Masseto is a rare vineyard wine located in the heart of Tuscany and has birthed some remarkable wineries found in Bordeaux and Burgundy. Before this winery came into being, Masseto only produced wines in the cellars of Bolgheri, which was home to the Florentine Frescobaldi family. The story of Masseto is quite exciting and is probably the reason why it’s popular all over the world to date. Below are some riveting facts about the Masseto wine that are bound to knock your socks off;
History of Masseto wines
During Masseto’s birth in 1981, winemakers faced several challenges in production among them being grape varieties and wine production regulations. It is from this that Lodovico Antinori took the risk to hop onto this bandwagon and created Ornalleia and after the Masseto wines were born. These wines quickly became Italy’s most celebrated wine brands to date.
Why the Name ‘Masseto’
The name “masso” means rock in Italy. Masseto’s name has an interesting story behind it. History has it that a renowned American oenologist named Andre Tchelistcheff is the man behind the name. 1n the ’80s, Andre identified the terroir of the Masseto hill as a potential area for growing Merlot, which would later see Masseto’s success. The Masseto hill is covered with clay hard as rocks, hence Masseto.
Evolution of the Wine
For some time, Masseto lived in the shadow of Ornellaia, which emerged in 1985. Nevertheless, Masseto has enjoyed the same level of acclaim as Ornellaia. In 1986, the vineyard released its first vintage wine which put Masseto wines on the map. After that, the brand has relentlessly continued to produce reputable products, which have cemented its legacy since. An intriguing thing to note is that in 1999, Lodovico, the founder of Masseto sold some of Ornellaia shares to Robert Mondavi winery. Mondavi winery, later on, bought the rest of the shares and sold half to the Frescobaldi family. Unfortunately, the Mondavi empire collapsed and Frescobaldi’s gained full ownership of Ornellaia by buying the remaining shares in 2005. From then to date, Frescobaldi has been treating Ornellaia Masseto as a separate entity. Masseto has created remarkable vintages since 2000, with some of them winning awards in the wine-making space. A good example is the Masseto 2001 vintage that scored a perfect 100 points.
The Wine’s Portfolio
Masseto winery showcases some of the best wines with prices to match. Wines such as Masseto Toscana IGT boast a bold and meticulously structured style. Masseto has a second wine known as “Massetino” that debuted in 2019, the same year the Masseto 2017 vintage debuted. It is almost impossible to get hold of these wines since Masseto produces around 30,000 bottles each year. Even if you are lucky to get hold of some, you must be financially prepared to spend a significant amount of cash. Each bottle costs around 630 euros, and they sell within weeks.
Before Masseto got its new home in 2019, it vinified and aged its wine in Ornellaia. Today Masseto sits on its 27,000 square foot underground facility that boasts top-notch vinification systems. Not to mention the wine caveau that features each vintage since 1986. This new home saw the 2018 vintage made in its winery. A quick one for wine enthusiasts out there. To maintain its reputation in the new home, Masseto has focused its effort on organic farming since 2012. Experts have also done soil tests to help the firm adapt to the new environment.