Innovators and pioneers

The names of Pojer & Sandri have long been viewed as pioneers in the Italian wine industry. 

 

Since we started in 1975, we focused on the research and innovation in elevating the quality of our table wines, sparkling wines, dessert wines and distilled spirits.

From a time when most Trentino grape growers and wine producers were swimming in a sea of pale-colored, weak 'red' wine made from the Schiava grape, Pojer & Sandri swam in a different direction. 
Though most neighbors were growing Schiava grapes to sell to Alto Adige wineries for the production of the "Lago di Caldaro" appellation wine,  Mario Pojer and Fiorentino Sandri focused on 3 wines which were regarded as quite revolutionary: 

·      Schiava vinified in a rose' instead of as a feeble, weak red wine.

·      "Vin de Molini," a special rose'-styled wine made of the Rotberger (a Geisenheim cross of Schiava and Riesling Renano).                                                                  
These were quite different from the typical Lago di Caldaro wines of that era.  The Pojer & Sandri wines were fresh, crisp, fragrantly aromatic and low in alcohol...most wines of that time were 'dead,' often being oxidized, flat, sweet and 'hot' on the palate.

·       The 3rd wine was their Müller Thurgau, a fresh, light, aromatic dry white, produced taking a page from Collio winemakers (such as Schiopetto, Jermann & Gravner) in Northeast Italy and employing  modern German technology for vinification.

A few years later, Pojer e Sandri resuscitated an old vineyard of Nosiola vines, a variety pioneered a few years earlier by vignaiolo Giuseppe Fanti, the "father" of the first Nosiola wine (1972 was Fanti's first commercial vintage).


Pojer e Sandri was the first in Italy to produce Chardonnay (1979) and the winery was the first to produce Sauvignon Blanc in the Trentino region.

 

The 1985 vintage marked the beginning of our famous "Essenzia," a ground-breaking sweet wine made in a "Nordic" style:  low in alcohol (9% - 10 %) and with sugar-balancing, crisp acidity.


Not content to rest on their laurels, Pojer e Sandri began exploring the realm of bottle-fermented sparkling wine. 
In 1978, the initial experimental batches were vinified and some years later, the first commercial bubbly, our Cuvée ’83 – ’84, came to market.  This was made from a stainless steel-fermented base wine which was then barrel aged.  The wine was bone dry, as the sparkling wine is offered "pas dose" (without a sweetening dosage).

In 1980, Pojer e Sandri began employing French oak cooperage for the maturation of some innovative blended wines.  As most wines in the region were single varietal bottlings, we began making our two "Faye" (remember, we're situated in the village of Faedo) wines.  The white is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco, the red a unique mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Lagrein.  Later we added the "Besler" blends, the "Biank" (Pinot Bianco, Riesling Renano, Sauvignon, Incrocio Manzoni and Kerner) and the "Ross" (comprised of Pinot Nero, the Austrian variety called Zweigelt, Franconia, Negrara Trentina and the equally unknown Gropello della Val di Non).

 

The latest family member is "Merlino," born in 2004.  It's a magical dessert wine made from the Lagrein grape which has its fermentation stopped by the addition of our “Divino” brandy.   This proprietary spirit, “Divino,” is distilled from two other local grape varieties, Schiava and Lagarino and it is the first of this type made in Italy.

We've made enormous strides and continue to explore new ways to innovate and improve the quality of our wines. 


We have designed machinery for the winery: 
a de-stemmer which separates the grapes from a bunch, a hydraulic device to punch-down the skins of red grapes and an apparatus to remove grape seeds from the must, enhancing the quality by allowing us to better manage the tannins and anthocyanins.  In 2002 we came up with a enhancement for our white wine presses, allowing for an oxygen-free environment employing inert CO2 gas.

We're continuing to innovate and have collaborated with the Raggizzini company in Faenza (they're the leading producer of peristaltic pumps) to have a wine industry-specific feeder for this machine. 
Working in concert with our famous local wine school, the Institute of San Michele, we're refining our equipment to minimize oxidation.  This work helps retain greater natural character of the grapes and utilizes the natural antioxidants in the fruit so we can minimize the use of added antioxidants such as sulfites and ascorbic acid.

We've found an additional benefit of this...the lack of oxidized polyphenols translates to naturally smoother, increasingly harmonious wines.

 

We've attracted the interested of researchers at the University of Bordeaux, Monash University in Australia and California's U.C. Davis.  The Bucher-Vaslin company sells this technological advancement under its patented "Inertys" brand name.


Now Pojer e Sandri is currently working on a protocol to "wash" the just-picked grapes in order to improve the quality of our fermentations.  
Stay tuned!

 

 

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