Native Grapes of the Venetian Regions
The primary objective of the Masi Technical Group is the restoration and modernisation of the viticultural and oenological heritage of the Venezie. In fact, in its production, Masi favours the use of native Venetian grape varieties over international ones.
The Veneto region in general and Verona, in particular, has a particularly rich heritage of grape varieties. Over time, however, only three of these have played an important role in the production of Valpolicella’s most typical wines: Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara.
The senior variety, also because of its presence as part of the blend for Amarone and other Veronese reds, Corvina provides body, nose, delicate aromas, purple-red colour and characteristic hints of ripe cherries. Appassimento, with a light attack of noble rot, enriches its glycerine content and enhances the aromas of marasca cherries, cherries preserved in spirit and hazelnuts.
Rondinella provides tannic structure, colour and a refined bouquet. Appassimento deepens the colour and softens the tannins.
Molinara gives the wine freshness, acidity and strong spiciness. The latter is accentuated by appassimento, which also adds hints of black pepper.
In recent years, however, a fourth variety has come to the fore, thanks to forward-looking viticultural experimentation by the Masi Technical Group that has seen the planting and testing of some 48 native grape varieties, some formerly forgotten. The grape that emerged as being of particular interest was Oseleta, which is one of Verona’s most ancient varieties and was rediscovered by Masi in the Eighties. The vine produces small, compact bunches with a high content of polyphenols and tannins. Adding Oseleta, gives the wine extraordinary complexity, structure, colour, tannin content and concentration.
Pinot Grigio, Refosco, Garganega, Glera, Marzemino e Teroldego are the other native varieties that are principally used in producing Masi wines.