By Lauren Jade Hill
It’s in the verdant hills of Valdobbiadene that Villa Sandi lies, with ancient underground wine cellars and a Palladian-style villa amid vines that thrive in the region’s fertile soil. This is where the Moretti Polegato family established Villa Sandi winery four generations ago – a family legacy they proudly continue to this day.
Owing to its privileged setting, Villa Sandi is celebrated most for its Prosecco, but the estate also produces a series of other premium wines, from Merlot and Raboso to Manzoni Bianco, alongside distilled wines such as Grappa Moscato. Now Villa Sandi is considered a landmark in the wine world for the quality of the wine it produces in a one-of-a-kind setting.
Diva Moretti Polegato represents the fourth generation of Villa Sandi. “My great grandfather began producing and selling wine to just a few people in the region,” she explains, “Then he went on to buy the historic villa and the family started to buy more land. The vineyards became bigger, and now we own around 165 hectares and export our wine to 92 countries. The winery continues to grow every year.” Proving its success, Villa Sandi continually wins awards for the wines within its portfolio.
“Valdobbiadene is at the heart of the Prosecco producing region,” Diva continues, “And we’ve been here since Prosecco wasn’t yet known internationally. I grew up while the winery was growing, so my parents would come home every day and talk about the land they were buying and what grapes they were cultivating. But throughout this time my father always said it was the quality of our Prosecco, not the quantity, that was most important. That is what makes Villa Sandi different.”
Now Diva commits her time to introducing people around the world to the family’s wine with the ultimate goal that one day people will ask for a glass of Villa Sandi rather than simply asking for a glass of Prosecco. “Since people have started understanding Prosecco more,” she says, “they’re now beginning to recognize different brands; now people are looking for one that’s better quality.”
Asked to name her favorite, Diva chooses the multi-award-winning Cartizze Vigna La Rivetta. “The production of this wine is very small at around 18,000 bottles per year,” she explains, “and these are sent around the world. It really is a special wine.”
On visiting the Villa Sandi estate, people have the opportunity to see how the grapes here are grown with a respect for the environment and gain insight into each stage of the wine-making process. They can then choose to stay on the estate at Locanda Sandi, Villa Sandi’s own six-room boutique hotel. Within the hotel’s dining room and out on the summer terrace, guests can then while away an evening tucking into the region’s traditional dishes, such as homemade risotto with red wine and local cheese, along with wines from the estate, before rising early the following morning to stroll between the vines.