Sella & Mosca, a new sprint in Alghero

The Sardinian winery chose the Giro to announce its latest ventures. Led by the new owners, Terra Moretti

19-05-2017

The hundredth Giro d'Italia started in Alghero (Sassari). At the top, winery Sella & Mosca, which Campari sold to Vittorio Moretti in November 2016

«If you want to win, run alone. If you want to go far, run together with others».

Giovanni Pinna, oenologist from Cantine Sella & Mosca for almost 18 years, mentioned this proverb, which perfectly depicts the spirit of the people at the winery, recently bought by Terra Moretti Distribuzione. Here they give voice to an important part of north-west Sardinia: 94 employees plus 120 seasonal collaborators for 650 hectares of land, 520 of which as vineyards (all being converted to organic farming), and around 5 million bottles produced each year. “Running together” means “team work” in every point of the supply chain and of the company, so as to guarantee the functioning of a very articulated and complex machine; “running together” also means “working as a system” in the territory, creating synergies that can stimulate and enrich the entire region.

Pinna’s quote, with a happy sport hint, arrives at the end of a discussion on Torbato, an ancient grape variety that arrived in Sardinia under the Catalan domination and, until very recently, was only grown by Sella & Mosca. These grapes are not easy: the skin is thin and the must is rather “turbid” (hence perhaps the name) and therefore difficult to make limpid. Only with the 2015 vintage did the grape variety “leave” the borders of the winery and, for the first time it was vinified by another producer: in the hope that the homonymous wine, now drank and appreciated mostly locally, thanks to the strength of many producers can reach many more homes in Italy and abroad, becoming an ambassador of its land of origin together with other excellences.

Sella & Mosca offers over 30 wines from autochthonous and international varieties

Sella & Mosca offers over 30 wines from autochthonous and international varieties

Yet there’s more than Torbato in the life of Sella & Mosca, in that cornucopia of essences and small fauna that forms the fertile winery, in the heart of which the cellar strategically stands out. Built in the late 19th Century following a large reclaim of land, the winery was born as a nursery, hosting plants from all around the world, together with 1671 specimens of vines, what with rootstock and grafted roots, cultivated so as to rebuild the vineyards destroyed by phylloxera. Even these days, in the imposing alley at the entrance, in the carefully looked-after gardens in front of the historic buildings, and around the lake that’s like an oasis in the middle of the vineyards, one can admire an inspiring microcosm of shapes and colours, the emblem of a love for nature, beauty and hospitality that has always characterised this place. 

A love that the Moretti family, the new owners of the Tenuta in partnership with Simest and the Nuo Capital Investiment Company fund, don’t look like they intend to give up: with a long experience in wine making and hospitality, with this new acquisition they want to bring back Sella & Mosca to tits he old splendour, recuperating many collateral activities that used to characterise the winery and managing the company’s image in every detail.

Vittorio Moretti

Vittorio Moretti

An example of this new approach was given on the 4th and 5th of May on the occasion of the start of the Giro d'Italia, which took place in Alghero and had Sella & Mosca participate with an aperitif in the winery’s gardens and a gala dinner in the old cellar, with the elegant touch of Sardinian stylist Antonio Marras: on this occasion we experimented the genuine passion that patron Vittorio, his wife Mariella and daughters CarmenFrancesca and Valentina, closely connected in life and in work, have for hospitality.

All this without neglecting the main mission: making good wine. Not just Torbato, but also Vermentino, Cannonau, Nasco, Monica, Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc: autochthonous and international grape varieties that, in the new interpretation, make over 30 different wines. Of the many tasted on this occasion, the most characteristics and representative are perhaps Marchese di Villamarina 2010, a charming and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon, with mature fruits embracing delicate vegetal notes and lots of soft roundness; Terre Bianche "Cuvée 161" 2011, a murky and profound Torbato, with its dark citrus notes and elegant nuances of hydrocarbon and flint; finally Anghelu Ruju 1979, a fortified Cannonau, a monument to the sweetness of dates, caramelised figs and carob, with nuances of myrtle and walnut hull, still tenaciously electric and alive.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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Freewheeling thoughts and notes by Lisa Foletti, visiting restaurants in Italy and around the world