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Here the new home of Masseto, Italy’s iconic wine in the world, a “physical” tribute to its history

Excavated from the blue clay on which the vineyard stands, “it celebrates the great story of a wine created by chance,” says the CEO Giovanni Geddes

For Masseto, the iconic wine of Italy in the world, a new page of history starts, already great. Dug into the depths of the ancient blue clay on which the vineyard stands, the new cellar of the great Bolgheri red wine has officially opened its doors (which will not, however, be opened to the public, ed.), “a “physical” and symbolic tribute to the history and rapid evolution of the estate, from the intuition of the hidden potential of a particular vineyard to the affirmation of a wine of international renown”, signed by the study ZitoMori. A winery that “pays tribute to the past, present, and future of Masseto, celebrating the incredible story of a wine produced almost by chance,” said the CEO of Masseto, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja.
“We have spent years planning and building the ideal “house” for the Masseto. A place that is the result of thirty years of experience, where every detail has been carefully studied to satisfy the precise requirements of our team of oenologists”. In the underground building, which recalls the sacred temples of antiquity, the technological impact has been reduced. “Here nothing lacks or exceeds the necessary, “said Axel Heinz, director of Masseto, stressing that the winemaking style of the estate, a combination of austerity, modernity, and tradition, will remain rigorously unchanged. “Making wine means for us limiting processes, reducing procedures, in line with the philosophy “less is more””.
Designed by architects Hikaru Mori and Maurizio Zito of the famous ZitoMori studio, already a new and ideal temple of wine, the building “expresses and reinforces the identity of the Masseto, at the same time discreet and powerful. On the surface, only the low profile of the grape reception area and the old Masseto house, now restored, emerge from the hill. Designed to accommodate a production cycle and protected by the natural insulating properties of blue clay, the winery is in perfect symbiosis with the surrounding hills and vineyards”.
The architects called their underground design concept “la cava”. “To tell the story of the commitment needed to produce this wine, we decided to create a series of spaces not by building them, but by digging them into the monolithic body of the hill. The diversity of the volumes, the internal heights, and the multi-story layout recall the structure of a gold mine, which follows the strands of precious metal up to the central deposit,” explained Japanese-born architect Hikaru Mori. The architectural frame of the cellar was made of concrete. Inside, clear glass and steel lines predominate, balanced by long rows of oak barrels. The large rough and carved surfaces are the symbol of the extraction process from which the work was created, while the openings in the walls allow you to glimpse the vertical profiles of the blue clay that characterizes the soil of this vineyard. The heart of the structure is occupied by the prestigious wine cellar of the estate, the Caveau Masseto. Here, in perfect condition, are stored bottles of each vintage since 1986, each supported by its own “cradle” in stainless steel. The 2018 vintage was the first to be vinified in this winery by the new enologist from Masseto, Eleonora Marconi. “The Masseto, fruit of the eponymous hill of the Tuscan coast, not far from Bolgheri, is a wine born almost by chance,” explains the company, controlled by the Frescobaldi family. “The potential of the slope on which the vineyard stands today was only realized in the 1980s, when, despite all predictions, advice and local tradition, the first vines were planted. That courage has been rewarded. The blue clay, the fresh coastal breezes and the excellent refraction of light guaranteed by the Tyrrhenian Sea contribute to the mix of power, elegance, and complexity that distinguishes the wine of the Estate. The Masseto has been internationally acclaimed since its foundation in 1986”.

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