Five Minutes With… Antonella Corda

Antonella Corda catches up with us from her winery in Sardinia, sharing news on what kept the team busy during 2020, plus some unusual food matches for her "elegant and intense" Cannonau di Sardegna 2019...

1. Antonella, we haven’t seen each other for a while, how was your 2020? 

2020 was a year as complicated as it was significant. We have recently started our business and many things need to be improved, especially from an organisational point of view. Therefore, we made the best of 2020 by investing in the renovation of our 13 hectares of olive groves and bottled our first olive oil. Then we made some improvements both in the vineyard and in the cellar to make harvest time much easier. We can now also take online bookings for winery visits and tastings. Finally, we are working on the packaging of a future new product. Regarding the 2020 vintage, it was characterised by a regular vegetative cycle and optimal in terms of the quality and quantity of fruit. The harvested grapes were healthy and with an interesting skin texture.

2. What is happening in the vineyard right now?

The 2021 vintage started with a terrific frost, with temperatures dropping to -3°C. Our youngest Vermentino suffered the loss of many shoots, but then the vines resumed their growth vigorously. The initial very fast growth, in fact, was slowed down significantly by the frost. Today, the Nuragus has finished flowering and is beginning the fruit set. The Vermentino and Cannonau follow with a slightly more gradual flowering. Fingers crossed that we have good luck!

3. Let’s talk about Cannonau di Sardegna 2019, tell us a secret about this wine. 

The Cannonau 2019 is an elegant and intense wine, velvety, crunchy, balsamic, fruity and floral at the same time. I believe the secret of our Cannonau is that we have created a wine that is a true expression of the variety and the Serdiana Ussana territory where it grows. Furthermore, we preserve the natural elegance that our Cannonau displays from the vineyard through to the glass, with our very light use of French oak enhancing, rather than masking, this characteristic of the variety.

4. What is the most unexpectedly successful food pairing you have tried with the Cannonau di Sardegna 2019?

Many customers tell us about their unusual pairings with various fish, among which tuna stands out. I prefer the traditional pairing with meat. A particularly interesting match is 'cordula', a lamb offal dish that is part of the Sardinian culinary tradition. Another traditional dish of Cagliari that matches well is 'malloreddus alla Campidanese', a gnocco shaped pasta served with a sausage, tomato, and saffron sauce. The wine is also an excellent accompaniment to medium-aged cheeses, especially sheep's milk ones.

5. What is your favourite food pairing with this wine when you open a bottle at home?

Undoubtedly with roasted kid goat - one of my favorite dishes ever - but also roasted lamb or pork. Clearly I like roast meat! Cannonau also pairs very well with more delicate game bird dishes, such as quail or pigeon.