Location: Santadi, Province of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy
Neil and Maria Empson founded Shardana with the help of Santadi’s winemaking team. Santadi’s location near the seafront provided outstanding terroir for the vineyards and produced grapes with bewitching complexity.
Points of Differentiation
- Some vines are over 100 years old
- Extremely low vine yields resulting in highly concentrated flavors
- Luscious bold flavors
- Grown in one of the hottest regions of Italy
- Original pre-Phylloxera rootstock
Shardana is Neil and Maria Empson’s tribute to beautiful Sardinia: a full-bodied, voluptuous red from indigenous, pre-phylloxera, Carignano grapes, with a small percentage of Shiraz.
This wine was an ongoing rumor long before its release, for the Empsons wanted perfection, and were ready to wait for it. The style was inspired by Sulcis’ exceptional terroir and reflects the region’s power-packed, layered complexity, the depth of its seas, and the spicy fragrance of its Mediterranean winds.
When the Empsons began the Shardana project, in 1996, they chose the Santadi team as their ideal partners, selecting the winery’s seafront vineyards for their outstanding terroir, microclimate, and ampelographic history. Their dedication was rewarded in June 1999 when the wine was finally released, and the Empsons found the wine to be everything they dreamed of. Shardana captured the spirit of the Emerald Island in all its bewitching complexity and spoke for this incredible soil in its own, unique accent.
The label is as striking as the wine — stark, simple graphics, the enigmatic Phoenician emblem, and slate-colored nuraghe (Sardinia’s giant, prehistoric stone tower) that tell us so much about this island, and the wine’s unique story.
Shardana’s vine grow in Santadi’s seafront vineyards where the soil is composed largely of sand. The sand protects the vines from Phylloxera, allowing the vines to remain on their original rootstock.
In the words of Raffaele Cani: “The parasite does attack the roots, producing small holes in them. These cavities, however, are immediately filled up by grains of sand that heal the wounds, as it were, allowing the plant to thrive in spite of Phylloxera.”
Sulcis includes some of the hottest, driest, and wildest areas on the island which provides the perfect groundwork for high- quality viticulture, and an ideal home to Carignano. This sturdy indigenous grape is ancient and probably originated in Carifera (Spain).
- Winery Fast Facts
- Vineyard surface: 12 acres (5 hectares)
- Owner: Neil & Maria Empson
- Winemaker: Neil Empson with the Santadi winemaking team
- Established: 1996
- Location: Santadi
- Province: Cagliari