Veneto’s wine growers are among the most modernized in Italy. Located in northeastern Italy, Veneto is part of a highly productive wine region known as the Tre Venezie, after the ancient Venetian Republic. Today, it’s among the wealthiest and most developed regions of Italy, with one of the richest historical, artistic, cultural and culinary heritages in the country.
Veneto is smaller than Italy’s other main wine-producing regions, but still develops the most DOC titles. The region comprises over 20 DOC zones and a variety of sub-categories. The Veneto region is split into three geographical areas by topography and geology. It’s protected from the harsh northern European climate by the Alps.
The importance of winemaking in the region was initially accentuated in 1885, with the opening of the first Italian school for vine growing and oenology. Also, it was the first wine region to establish a wine-touring road, complete with information on the vines and the wines made from their grapes.
For over 200 years, the Boscainis have been vignerons and winemakers in the Valpolicella region of Veneto. The name Masi comes from “Vaio dei Masi,” the little valley purchased by the Boscaini family in the late 18th century. Rooted in Veneto’s history and tradition, Masi Agricola also manages the most historic estate in Valpolicella, which once belonged to the descendants of the legendary 14th century poet Dante, of the noble Serego Alighieri family.
Representing the sixth generation of family ownership and management, Sandro Boscaini heads Masi Agricola vineyards today. Boscaini joined Masi in 1964 after earning his degree in economics and commerce at the Università Cattolica of Milan. He took on his current role of president in 1978. Two of his most significant career milestones were his involvement in the creation of Vinitaly, one of the world’s foremost international wine and fairs, and creating the Masi Foundation in 1981 to promote the culture and tradition of the Venetian area. Under Boscaini’s direction, Masi gained fame and recognition – so much so that it was voted “European Winery of the Year” in 2004 by Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Masi is a family affair, with Boscaini’s son, Raffaele, heading the company’s marketing efforts and the Masi Technical Group; his daughter, Alessandra, is the sales director; and his brother, Bruno, is in charge of production. Through this family effort, Masi is present in 87 countries.
A variety of wine styles is produced in the Valpolicella area, but two of the standouts are Recioto, a dessert wine, and Amarone, a dry red wine. Masi Agricola specializes in producing these wines using historic winemaking techniques. Masi is the leading producer of Amarone in Veneto, with five outstanding labels that account for 20 percent of the total production in the region.