In 2002, an extraordinary team of winemakers became convinced of an ideal connection between the land and climate of Sardinia and the Carignano grape. In that year, Agricola Punica was founded in the southwest region of the island and today produces two iconic wines based on this grape: Barrua and Montessu.
Agricola Punica is an undertaking between world renowned names in the winemaking business: Sardinian winery Cantina Sociale di Santadi, Santadi president Antonello Pilloni, and legendary Tuscan consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis.
Sardinia is an extraordinary land with a history of viticulture that reaches back 5,000 years, earning it the ancient name insuli vini (wine island). From the dusty roads to the tiny towns separated by miles of landscape to the 7,000 prehistoric stone structures known as nuraghi (which date back 3,500 years) scattered all over the island, much of Sardinia seems lost in history. For many years, the winemaking in this region focused on bulk production, but over the past 30 years many Sardinian producers have lowered yields and begun producing barrel-aged wines.
As the Sardinian focus began to shift to fine wine production, Tachis visited the island for the first time and became convinced of Sardinia’s outstanding winemaking potential. In the mid-1980s, he began to consult for the Sardinian regional wine consortium and eventually, more specifically, for Cantina Sociale di Santadi. It was during this time that he first began thinking about a joint venture.
In 2002, Agricola Punica purchased a 370-acre estate divided between two vineyard sites, Barrua and Narcao, located in Sardinia’s southwest, in an area known as Sulcis Meridionale. Though the vineyards lie within the DOC of Carignano del Sulcis, the wine falls under the IGT of Isola dei Nuraghi, which refers to the island’s ancient stone structures. The first vintage of Barrua was 2002; Montessu was first produced in 2005.