Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

Villa Sandi's wines and history showcase Veneto's best


(By Kate Carlisle)
Treviso, June 26 - Restorations usually take a
lot of time, a hefty amount of cash and hold surprises along the
way. And in the case of Villa Sandi, a luxurious estate that
includes a nearby restaurant opened in 2006 tucked in the heart
of Veneto, the discovery was beyond what the owners had in mind.
"We knew that there were cellars under the property that
dated back at least three centuries, but had no idea how far
they stretched and how historic they were," Giancarlo Moretti
Polegato, part of the family that owns the estate, told ANSA.
"The tunnels stretch beyond the front line with Austrian
troops and were used during World War I," Polegato said.
That same 1.5-kilometer stretch of tunnels that now
attracts 20,000 visitors a year who can go on one of the minimum
of three guided tours daily also created the perfect environment
for wine aging, thanks to natural humidity and constant
While the historic cellars are now for show, the nearby
modern production of the estate's prosecco and wines is also
open to visitors for tastings.
The Moretti Polegato family bought the 1622
Palladian-style villa some 50 years ago.
It has 20 buildings, including a church and two wineries,
is graced with typical Italian fountains, lemon trees and is
something like paradise on earth.
Palladian and Palladian-style villas, historic playthings
of wealthy Venetians escaping to the countryside over the
centuries, still line the banks of the Brenta river and dot the
verdant countryside, but often they are mere historic
attractions, beautiful but unused, becoming eye-candy for
"History here never dies. It is continuous and living. We
want our estate to be a representative of our region, keeping it
alive for all to appreciate," Polegato said.
Villa Sandi is in the area near the town of
Valdobbiadene, 60 kilometres north of Venice, the traditional
home to market-darling prosecco.
While the Moretti Polegato family produces a range of
fine aged Veneto wines and prosecco, they recently entered the
elite club of Cartizze DOCG proseccos, winning awards after the
first vintage and continuing to do so to date.
"Those of us from the Veneto are stubborn. We generally
get what we want because we work hard at it," Polegato said.
The Moretti-Polegato family purchased 1.5 hectares of
the total 106 hectares of niche glera-grape vineyards on the
verdant and steep slopes of the Cartizze hills for the
production of 12,000 bottles of Cartizze cru prosecco, that has
sometimes been called Italy's champagne.
Polegato is quick to correct that notion.
"Champagne and prosecco are two completely different
products. Of course prosecco's lower cost makes it more
accessible, but that isn't the only reason it is popular. The
taste is unique and full of aromas from this region. It is
beautiful," Polegato says.
Some 60 employees are dedicated to keeping up the estate
and promoting Villa Sandi's range of wines that includes the
exclusive 'Vigna La Rivetta' Cartizze cru.
Polegato says that the staff all feel a part of the
project and he is proud of the high number of women working in
his team.
"Almost all of my export managers are women. They know
how to communicate the heart and soul of our territory,"
Polegato said.
Though the Treviso-born entrepreneur doesn't put a price
on how much the family spent to restore and refurbish the estate
in 1970, he does say that it was in the millions of euros.
"Villa Sandi is a piece of history that encapsulates the
beauty of this is the regions history and also my
family's," said Polegato.

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