Saturday, August 22, 2015

From an Historical Aglianico Vineyard to a Glass of Wine, Vineyard Hopping with the Mastroberardino Winery, Luogosano (Av)

During the drive from Apice in the province of Benevento  to Luogosano in Avellino, the conversation went from lively  to nearly silent.  It was a late morning towards the end of July, and I was sitting shotgun next to agronomist Antonio Dente of Mastroberardino Winery  for another vineyard hopping adventure.

At first I wasn't sure what we were doing on this side of Irpinia's Aglianico country- mentally performing a quick inventory of  where the winery has their Aglianico vineyards...Montemarano, Pietrdefusi, Mirabella, Pompeii...
But Luogosano?

La vigna storica, Dente said as he turned down a narrow road.  We've spoken about it before.

The historical Aglianico vineyards that have been the roots, so to speak, of an exciting experiment that Mastroberardino Winery has been working on since 2000. Yes - spoken about it, but I had never been. Until today.

Instantly I straightened up in my seat and looked intently out the window as that narrow road became an even narrower path with vegetation closing in around us. Dente continued driving, however, and we eventually came to a small clearing where he stopped the car and parked.

After a moment or two, I exited the vehicle. I was silent as I slowly walked towards a small shed at one side of the vineyard.  A tiny vineyard, with only 30 vines towering overhead.



A vineyard immersed in in a small oak and walnut tree forest - unseen from the main road.  The vines here were around 100 years old.  Ungrafted vines that had lived through and survived phlloxera and an earthquake.



I walked around in that loose sandy soil  and my silent thoughts and emotions nearly drowned out Dente as he reviewed with me what he has told me before on previous occasions.  He reviewed with me that the cuttings from these vines were the ones used in research which resulted in the classification of two Aglianico clones named after the late Dr Antonio MastroberardinoAntonio Mastroberardino VCR 418 and  Antonio Mastroberardino VCR 421.  

He reviewed with me that cuttings from the 30 vines here were planted in nearby Mirabella Eclano at the winery's Radici Resort, back behind the clubhouse back in 2004.  



Each vine with numbers that matched up with labels in the Mirabella Eclano vineyard in order to track the progress and quality of the vines as well as keep track of their origin.  


Vineyard visit in Mirabella Eclano back in 2011.


He reviewed with me that after a few years of numerous tests and controls, only two vines passed the tests required and were chosen to be grafted onto existing piedirosso vines in Mirabella Eclano.
And in 2008, the grapes from these vines produced the first bottles of RediMore Irpinia Aglianico Doc.


Vineyard visit in Mirabella Eclano back in 2011.

Vineyard visit in Mirabella Eclano back in 2011.

Vineyard visit in Mirabella Eclano back in 2011.


 I looked up towards the vines,  bursting with vegetation, still producing bunches of grapes high high above the ground.  Bellow, willow branches tightly embracing the vines to thick wooden poles. 




 A cool breeze that disguised the fact that just 50 meters or so away, down that narrow path we'd be back on one the town's main road. Where the hot humid late July sun made it almost unbearable to be outside as our watches read nearly 1 pm in the afternoon.

Back in the car. The next stop was obvious. Radici Resort.  Time for a break, time to go over notes, and of course have a bite to eat.  Piero Mastroberardino, president of the winery, arrived about the same time and sat down and joined us.  We spoke about the day, what was going on in the vineyards, etc, etc.
And during the meal, after the appetizers and the first course, the conversation turned from lively to nearly silent.

It was time to open, pour and enjoy a glass of RediMore Irpinia Aglianico Doc 2012.




My silent thoughts and emotions nearly drowned out Mastroberardino and Dente as they continued their conversation...

Vineyard hopping 

full circle....


Further, more detailed information can be found here, in Italian, on Luciano Pignataro's Wine Blog.









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