La Cantina di Santadi, heir to a more than 2,600-year-old winemaking legacy

A few hundred meters from the Santadi Winery is the hill of Pani Loriga, frequented by local people since the 4th millennium B.C. At the end of the 7th century B.C., a community of Sardinian-Phoenicians settled on the high ground and started exploiting the mineral and agro-
pastoral resources of the surrounding area. In the fifth century B.C., Pani Loriga was affected by an impressive building effort by Carthage, which had extended its control over Sardinia and its local communities. The resulting settlement provided direct access to an area considered strategically important for its wealth of raw materials and food commodities. Since 2005, the National Research Council (NRC) has carried out archaeological excavations that the area was inhabited between the end of the 6th and the first half of about the 4th century B.C. Thereafter, the settlement was abandoned, and the hill was used only for production activities and ritual purposes. The excavations also led to the discovery of an extraordinarily large number of transport amphorae, evidence of the intensive exploitation of the territory-even for specialized crops such as vines and olives implemented most likely through day-to-day labor movements from the center to the countryside. However, there is also evidence of direct occupation of the territory around the Pani Loriga hill, as indicated by the first results of the Landscape Archaeology of South-

West Sardinia (LASS) project, conducted by Florida State University and CNR, working in synergy. The research conducted in Pani Loriga confirms that the vocation of the Nicola Santadese territory has been going on for over 2,600 years. Undoubtedly, Cantina di Santadi has been playing a leading role in the socio-economic rebirth of the territory over the last sixty years, being one of the largest cooperatives in Sardinia. The history of Sardinian wine is one of the most beautiful chapters in the island’s evolution, showcasing the ability to transform an artisan product into high-quality production exported all over the world. The local wine has become not only a source of pride for the proud Sardinian people but also gives the younger generation a chance to stay in their homeland, following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.

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