Meet the Producer:
, Director at Pala
Fabio, tell us about the origins of your winery, and what it has become today.
The wine company Pala was estabilished in 1950 when Salvatore Pala, father of the present owner Mario, made the first wine from the grapes he originally used to sell to other wine producers. Since then, going through the 70s and 80s with a quantity production sold mainly in bulk to other producers, the company has evolved thanks to his son Mario, directing both the production and the vineyard management towards the quality, with a product line now mostly thought for the HoReCa sector all over the world.
What exactly is your role in the company?
In a small wine company like ours, one can be director of marketing, sales, finance, export, sometimes even a winemaker and a sommelier too... let's simply say I do not work in the vineyard.
Today we hear more and more often about tradition, terroir, sustainability, but at the same time also technology and innovation. So what are your plans in this direction?
We work for the enhancement of the terroirs, therefore we dream about a Serdiana DOC, which is our town and it is also the second largest vineyard surface in Sardinia. All our projects go in this direction! For us, innovating in wine means enhancing the characteristics of the territory in a sustainable way.
Which wine of your production would a person who doesn’t understand wine, and why?
If they are hopeless, I would recommend our Assoluto, which is a passito made from Nasco grapes, as it is difficult not to like a sweet wine. But if, au contraire, there is some hope, then Essentija, our Bovale in purity, one of those wines for which you can always hear people say: "oh, but that's good!"
What is the typical consumer of your wines, to whom is your wine addressed?
A world traveler, a little trendy but also a food lover with a keen eye for territorial wines produced by small wineries like ours.
Which is the positioning of your winery in the national and international markets? And what are your target markets?
As a Sardinian company, we have a medium to high positioning both in the national and also the international market, particurarly where for some products we are actually considered as benchmarks: USA, Australia, UK and Japan.
All the producers have at least one wine of their own production to which they are very attached, which is yours?
For me, and I am not part of the Pala family, even though I have worked here for twenty years and I consider myself almost a member of the family, it is Essentija. It was my grandfather's and my father's favourite too. Mario Pala was the first who believed in this grape variety, the Bovale, investing in a different territory, far from Serdiana, that is, Terralba, which is also my hometown and the land of origin of this grape variety. This wine gives the opportunity to add a piece of heart to me too, and now I can tell the story of this wine around the world.
Would you recommend a wine from another winery?
I would recommend another Sardinian wine, and this would be Dule by Gabbas, a great Cannonau in the heart of Sardinia. But if I had to pick a wine away from my island, the list would never end...
Do you have a lifelong ambition?
Being able to see the Sardinian wines called with the name of the territory and not only with the name of the grape variety.