The winery opened in 1950, as a collective effort of a group of wine producers from Oliena, with the aim of enhancing the famous Cannonau wine. The culture of working and gathering together was behind the choice of establishing a winery in the form of a cooperative, to drive entrepreneurial activity but with deeper social implications and a company philosophy based on quality before profit, an approach that has distinguished the winery since its inception. The production combines ancient methods handed down through time, with the most advanced technologies.
Cannonau is a vine variety that adapts well to the different pedoclimates that characterise the many wine sites in Sardinia. Despite its widespread presence on the island, Cannonau reaches its maximum expression in the central east area, where there is the highest concentration of this vine variety. Cannonau is included in the medium-late maturation category as the grape harvest takes place between the last 10 days of September and the first 10 days of October.
The origins of Cannonau are rather uncertain. Until recently, it was believed to have been introduced to Sardinia in the 15th century, during the Spanish colonisation. The discovery of grape seeds dating back to 3,200 years ago in some Nuragic sites on the island have instead demonstrated that the ancient art of winemaking was already a characteristic of the island long before the Spanish arrival. Results of genetic investigations have identified these grape seeds to be the native origin of the Cannonau vine variety and its ancient cultivation on the island.
The vineyards are located in the town of Oliena. The most widespread farming system is the traditional method with small trees. The non-irrigated vineyards are cultivated on medium-mixture soils exposed to plenty of sun. This particular pedoclimate and the accurate management of the vineyards with the aim of maintaining the grape strength allows for low returns per stump and hectare: they rarely go beyond 60q/ha.
The Cantina of Oliena produces Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Nepente di Oliena, Corrasi, Irilai and Lanaitto. It also produces the sweet wine Dionisi, with over-ripe grapes from old vineyards in the hills around Oliena. Another speciality is Grappa di Cannonau di Nepente, aged in barrels. The Cannonau grape is not only the father of aristocratic and inimitable wines, but also a variety of grappas. The Nepente Cannonau comes from ripe, healthy grape pomaces and from the extraordinary care in the various stages of traditional distillation. This grappa is very clear and characterised by an intense, lingering and balanced aroma.