Located in the municipality of Paternopoli, in the heart of the Taurasi DOCG area, the estate consists of 21 hectares divided into eight plots. Each one is, to a certain extent, treated like a separate vineyard because of the differences in the age of the vines, grape variety, soil type, etc. The combination of these many facets enable us to create wines with great elegance and complexity.
What makes Le Masciare fairly unique in Irpinia is that we are not an inherited business, but built from the ground up by the current owners, which enables us to avoid all legacy issues of having suboptimal vineyards, simply because they have been inherited from previous generations. Instead, we have been able to only select vineyards we are fully convinced of, with older vines (up to 70 years old) and different soil types, varying from finely textured with clay to more coarsely textured with gravel and stone, that constitute a veritable patchwork.
We have decided to focus our vineyards in three prime locations for our three primary grape varieties; aglianico, fiano and greco.
For the aglianico grape all our vineyards are in the hills surrounding Paternopoli, at an altitude of between 490mt and 560mt a.s.l. This is the heart of the Taurasi DOCG area, where the highest expression of the aglianico grape can be found.
With these different vineyard locations, and through the selection of the most appropriate grape variety for each different terroir, the most is made of the many microclimates in Irpinia. Each plot has its own specific profile due to the age of the vines, surface area, type of soil, training system and grape variety. Therefore, it only follows that the wine produced from each plot has its own profile too, which we aim to vinify separately as much as possible, only to be blended together at a later stage into wines that are both structured and elegant.
Located to the north of Paternopoli, these are our youngest aglianico vineyards, planted in 2001 and located directly adjacent to our wine cellar. This area is divided into 3 plots, totalling 4 hectares. Its soil is the most sandy of all our vineyards, mixed with large rocks, and with some clay. The origin of this sand is its location in the heart of an ancient volcano. Exposition is south-west, and a spurred cordon training system is used here.
These are the oldest aglianico vineyards in our estate, planted in 1948, and divided into two lots. They are located on the west side of Paternopoli. The first lot uses the radial (‘raggiera’) training system, and contains some much older plants (150-200 years). The second adjacent lot uses the guyot training system. The soil is similar to the Barbassano vineyard, but with more rocks. The total size of these two vineyards is 1.2 hectares, and the yield is particularly low, mostly due to the considerable age of the plants. Only in the very best years we make a Taurasi cuvée from these two plots, yielding a Taurasi of great complexity and longevity.
This is a small vineyard of less than an hectare with plants from 1957, on top of a hill on the south side of Paternopoli, and are our the highest aglianico vineyards at some 560mt a.s.l. This windy vineyard uses a mixed radial (‘raggiera’) and guyot training system. This Taurasi cuvée is the most elegant of the three Taurasi’s we produce, and like the Pian del Bosco cuvée is only made in select years. This soil tends more towards clay.
This is a single vineyard in the hills surrounding the small town of Lapio. This location confers a highly recognizable character to our Fiano: combining a medium minerality with a floral aromaticity, leading to a highly enjoyable and characteristic Fiano di Avellino. The plants have been planted in 2005, and the vineyard is in an isolated location surrounded on all sides by woods. The vineyard has been certified organically since 2016 with an exposure east-west and a guyot (espalier) training system.
This is a vineyard composed of two adjacent plots located on top of a hill some 2km from the small town of Chianchetelle. It is our highest vineyard, at some 620mt above sea level, and planted in 1987 using the radial or ‘raggiera’ training system. Given its location on top of a hill and the radial training system its exposure is irrelevant; it has the maximum amount of sunshine year round. The significant altitude does require additional green harvesting and/or defoliating to ensure full ripeness of the grapes, but has the substantial benefit of avoiding humidity problems caused by fog that vineyards at lower altitudes in the area tend to have. This enables us to grow healthy fruit up to the moment of the harvest. The soil is rich in mineral sediments, particularly tuff stone, from which the DOCG denomination ‘Greco di Tufo’ takes its name.