Barolo Wine Star Massolino Expands into Barbaresco

The historic Serralunga winery will begin making Barbaresco from vineyards in Neive

June 5, 2019

Massolino, founded in 1896, is well-established in Italy’s Serralunga d’Alba appellation in Barolo, where the estate includes vineyards in the Vigna Rionda, Margheria and Parafada menzioni geografiche aggiuntive (MGA), recognized vineyard crus. Now it is expanding its Nebbiolo horizons. Last month, the winery entered into agreement to rent nearly 10 acres of vineyards in the Neive commune in Barbaresco.

“It’s a project that we thought of around 10 years ago, but we never found the right vineyards,” Franco Massolino, who along with his brother Roberto represents the fourth generation to run the Massolino estate, told Wine Spectator. “The very recent agreement we have made with the owner of some fantastic vineyards will allow our dream to come true,” he added. “Believe me when I say that we are thrilled at the idea that, finally, after more than a century in Barolo winemaking, we are about to start another great adventure.”

The Barbaresco vineyards, owned by Bernardino Gastaldi, include 3.5 acres in Albesani, 4.95 acres in Serraboella and 1.5 acres in Starderi.

Massolino and its team will take care of the entire production process, the management of the vineyards, vinification and aging. The latter operations will take place in a cellar owned by Massolino in Alba. Though there are a few historic exceptions, by law, Barolo and Barbaresco must be made in their respective zones of production.

Watch Franco Massolino explain his take on wine, Barolo and family in this video from the 2015 New York Wine Experience.

At this point, Massolino plans to make two wines, a single-vineyard wine and a blended Barbaresco from the other two sites. “At the present, we don’t know the potential of these three single vineyards well, so to understand which is the best to us, we will do the vinifications and aging of them separately,” said Franco. “Considering the quality we will obtain, we will decide which one will be introduced in the market as a single-vineyard and which ones will be blended to produce the Barbaresco Classico.”

Massolino has been expanding in the past decade. In 2013, the family purchased 25 acres in Monforte d’Alba, just outside the Barolo appellation, where it planted Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Riesling and Chardonnay. The new Barbaresco vineyards bring the total area of vines Massolino cultivates to 108.7 acres.

“Without a doubt, this is another very important new challenge for our family,” said Franco.

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