Meet Masi Agricola at the Vancouver International Wine Fest 2016

Masi picking grapes in Valpolicella Classica region

Masi picking grapes in Valpolicella Classica region

The history of Masi is the history of a family and its vineyards in Verona, part of the Veneto. The name itself derives from the Vaio dei Masi, the small valley purchased at the end of the XVIII century by the Boscaini family, still its owners today.

Masi now has lands in the best terroir sites of the Venetian regions with vineyards and historic estates. Since 1973, Masi has collaborated with the Conti Serego Alighieri family, descendants of the poet Dante, on their estates in Valpolicella. More recently, a collaboration has been launched with the Conti Bossi Fedrigotti family, who have always made wine with passion and skill in Trentino. Both agreements are part of an ambitious project aiming to rediscover the lustre of the farming and wine making traditions of the nobility from the Venetian area.

Masi, directed today by Sandro Boscaini, is a family company dating back seven generations. Its strength lies in its highly motivated and highly skilled staff, loyal to the company, working in the disciplines of marketing, viticulture and wine making. They work together in the Technical Group, whose goal it is to preserve and bring up to date the viticultural and wine making inheritance of the Venetian regions. Masi staff are ambassadors for their homeland all over the world.

Expert winemaking, which can be found widely throughout the Venetian regions, has its roots in a traditional legacy comprising: ideal vineyards, native grapes and traditional vinification techniques.

Masi has always striven to develop these factors and has a particular expertise in the Appassimento technique, which is traditionally used in the Venetian regions to concentrate aromas and tastes in a wine. The technique produces wines which are unique and majestic, like Amarone, which Masi makes in the widest and most expertly produced range available on the international market.

What Is Amarone Wine?

Masi appassimento

Masi appassimento

Amarone is made using the ancient ‘”appassimento” (partial grape drying) method in use since Roman times. At the end of September/beginning of October the best bunches from the hillside vineyards are picked and laid out on traditional bamboo racks (“arele”) in special lofts where the natural drying processis undertaken to increase  concentration of sugar and flavours in the grapes.

From Wikipedia “…The length of the drying process is typically 120 days but varies according to producer and the quality of the harvest. The most evident consequence of this process is the loss of weight: 35 to 45% for Corvina grapes, 30 to 40% for Molinara and 27 to 40% for Rondinella. Following drying, end of January/beginning of February, the grapes are crushed and go through a dry low temperature fermentation process which can last up to 30/50 days. The reduced water content can slow down the fermentation process, increasing the risk of spoilage and potential wine faults such as high volatile acidity. After fermentation, the wine is then aged in barriques…

The Wines We Will Pour at the Festival

  • Masi Masianco 2014Masi Masianco 2014 – A white wine, made with a blend of 75% Pinot Grigio and 25% VerduzzoPinot Grigio delle Venezie is the most up-to-date Italian white wine. The richness of the perfumes and aromas of this grape cultivated at Castions di Strada, in the Friuli region, complements the structure of the native Verduzzo grape, deliberately picked slightly over-ripe and matured on plateaux. Masianco is a Supervenetian of great personality which goes well with the typical dishes of today’s cuisine: starters, fish and grilled white meats.
    Deep straw yellow with golden reflections. Elegant and fruity on the nose with intense bouquet of ripe peaches and tropical fruit, followed by delicate hints of honey and vanilla. Firm and full bodied on the palate with good balancing acidity making the wine attractive and refreshing at the same time. Decidedly long finish with intense fruitiness.  Masianco is an ideal aperitif. Perfect with hors d’oeuvres, fish, and white meats. A white wine of medium body and great personality, ideal for modern cuisine in general.
  • Masi Campofiorin 2012Masi Campofiorin 2012 – Masi’s original “Supervenetian” made with the double fermentation method: a red wine made from local Veronese grapes vinified fresh from the harvest and then re-fermented with a small percentage of semi-dried grapes of the same varieties. Made from 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Molinara. Masi double fermentation method is employed where fermented wine from the fresh grapes is re-fermented with 25% of whole semi-dried (dried for about six weeks) grapes of the same varieties.
    Bright ruby red colour. Intense aromas of berry fruit, cherries and spices such as black pepper and liquorice on the nose. Well balanced and full bodied on the palate with lively acidity. Soft, well-integrated tannins and elegant hints of berry fruit. Long and persistent finish. A very versatile wine. Perfect with many different kinds of food such as pasta with rich sauces (based on meat or mushrooms), grilled or roasted red meats, game and mature cheeses.
  • Masi Brolo Campofiorin Oro 2011Masi Brolo Campofiorin Oro 2011 – The term “Brolo” (which corresponds to the French “clos”) refers to vineyards surrounded by stone walls. The Brolo di Campofiorin vineyards are located at Valgatara di Marano (in the heart of Valpolicella Classico zone), and it is here that the grapes for the original Campofiorin were grown. Made using the Masi double fermentation technique, like Campofiorin. Bright ruby red colour. The nose has intense aromas of ripe berry fruit, sour cherries and sweet spices, such as cloves and cinnamon. On the palate the tannins are soft and silky with hints of ripe berry fruit to give intensity of flavour and attractiveness. Long and intense finish. A wine of unusual flexibility perfectly pairing many different kinds of food such as pasta with rich sauces (based on meat or mushrooms), grilled or roasted red meats, game and cheese.
  • Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2011Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2011 – The slopes facing the sunset are the best ones in Valpolicella Classica for producing high-quality Amarone. Here, where the day is longer, the vines that face Lake Garda benefit from the reflection of its light and from its mild climate. A blend of 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Molinara. Deep ruby red colour. Intense fruitiness on the nose: ripe berry fruit, cherries in spirit, marasca cherries, plums and sweet spices. Smooth and full bodied on the palate: silky tannins, ripe fruit, well-balanced acidity to harmonise it all. The finish is long and dry with the same hints of fruitiness and spiciness shown on the nose earlier. Amarone is a full-bodied wine for grilled or roasted red meats, game, and strong tasty cheeses, such as parmesan. Generally considered a wine for meditation, it is a great after-dinner wine.
  • Masi Riserva di Costasera 2009Masi Riserva di Costasera 2009 – A blend of 70% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, and 5% Molinara. The wine is deep, opaque ruby red in colour with purple edges. Intense aromas of cherries preserved in spirit on the nose with spicy hints of cocoa and coffee. Rich and full bodied on the palate with notable but elegant tannic structure and acidity to ensure freshness of taste. Hints of berry fruits and soft spices make for a long and persistent finish. Majestic, complex and elegant wine, with great ageing potential. Good with red meat, game and mature cheeses. Excellent finale to a meal.

Raffaele Boscaini will be at the Vancouver International Wine Festival and is hosting a Winemakers dinner at Glowbal on Sunday Feb 28 (http://www.vanwinefest.ca/page754.htm).  Get your tickets!

Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Some people prefer red wines. Some only like Cabernet Sauvignon.MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I met many great wine makers. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.