where the arena is located) and in Piazza delle Erbe, one of the most gorgeous squares in all of Europe.

You won’t regret it!

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