Founded by Abruzzo native Gianni Masciarelli in 1981, Masciarelli and its wines have become the standard-bearer for the Abruzzo region, and an inspiration to all emerging Italian wine regions.
After a summer in Champagne in his youth, Gianni Masciarelli returned home convinced that world-class wines could be produced in Abruzzo. Through tremendous vision and endless innovation, Masciarelli became one of the most admired wineries in Italy. Gianni first brought a strong focus on vineyard sites and management, which was an unusual point of focus at the time. Reducing yields, working sustainably, and bringing vineyard planting and management techniques new to the region, he increased fruit quality significantly. In the winery, he broke the mould by handling fruit with precision and gentleness, and introduced a high quality substance to extend ageing, add depth and complexity to the wines and result in better tannin integration.
The innovation that Gianni and his wife, Marina Cvetic, brought to the vineyards and the winery has been rewarded with 29 Tre Bicchieri, the prestigious award of the most renowned wine guide in Italy, and recognition as a groundbreaking and iconic winery in Italy. Above all, Gianni Masciarelli brought attention to the extraordinary region of Abruzzo, where 30 miles separate snow-capped mountains from the sea. The rich, diverse and proud culture is reflected in the wines, which have fantastically singular and seductive characteristics.
Masciarelli has become a symbol of Italian wine and the successful protagonist of modern wine production in Abruzzo. The beating heart of the winery is in San Martino sulla Marrucina, in the province of Chieti, and includes vineyards and olive groves, in all 4 provinces of Abruzzo (Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and l’Aquila).
Though Gianni Masciarelli began with just five acres in Chieti, over the years the estate has grown to nearly 900 acres, though split into over 60 parcels that do not adjoin one another. The Masciarelli approach was to buy only top vineyards, regardless of location in Abruzzo. Today, they are the only producer in Abruzzo to own land in all 4 provinces of Abruzzo (Chieti, Pescara, Teramo and l’Aquila), and their production of wines is 100% estate. Wine production – while also having a small production of extra virgin olive oil – now has 18 labels and five product lines: Classic Line, Gianni Masciarelli, Villa Gemma, Marina Cvetic, and Castello di Semivicoli.
In the constant and renewed work for innovation, but with respect for the environment and tradition, Masciarelli inaugurated, after a long restoration, Castello di Semivicoli, a seventeenth-century baronial mansion, which is now a Relais de Charme in the vineyards, a driving force of wine tourism in the area.
After Gianni Masciarelli's death in 2008, his widow Marina Cvetic forged ahead to run the winery and has mentored their daughter Miriam, who now joins her mother in managing the winery. Since Gianni's passing, Marina Cvetic’s skippering of Masciarelli Tenute Agricola has led to increased wine production, the incorporation of tourism (including the operation of a sumptuous 11 bedroom 17th century hilltop castle—Castello di Semivicoli), the creation of a diversified product line that includes aromatic salts, grappa and olive oils and the expansion of a distribution network that caters to products made by other international companies. She has received several awards for her business acumen and leadership. In mentoring her daughter Miriam for eventual management of the Mascierelli holdings, Marina draws on lessons from years spent with winemaker husband Gianni, as well as from days with her own grandfather in his vineyard. Today, the mother-daughter team continues to rock Italy's wine scene.