Allegrini 2018

Vini Fantini focused on Sardinia: the group, led by Valentino Sciotti, launched the Atzei project

The manager told WineNews: “it’s a dream come true for me, my heart belongs to the island. It is a land of great wines”

Vini Fantini (formerly Farnese), the Group led by Valentino Sciotti, has roots in Abruzzi but embraces the entirety of Southern Italy, and is now expanding to Sardinia. The Group will produce a new line of Atzei wines in the village of Mogoro (Oristano), in the Alta Marmilla sub region. It is a very special project expanding the Group’s proposal, which in addition to Abruzzi touches Apulia, Campania, Basilicata, as well as Tuscany. The company is broadly projected internationally, where it develops 97% of its turnover of over 80 million euros. “ Sardinia, for me, is a place that has stolen my heart, producing wine here is what I have been dreaming of for a long time”, Valentino Sciotti explained to WineNews, who knew about this territory as a young man, when he was still far from the wine world, as he was involved in selling trucks there.
“First we worked on acquisitions, which, however, did not materialize, but the desire to produce wine in Sardinia was very strong, so we took another path. We went back to where I had caught a glimpse of this paradise many years ago. In the south of Sardinia, in a village bordering Sanluri, there is Mogoro, where we found a vibrant Cooperative winery that has a deep passion and respect for viticulture. Their weakness was the absence of a strong oenological and commercial partner. In short, both our needs crossed perfectly”. The result is Atzei, “what seemed impossible has been accomplished”. It is no longer a wine Cooperative, but a selection of the best individual vineyards, to produce high quality wines.
“Our goal is to produce 200.000 bottles, even though we are a bit late due to Covid-19, which has slowed things down. The real stars are the local farmers who have always taken care of those vineyards. We have assigned the head oenologist of the Fantini Group, Dennis Verdecchia, for the project, supported by Daniele Manca, a young Sardinian oenologist who also has had experience abroad. This way we can link the knowledge of the terroir with an International allure”.

The investment of the Fantini Group (the US Platinum fund has owned it since 2019 when it bought the company for 180 million euros, ed.) is in a territory yet to be discovered, but in which they have a lot of faith. “Sardinia is a region that already makes fantastic wines, but it can do more. Many wines are too focused on just the island and domestic markets, but I believe it can be successful around the world, and the interest is enormous among those to whom we are offering this new project and these new wines. We hope to do something that besides being successful for us has benefits for the entire Sardinian wine chain. We believe in it”.
“Sardinia is my lifelong secret love. I have always wanted”, Sciotti said, “to produce great wines also on the Sardinian Island. These are those feelings you have deep inside, almost like a little voice repeating, “you have to do it, sooner or later”. And now, the time has come”. I discovered the magnificent areas in Central Sardinia at the beginning of my career. I was part of the sales staff of a company that sold small 4x4 trucks. I was the last to arrive and therefore they assigned me the least desirable region, Sardinia. My main distributor was in Sanluri. While working there I not only learned to love the Sardinians, their hospitality and their cuisine. I also discovered what seemed to me an extraordinary potential for wines, the very old vines, fantastic vineyards and some incredible grape vines. I asked myself: how is it that this exciting territory has no notoriety?”
And so, the Atzei project was born. There will be four debut wines. Three will be single-variety wines, from Monica, Cannonau and Vermentino grapes, together in the Saragat line, named after a local vineyard and whose origin seems to be linked to “bream fishermen”. And, Aru, which is a blend of Monica, Cannonau and Bovale, the flagship wine. It will be offered on the market at the price (retail in Italy) of 35 euros, while the cost of the three Saragat line wines will be around 10 euros.
“Working in the Mogoro area is part of the overall Fantini Group strategy - to launch areas that are not famous but in which we see high potential. We have seen these conditions here, which have been enhanced by the very strict selection of grapes to offer the best of a territory, betting on the most suitable vines. At the beginning, we will be focusing only abroad, then in 2022, we will also be on the Italian market”.
The design of the label also mirrors the territory, but in a modern key. The design of the label is a stylized reproduction of Sardinian women in traditional costumes. “I am more and more in love with this region, and more and more convinced that we be successful. Sardinia has lost many vineyards in the last few decades and we would like to help reverse the trend. Life is made up of increasingly ambitious challenges. Sardinia is a challenge for us”, concluded Sciotti.

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