Vigne Bentesali was born in Sant Antico, an island located close to the west coast of Sardinia in the Sulcis-Iglesiente region. Bentasali produces wines from Carignano Franche di Piede vines with the original roots without resorting to American grafting.
Bentesali vineyards are distributed in different locations on the island; in the plains, the vineyards are surrounded by prickly pear, lentisk, alimo, and reeds protect them from the mistral and sirocco winds; hedges of typical Mediterranean shrubs in the mountains; olive, cistus, frankincense, and myrtle, on the other hand, protect them from the strong northwest winds.
Bentesali vineyards extend in different areas of the island, these small plots grow in the macro and micro areas of the island where there are the most suitable soils for vines.
In the area of Su pranu de sa Cresia sandy soil extends to the sea in the area of S'Arriaxiu the land is flat and sandy, in the area of Pabirongu the vines are planted in the hills with loose calcareous soil, in the area of Is Scararettus The soil is sandy and sandy, area sheltered from winds.
In the Bingixedda region, sandy calcareous soils are exposed to tramontana winds; in the Sa Scrocca Manna region, in the hills bordering the Calasetta region, in the Giunchera region, vines grow in sandy soils close to the sea, exposed to the salty in the sea breeze.
The northwest winds, combined with the ideal sunny and breezy microclimate, give the grapes their unique ripeness, sugar content and acidity, as well as giving the wines the aroma, structure and character that make Bentesali wines unique.
The grape harvest
Grapes are usually harvested from September 15 to 30. Bentesali wines are the result of the selection of the best Carignano grapes, harvested during the harvest, in the Bentesali vineyards, where the harvest is carried out strictly by hand, the grapes are transported directly in boxes to the winery, where they are ground and de-stemmed harvested the same day. Grapes are processed at the winery on the same day as the harvest.
After weighing, the grapes are crushed and destemmed. The grape must is then transferred to temperature-controlled winemakers, where it ferments for two weeks, macerating together with the skins.
Immediately after alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation takes place, and the new wine is racked and left to rest until bottling day, which is between late spring and early summer.
The territory and viticulture in the island Sant'Antioco
The island of Sant'Antioco is located on the southwestern coast of Sardinia, opposite the Sulcis Iglesiente region.
With an area of 109 square kilometers, Sant'Antico is the largest island in Sardinia and the fourth largest in Italy.
It is connected to the coastal hinterland by a narrow 5-kilometer-long isthmus that runs south into the Gulf of Palmas.
The island originated in the Miocene about 25 million years ago, when it was separated from Sardinia by strong tectonic movements.
Millions of years later, the island took its present form, mostly flat, with limestone and trachyte rocks, and rare Mediterranean vegetation.
The island is about 90 kilometers from Cagliari and is divided into two municipalities, Sant'Antioco, which occupies the territory from northeast to southwest, and Calasetta, on the northwest coast.
The island of Sant'Antioco can enjoy a Mediterranean climate with short winters and hot, dry summers lashed by mistral winds.
On the island of Sant'Antioco, the sandy soil offers the possibility of growing franca di piede vines, that is, using the original roots without resorting to American grafting.
This ensures the unique organoleptic heritage of the grapes, creating ideal conditions for the vineyard to provide exceptional yields even in very old vintages.
Then nature does the rest, strong northwest winds, hot and dry Mediterranean climate in summer, combining the traditional cultivation techniques of centuries-old vineyards (Latin saplings) with modern techniques (spurred cordon and espalier) of new plantings.
The island has all the ideal conditions for the production of the Carignano grape, as it is the variety that has developed the most in the last 3 centuries.
The Phoenicians, who founded the ancient Sulki of Sant'Antioco, introduced Carignano to the island probably around the 9th century BC.
The development of viticulture at Sant'Antioco and in Sardinia can be summarized according to several cycles: The Phoenician cycle: introduction of Nuragus, Vernaccia and, according to some, Nasco, Monica and Carignano; The Roman cycle: Moscato first, then Apesorgie, and perhaps Nasco; Byzantine cycle: Malvasia and some noble whites such as Alvarega and Gregubiancu were introduced; Spanish cycle: We introduce Cannonau, Bovali, Cagnulari, Carignano, Muristellu and, according to some, Vermentino and Nasco.
The Carignano grape variety
Production of this grape variety is almost entirely concentrated in Sulcis, the area between the last mountainous branch of southwestern Sardinia and the sea.
Planted on more than about 1,700 hectares, despite its limited distribution, Carignano can certainly be considered one of the most important and prestigious wines of Sardinian enology. Carignano's resistance to brackish winds from the sea has allowed it to develop its cultivation mainly on the sandy, warm and sunny soils of Sulcis, which, combined with the low yield per vine, makes the wine lively and rich in extracts and aromas.
From the perfect balance of climate, soil and this elegant grape variety comes a wine with a deep ruby color, tending to garnet, with plums and cherries, sweet spices and chocolate, licorice and fondant. The warm, enveloping scent of pepper. On the palate it is balanced with soft, elegant tannins.
Carignano community in Franco Foot
The Bentesali Vineyards Society is one of the founding members of the Carignano community of Piede Franco, established in 2021. The main purpose of the community is to promote and enhance Carignano wine and its derivative vineyards, planted in the context of Piede Franco on the island of Sant'Antioco.
Viticulture on the island of Sant'Antioco has the characteristics of graftless cultivation that is now unique in very few areas in the world. The Community wants to strengthen this essential resource of the Territory in order to protect it for future generations and prevent its extinction, which today seems inevitable. Therefore, the community pursues the goal of protecting the public interest of the vineyard landscape.