91 points Decanter: “excellent purity of flavor… a cerebral approach to Prosecco.”

The stony soils of Asolo township are ideal for the production of minerality-driven Prosecco with freshness and intense fruit flavors. Villa Sandi’s Asolo vineyards are Biodiversity Friend certified, meaning that farming practices encourage biodiversity, wild life, and wild flowers and plants among the rows. Note the grasses growing between the vines here.

Villa Sandi NV Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG
91 points

Prosecco Asolo is a hillside zone identified for the high quality of its grapes. It is a five mile long ridge across the river from the zones of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. This particular example comes from a one hectare vineyard producing 11,000 bottles. There is a beautiful hint of almond cream along with ripe pear and soft green apple. It is clean, steely and fresh, showing excellent purity of flavour and good intensity. Not necessarily a party wine, it’s a more cerebral approach to Prosecco.

James Button
Decanter

Click here for technical info on the wine.

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90 points Wine Spectator for Villa Sandi Cartizze La Rivetta

One of the most important things that we’ll be doing here on the Villa Sandi USA blog is that we’ll be aggregating scores, reviews, write-ups, and other accolades for the wines.

And there’s no better place to start than Wine Spectator, the leading English-language resource for fine wine today and a favorite magazine (and site) for Italian wine lovers.

Senior editor for Italy Alison Napjus is one of the best Italian- and sparkling-focused wine writers working in the U.S. today. She travels to Italy a number of times a year to taste and visit with winemakers and she is one of the top judges for the magazine’s “top 100 Italian wines” list.

Here’s what she had to say about Villa Sandi’s Prosecco DOCG Caritzze La Rivetta, which is farmed in the appellation’s most coveted cru — Cartizze. The slopes are so steep in Cartizze and the morainic (rocky) soils are so demanding that all farming there is done by hand (no machines whatsoever).

Villa Sandi NV Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze La Rivetta DOCG
90 points

Fine and creamy, with rich notes of glazed apricot, salted almond skin and lemon parfait, this is accented by a hint of guava and underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Fresh finish.

Alison Napjus
Wine Spectator

Villa Sandi in Miami at Zucca, one of the city’s hottest restaurants and home to one of its best wine lists

Above: Fiori di Zucca at Zucca in Miami. Can you think of a better pairing for Villa Sandi Prosecco Vigna La Rivetta?

Zucca brings not only these luscious squash blossoms,” wrote the food critic for the Miami Herald Victoria Pesce Elliott when the restaurant opened in 2017, “but also an unadulterated Italian experience with regional specialties from Sicily to Liguria.”

“Of course I had to try the namesake blossoms,” she added, “which also include thumb-sized baby zucchini attached. My favorite version is stuffed with mozzarella and a subtle, salty bite of anchovies as crisp and light as Japanese tempura. Exquisite.”

The wine program at Zucca was a recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2018 and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of their program.

Zucca
162 Alcazar Ave.
Coral Gables FL 33134
(786) 580-3731
Google map

Image via the Zucca Facebook.

Borgo Conventi, Villa Sandi’s new Friulian estate, to be imported to the U.S. by Folio

Above: Villa Sandi founder and owner Giancarlo Moretti Polegato poses in front of the gates of the Borgo Conventi winery in Friuli — the Moretti Polegato family’s newest property and project.

The Moretti Polegato family “has acquired the Borgo Conventi winery in the Collio area,” write the editors of Wine and Spirits Daily, one of the wine industry’s most popular trade blogs:

    As a result, the portfolio will be imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners, effective June 1. The purchase includes the winery and 30 hectares of vineyard. The estate will remain under independent management for grape growing and winemaking. “Borgo Conventi is a welcome addition to our portfolio and continues our 12-year relationship with the Moretti Polegato family and our ethos to work with families we like and respect. Together with Villa Sandi, these are wines that we are proud to represent and look forward to sharing with our family, friends and trade customers,” says Folio founder Michael Mondavi. The US portfolio will include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Friulano under the Linea Collio range and retail at about $19 each.

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Prosecco pairings: Baccalà alla vicentina (Vicenza-style dried cod), a Veneto classic

Some find it ironic that one of the most famous dishes of Veneto cuisine and one of the Veneto region’s most popular does not come from Veneto at all. In fact, the cod used to make baccalà (salt cod or stock fish, another name for the salt-cured fish) comes from the icy waters of the northern seas.

Historically, baccalà first reached Veneto dinner tables from Norway during the Venetian Renaissance (in the 1400s and 1500s). You’ll find a detailed and compelling chronicle and history of the dish in food historian Mark Kurlansky’s excellent book, simply entitled Cod. It’s a great read and we highly recommend it.

One of the reasons that baccalà became so popular was that it solved a fundamental culinary problem: During the Renaissance, the Catholic calendar called for countless Lenten days or fast days when Christians were not allowed to eat meat, eggs, or dairy products. This tradition still endures among Italian Catholics who don’t eat meat on Fridays, for example.

Because baccalà was so easy to transport (because of its light weight) and because it was so easy to store (the salt acts as a natural preservative that makes it last seemingly indefinitely), it was the ideal food stock to have around for all those Lenten days. Salt was also a valuable commodity at the time, which made baccalà an attractive investment for Venetian merchants.

Today, for example, when you travel to the Veneto for wine and food tourism, you’ll find dishes like baccalà alla vicentina, stock fish soaked for days to purge its salt and then stewed with milk and potatoes until flaky and tender and then served over grilled white polenta. Vicenza, the city that gives the dish its name, isn’t located on the sea, yet its most famous dish comes from the sea.

It’s a CLASSIC pairing for Prosecco.

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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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