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The great Italian winemaker Masi Agricola celebrates an important anniversary: the 250e harvest in the vineyards of the Boscaini family and the 250th anniversary of the company. The vineyard is located in Vaio dei Masi, a small valley in the heart of the Italian region of Valpolicella Classica.
“It is the story of an inseparable link between a family name, Boscaini, and a place name, Vaio dei Masi,” said Masi Agricola president Sandro Boscaini.
He said the success of the wine business has been “driven by the work of those same family members who, over generations, have cultivated the vines, turned the grapes into wine and brought them to market”. Boscaini also noted how the name marked the “human and entrepreneurial path” taken by his family to reach today’s Masi Agricola.
[Check the video below for a view across the Masi estate via drone.]
Masi’s story began in 1772, when the Boscaini family harvested their first harvest from the vineyards of Vajo dei Masi. After more than 200 years of passionate viticulture, the company is still in the hands of the family, managed by the sixth and seventh generations.
Masi produces and distributes Amarone and other premium wines and is known for its expertise in the Appassimento method, practiced since Roman times. For more than 40 years, Masi has been carrying out an ambitious project for the development of historic cellars, in collaboration with:
Masi also owns the organically managed estates of Poderi del Bello Ovile in Tuscany and Masi Tupungato in Argentina.
To celebrate the 250 harvest, Masi has planned a series of initiatives dedicated to the human and entrepreneurial journey of the Boscaini family. They focus on the history of the wine producer, with a look at both the past and the future, new projects and the company’s vision.
Anniversary activities began at international trade fairs earlier this year and will culminate in the fall – concurrently with the 250th harvest – with a series of events in key markets around the world.
A major event is scheduled for October 14 in Valpolicella, at Masi Agricola’s new headquarters “Monteleone 21”. This extension of the historic cellars of the winery was designed as a multipurpose wine tourism facility for Masi Wine Experience activities and provides a gateway into the world of Amarone.
The event will be broadcast live and the Masi Foundation will take the opportunity to award the 41st Masi Prize to two symbols of Veneto Culture and Wine Culture. Special guests, representatives of the press and personalities from the Italian and international business world will join the Boscaini family, Masi’s Board of Directors and its Foundation for the celebrations.
Tasting Seven Decades of Masi Amarone
On the same date, the Groupe Technique Masi will offer international journalists an unprecedented tasting of no less than seven decades of Amarone: 17 vintages and five Amarone wines, from 1958 to 2015.
As Masi Agricola points out, it will be an opportunity to deepen the particular characteristics of this wine, with its increasingly admired production method and its organoleptic qualities, made possible by Amarone’s century-old private “wine library”. .
Changes in wine character caused by societal changes, taste preferences and technological advances will be examined, along with the effects of climate change and vintage variations, to answer the question: is Amarone the result a particular production technique or an expression of the terroir?
A special Amarone wine – produced to celebrate this important anniversary – will be presented as part of the celebrations.
According to Masi, Amarone is behind the winemaker’s ranking as a major producer, “standing out with one of the reference wines in the world”.
Called Vajo dei Masi, its grapes come from the eponymous founding vineyard, high in the hills of the Valpolicella Classica region, on the ridge between Marano and Negrar. The vintage is 1997, considered one of the best in Valpolicella over the last century.
The wine is aged for 25 years, five in wooden barrels (1998-2002) then stored in stainless steel tanks under nitrogen before bottling in May 2022. This process, Masi says, plays a part in how Vajo dei Masi retains an “unusual and unexpected freshness, even after 25 years of aging, as well as a great homogeneity between the different bottles, having not yet had oxidative aging effects”.
A limited edition of 2,500 numbered bottles is available only in Magnum format. The label – signed by Sandro Boscaini – bears the motto “Nectar Angelorum hominibus”. The angel Masi is highlighted in the style of Renaissance red chalk.
The figure of the angel also appears on the oak presentation box. The wine is accompanied by an oenologist’s notebook, with the comments of the technicians involved in each of the different stages of transformation.
The anniversary logo
The logo celebrating the 250th vintage is a tribute to the Boscaini family’s long love affair with the land and their tenacious business acumen.
The format is an elegant bronze-orange foil, with the Masi mark accompanied by the number 250 – highlighting the years from 1772 to 2022 – as well as two graphic design elements. The first is inspired by the pattern of the ceiling of Masi’s new “Monteleone 21” HQ. It aims to represent the future of the brand which will open up more to the world by welcoming visitors to this important part of the Masi Wine Experience.
The second is part of the cornucopia, another important element of the historical design of Masi wine labels, representing the heritage of the brand and its international recognition, while symbolizing the richness and abundance of the harvest.
‘Amarone and beyond. Masi: 250 years of crops, family and business’
The 250th anniversary celebrations are also marked by the release of a book written by Sandro Boscaini on the family’s history, Masi’s place in the world of wine today and his vision for the future.
Published in Italian and English by Egea, the prestigious publishing house of Bocconi University in Milan, Amarone and beyond. Masi: 250 years of crops, family and business presents the story of a successful business.
The story will also be available as an eight-episode podcast, produced in collaboration with Matteo Caccia, the author and narrator of shadow linea Radio 24 podcast.
Various members of the Boscaini family and company will feature in the podcast series, as well as Italian and foreign personalities linked to Masi. The broadcasts will be in Italian and English from September to December on the web and social networks and on international free listening platforms.
The many topics covered will include the wines of Amarone in Campofiorin and the secrets of appassimento, the cultural links of the Masi Foundation and the Masi Prize, and the Masi Wine Experience.
Piergiuseppe Torresani, Director of Export Sales and Travel Retail at Masi Agricola, spoke about the company’s journey and its ambitions for travel retail in a special column in the Moodie Davitt Report earlier this year. Click here to read his comments.
To note: In 2021, The Moodie Davitt Report launched a series of regular newsletters featuring a curated selection of stories focused on the growing wine category in travel retail and beyond, in association with Masi Agricola.
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