Shardana Winery

Neil and Maria Empson founded Shardana with the help of Santadi’s winemaking team. Santadi’s location near the sea provides for an outstanding microclimate and terroir for the vineyards and produces grapes with fascinating complexity.

Points of Differentiation

  • Luscious bold flavors
  • Grown in one of the hottest regions of Italy
  • A taste of Sicily
  • Some vines are over 100 years old
  • Extremely low vine yields resulting in highly concentrated flavors
  • Original pre-Phylloxera rootstock

The History

Shardana is Neil and Maria Empson’s tribute to beautiful Sardinia: a full-bodied, voluptuous red from indigenous, pre-phylloxera, Carignano grapes, with a small percentage of Shiraz.

There was great buzz about this wine, long before its release, as the Empsons wanted perfection, and were willing to wait for it. The style was inspired by Sulcis’ exceptional terroir and reflects the region’s power-packed, layered complexity, the depth of its seas, and the spicy fragrance of seafaring winds. Their patience and dedication were rewarded in June 1999 when the wine was finally released, and they found the wine to be everything they dreamed it would be. Shardana captured the spirit of the Mediterranean island in all its captivating complexity, fully representing the gorgeous terroir.

The Terroir

The grapes for this wine grow in Santadi’s waterside vineyards where the soil is composed largely of sand. The sand protects the vines from Phylloxera, allowing them to remain on their original rootstock.

Sulcis includes some of the hottest, driest, and wildest areas on the island, which provides the perfect foundation for high-quality viticulture, and an ideal home for Carignano.


Wine exported to

Bermuda, USA, Canada, Singapore, Japan

Most recent awards

  • 2019 | Wine Enthusiast90
  • 2013 | Vinous92
  • 2012 | Wine Spectator90
  • 2012 | Wine Advocate91
  • 2009 | James Suckling92
Grape Varieties:

85% Carignano, 15% Shiraz

Fermentation container:

Stainless steel

Length of alcoholic fermentation:

14 days

Type of yeast:


Fermentation temperature:

24-26 °C (75,2-78,8 °F)

Maceration technique:


Length of maceration:

14 days

Malolactic fermentation:


Aging containers:


Container size:

225 L

Container age:

Second use

Type of oak:

French bay oak

Aging before bottling:

10-12 months

Aging in bottle:

12 months


Natural Cork

Vineyard location:

Lower Sulcis, Sardinia

Soil composition:

Calcareous sand

Vine training:

Spurred Cordon

Time of harvest:

Mid-September to mid-October

First vintage of this wine:


Total yearly production (in bottles):

15,000 bottles

Tasting notes:

Very intense, dark, deep ruby red; ample and complex nose of black cherry fruit, leather and game laced with subtle spice, vanilla, black pepper, dried flowers; palate shows ripe cherries, well integrated oak and spices, smooth, silky texture and layered complexity

Serving temperature:

Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F).


15,5 % vol


Riccardo Curreli - Consultant: Giorgio Marone

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