Masciarelli Wine Tasting in Abruzzo

When planning our trip to Italy, there was little I wanted to do, other than spend time playing with our nephews and tasting Italian wine, not at the same time, of course (except for those times we had delicious, homemade wine with lunch, because when in Italy. . .) We weren’t sure what day trips we wanted to do from their home near Ascoli Piceno, and we talked about visiting a variety of areas, including Perugia and Abruzzo. When we realized that Abruzzo was much closer and would get us home in time for after-school snacks and fun with the kids, I instantly thought of the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo from Masciarelli, a wine that we first discovered at a cocktail class at The Urban Grape.

I was having a hard time making a tasting appointment with the time difference and all, but after a quick email to The Urban Grape, was on my way to being set up for a tasting and tour at Masciarelli’s winery and their hotel, Castello di Semivicoli.

After a couple of hours of driving through the Italian countryside up and down many hills, we found Castello di Semivicoli and escaped the rain inside its toasty, historic walls.

We were greeted warmly and shown around the olive oil making room, the old barrel room, and the kitchen, which the Masciarelli family left as it was found when they bought the property. It’s perfectly preserved and demonstrates what an Italian kitchen would have looked like in the past, an open fire always on for cooking and warming the home. Now, hotel guests eat breakfast in this area,

Castello di Semivicoli

It was also where we enjoyed the perfect cappuccinos while waiting for our tasting. With rain pelting the windows, this room and the coffee, not to mention the hospitality, were beyond warm and welcoming.

perfect cappuccino

Castello di Semivicoli

One of the most fun parts of our tour was checking out the hotel’s master suite, the penthouse of the building with 360 degree views to the surrounding hills of Abruzzo. The room featured a huge soaking tub, dining table, and beautiful, minimalist design. Oh and 360 degree views of the Abruzzo countryside.

Abruzzo Hotel

Master Suite - Castello di Semivicoli

Master Suite - Castello di Semivicoli

After our tour, we got down to the business of tasting beautiful, delicious, inspired wines from Masciarelli and their other label, Valori, along with fresh olive oil, cheese, and meat. Pure heaven.

Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Masciarelli wine tasting

In total, we tasted 20 wines, and I found myself making tons of notes and wishing I had a bigger suitcase and the ability to transport large quantities of wine back to the US. I won’t get into my tasting notes for every single one of the wines, but if you have questions, do feel free to email me.

Masciarelli wine tasting

The following were my favorites:

  • Classic Line – Trebbiano d’Abruzzo – the first wine we ever tried from Masciarelli is still a favorite. I am in love with the fruit-forward peach flavors as well as the crisp acidity. This wine is an amazing value and is usually available at The Urban Grape.
  • Villa Gemma Bianco – this blend of 80% Trebbiano d ‘Abruzzo ,15% Cococciola, and 5% Chardonnay was fun, not only because I never tried Cococciola before, but because this wine is incredible. The mouthfeel is creamy, and the wine itself is incredibly fragrant, offering floral notes along with apple and vanilla. Simply gorgeous.
  • Marina Cvetic Chardonnay – Barrel aged in new French oak, this Chardonnay is NOT oaky. The oak imparts flavors of toasted nuts and vanilla, but floral notes and nice acid balances it all out.  (Marina Cvetic is the wife of the late founder of Masciarelli, Gianni Masciarelli, and is today the main representative of the winery.
  • Valori Cerasuolo 2011 – Cerasuolo means “cherry red” in Italian, and this lightly-colored wine definitely packs a cherry punch on the palate. This wine is perfect for summer but could also serve as a nice wintry rosé; it has the body to stand up to the season.
  • Classic Line – Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – again, you can not go wrong with the quality for price point. This deep red wine exhibits lots of dark berry flavors, a nice kick of pepper, and is luscious and smooth with a lovely long finish.
  • Valori Vigna Sant’Angelo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – this wine has a bunch of stars next to it on my tasting sheet, and for good reason. It’s rich, velvety, smooth, with very noticeable flavors of stewed blackberries and cherries. It’s simply stunning.

Masciarelli wine tasting

We spent a good deal of time tasting and talking, and then our gracious host, Giulia, braved the rain to take us about eight kilometers down the road to tour the place where the magic happens, the Masciarelli winery.

Masciarelli winery

Surrounded by more beautiful hills and valleys, Masciarelli’s winery is a sight to be seen. The winemaking, storing, and ageing processes are all alive and well, and it was interesting to see exactly the conditions each of the wines is made in.

Masciarelli winery

For example, this room is kept at a certain humidity level by the limestone in the cages behind the barrel. The mountain behind the wall is also limestone, allowing the room to have naturally regulated temperature and humidity for optimum storage.

barrel room

Tasting wine at a winery in Italy was such a treat, and it was fun to compare and contrast with other wines we tried in the region. Abruzzo and Marche, though lesser known than places like Tuscany, are making some fabulous wines at extremely good values. Next time you are looking for a bottle, grab a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

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Tags: Abruzzo, Italy, Masciarelli, wine, wine tasting

  1. Erica @ In and Around Town’s avatar

    Such a great recap of your experience. Sounds absolutely amazing! I will definitely keep my eye out for this wine the next time I am looking around. Nick is a huge fan of the Italian wines for sure.


  2. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    What a fun trip!! I’ll keep that bottle in mind. I remember going to a wine tasting in Tuscany and it was incredible.


  3. Lin @ BeantownEats’s avatar

    I remember you telling me about this, and we still have one or two bottles at home! How nice of UG to help you out :)


  4. Megan’s avatar

    I am so, so jealous. I seriously want to go back to Italy right now. That was so smart to set up tours through Urban Grape. We didn’t realize until we were on the road that we were going through wineries… so we didn’t have appointments for any.. next time!


  5. Michelle Collins’s avatar

    I’m always looking for new, affordable wines – I’ll have to look for this!


  6. Eric’s avatar

    I miss Italy so much – despite the rough weather – this was a really warm and wonderful experience. Every one was so kind to us, and we really had a terrific time. I cannot wait to go back.


  7. Noel’s avatar

    Villa Gemma Bianco and Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo are my two favourite Masciarelli wines.

    I envy your opportunity to take a tour and enjoy the tasting.

    I was introduced to the Marina Cvetic Montepulciano d’Abruzzo in a local restaurant in Loreto Aprutino (PE) and whenever we have cause to celebrate a special occasion it is our wine of choice.

    Thanks for the great article.


  8. Jennifer Martin (Vino Travels)’s avatar

    Sounds like a great experience. It’s always wonderful to be able to visit the wineries directly and taste right from the source. There’s nothing like it.


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