Cannonau is a native grape in Sardinia. Recent science discovers evidence of a 3,000-year history of Cannonau cultivation. A secret cru territory of Cannonau has been resurrected from prehistory by the Atha Ruja winery in Dorgali. Ancient practices combined with modern techniques would have satisfied the most demanding mythologic gods of the prehistoric Nuragic Civilization.
Unearthing A Lost Wine Paradise On The Island Of Sardinia
Why You’ll Love Atha Ruja
The vineyards of Atha Ruja Poderi are located a few kilometers away from Dorgali, within the National Park of the Gulf of Orosei and Gennargentu, in the Oddoene Valley near the province of Nuoro. “Oddoene Valley” means the “Valley of God” in a Sardinian dialect. This valley is one of the most biologically fertile territories on the island, hence the name. An area traditionally devoted to viticulture and known as one of the cru areas for the Sardinian vine par excellence: Cannonau.
A beautiful landscape, surrounded by mountains and close to the sea. Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water coalesce into the perfect conditions for a masterful construction of Cannonau wines with exotic fruits and aromas that mirror the territory. The Atha Ruja Poderi winery practices manual farming, albarello vine construction, and low yields to bring you the wine masterpieces of Sardinia.
They are the guardians of a still uncontaminated area and want to preserve it by fully adhering to the rules of organic farming. An original core of Mediterranean scrub still thrives in the middle of the vineyard, which is in part cultivated in head-trained bush vines over fifty years old, and in part as spurred cordons with six thousand plants per hectare. The selective thinning helps us to balance the plant by facilitating the appropriate ripening of the grapes and to contain the yield, thus preserving over the years our vines’ superior and uniform quality.
Under the watchful eye of their trusted winemaker, Atha Ruja grows only three red grape varieties, all native to Sardinia: Cannonau, Carignano and Bovale Sardo. They have been all selected thanks to a painstaking research work on the original biotypes of each vine and grafted plant by plant in their vineyards.
Each and every production phase is the result of human labour, of skillful hands that work for the cultivation of the soil, pruning, topping, thinning during the veraison phase and, finally, during the harvest in September, which we undertake during the coolest hours of the day.
All grapes are harvested and processed by hand. It is the most delicate method for vines and in this way Atha Ruja have a greater control over the bunches to select and those to be discarded, which are simply cut and left lying on the ground to become natural fertilizer, giving back to the earth what the earth has given us.
This is how our vineyards give life to Atha Ruja Poderi wines and their extraordinary harmony and complexity of aromas and flavours.
Cannonau is the most widespread black grape variety in Sardinia. Although the cultivation of these grapes is common throughout the island, it is more concentrated in the hinterland. It is believed that Cannonau is the oldest grape of the Mediterranean basin.
This vine owes its introduction in Sardinia to the Phoenicians. It has medium-large leaves and medium-sized bunches with very thick-skinned grapes of an intense blue colour. It is a vigorous vine, with an abundant and constant yield. It has good resistance to wind and cold springs.
Bovale Sardo is a native vine with black grapes. It has small bunches and a high sugar content. It is also marked by a high concentration of colouring pigments, recognised as a major source of antioxidants.
Total bottle production: 25,000 annual.