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Lacryma Christi (meaning tears of Christ), is Mastroberardino's most popular wine. Produced from 100% Piedirosso, the 1998 Lacryma Christi Rosso del Vesuvio is grown in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius. The result is a dark, ruby wine that is both full-bodied and distinctively smooth. Characteristic of the finest Lacryma Christi from around the village of Boscotrecase, this wine exhibits the rich scent and flavor of black cherry, plum, spice and truffle-endowed woodlands, all wrapped in soft, plush tannins. Requiring specially designed presses and fermentation equipment for his Lacryma Christi, Mastroberardino has crafted a highly extracted, complex wine, without a harsh tannic bite. Moreover, ageing for six months in small oak barrels has added an additional layer of flavor and complexity that is rare in southern Italian wines. Indeed, Carlo Mastroberardino has it right when he says: "I don't think the world needs another good producer of Cabernet or Chardonnay". It would be a crime against oenology to have let Lacryma Christi pass in antiquity.
Whether you favor "Haute Cuisine" or the savory, rustic fare of southern Italy, the 1998 Lacryma Christi Rosso de Vesuvio will enhance the experience. Recent food pairings have included a delicious pasta arabbiata, as well as a truffle-infused beef tenderloin, much to the delight of the panel. Complex, more refined dishes such as the beef tenderloin, accentuate the elegance and depth of flavor in the Lacryma, while the more highly charged pasta arabbiata brings out he latent strength and vigor in the wine. Other notable accompaniments include pork braciole, homemade lasagna, arancini and eggplant fried with garlic and olive oil. Buon Apetito!
Among the world's wine authorities, the name Mastroberardino is synonymous with the oldest and most dignified of Italy's grapes. Mastroberardino vinifies ancient varieties traditional to the area of Campania, varieties that date back to Greek and Roman times. Like faithful historians, this family has preserved the ancient vines of antiquity and sheltered them from extinction and the vagaries of trends. As master vintners, they've created from these grapes an array of wines as thoroughly contemporary as they are world-renowned. Today, as a preeminent Italian producer, Mastroberardino defines both the regional style of Campania, and the resurgence of indigenous varieties and terroir throughout Italy. The new millennium promises to broaden the Mastroberardino audience, as a growing number of enlightened wine drinkers come to appreciate a range of varietals that boast bold personalities, refreshing originality and a glorious legacy. The Greeks introduced viticulture to Campania, home of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, in the eighth century B.C. Grape growing spread throughout the peninsula, but flourished most notably in the volcanic soils of Campania. By the end of the first century B.C., the region was supplying wines to the entire Roman Empire. The writings of Horace, Virgil and Pliny the Elder attest to the fame of the region's wines. The Mastroberardino's have been making wine for nearly three centuries in the southwestern coastal region of Campania, considered by many the cradle of Italian viticulture. As far back as 1580, a Neapolitan named Berardino was recorded as a "Mastro" of wine. When the family moved inland a century and a half later, the notary unwittingly combined Mastro with Berardino to create the now legendary surname. The family built its winery in Atripalda, 40 miles east of Naples, in the 1720's. Today, Antonio Mastroberardino and his two sons lead the flourishing family business. Antonio is the winemaker and patriarch of the family, while Piero oversees operations and Carlo spearheads international marketing.
Ruin and Renewal - A Technological Renaissance The earthquakes of 1980, centered very near Atripalda, heavily damaged the winery. But from that tragedy emerged a technological renaissance. Mastroberardino seized the opportunity to refurbish the facility with state-of-the-art equipment, such as specially designed presses customized by grape variety, refrigerated stainless steel tanks for the white wines and rotary fermentation vessels for the red wines. Currently, the family is developing a groundbreaking new technology capable of analyzing a wine's aroma, known as the "electronic nose". Today, the winery is recognized as one of the most advanced in all of Europe. In recent years, the Mastroberardino's have created several consortiums that offer technical support of area farmers. The consortiums continue to raise the quality level of Campania wines, while preserving the area's winemaking culture and boosting its economy. Mastroberardino's commitment to the area has not been lost on the Italian government. Recently the winery, registered as a research body with the Ministry of Universities and Scientific Research, was awarded the project of replanting ancient vineyards in the historic city of Pompeii. Mastroberardino produces a wonderful array of white, red and rose wines which are all vinified exclusively from "archeological" vines, indigenous varieties like Fiano and Piedirosso, cultivated by the Romans some 2,000 years ago, as well as Greco and Aglianico, vines introduced by the Greeks 2,500 years ago. Yet, there are more to these varietals than their historical significance; these ancient grapes boast exciting personalities that result in equally exciting wines. Just as important in shaping the character of Mastroberardino's wines, though, is the vines' terroir - the soil, elevation, exposure and climate that nurtures these grapes.
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