Colle Massari winery visit

18 Nov
Before venturing off on a bit of a day trip today, my boss Giorgio and I had to stop off at the winery first. As instructed I was dressed nicely with my little red Dorothy-like shoes. When we arrived at the winery in Bolgheri, Giorgio decides to inform me that I will need to transfer the heating ‘banana-looking’ device from tank 21 to 20. Normally a job accomplished in pairs, it turns out that someone arrived and I ended up doing it on my own instead (safety first, I changed into my gumboots!). Then I got some water and sulfur and back in my little red shoes I scaled some barrels that were going through malolactic fermentation and cleaned one of them that had bubbled over and had vinegar flies around it. Finally we were ready and Francesca, Giorgio, Stefano & Fabio from Michele Satta winery and myself drove off in the sleek and silver Mercedes Benz to Grosseto, eventually crossing into the hills to at last visit Colle Massari – the winery business that acquired Grattamacco a few years ago from Piermario Meletti-Cavallari.

The guy who owns the business now is obviously rolling in moolah and has not overlooked any expense to create a magnificent winery of the utmost materials. The barrel hall is roofed and walled in the material that one uses for the interior of sauna’s… is that pine or spruce? Of notable cellar geek importance was that the winery has the Bucher Vaslin Flavy FX 5 cross flow, which can go through their standard-sized 100hL tanks in under an hour. Very impressive!
Luca, the director of Colle Massari and Grattamacco, gave us le grand tour and a taste of their current Vermentino in tank from one vineyard, and another in the huge barrels that was undergoing malo. In the barrel hall we tasted 2008 and current Sangiovese wines. Some that were quite powerful and others that were not so interesting.
For lunch they have a chef and waitress on duty so we had six sitting down for a deliciously, exquisite full-course meal of a small appetiser with some fresh white beans and barley, porcini mushrooms, and some liver pate’ artfully arranged on a white china plate. This was followed by the primo of a small amount of perfectly al-dente penne pasta with a chingiale (wild boar) and funghi sauce which I added a little pepperoncino to to really set it off. For secondo it was meat that melted in your mouth, and dolce was a little bowl of macedonia (fruit salad). Afterwards Luca took us to the other properties that this very rich owner behind the Colle Massari project has invested in, including a castle, more vineyards, and an agriturismo. I noted that the roads to these destinations have been recently asphalted to accommodate his Ferrari…typical.

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