Vigne Mastrodomenico is a very small family estate that has been growing Aglianico in the northern parts of Basilicata for five generations now. In the rock underground, the cellar is carved, located in the Contrada Acquarossa in the commune of Rapolla. Nearby rests their 8 hectares of organically farmed vineyards, situated on the northeast side of the ancient Mount Vulture. Volcanic rock, tufa, and clay soils combine with quite regular winds during the growing season, and make for a remarkable base to give the local grape unique flavor and great structure. A zone of rich heritage with ancient ties to the Greeks - who brought the Aglianico grape to this area that was occupied by the Arbëreshë people of Albania - the local language/dialect is reflected there to this day. As Donato Mastrodomenico took over the family reins from the generations that preceded him, he took the farming tradition beyond merely selling their fruit to the large wineries of the area, and together with his son Giuseppe, decided to create their own winery and bottled their first vintage in 2004. And they were the first estate in Italy to join a consortium called Farm to Fork, where they trace everything from the vineyard to the bottle for transparency in clean winemaking.
The ‘Mos’ Aglianico takes its name because it as a Latin synonym that refers to ‘origin’ or ‘tradition,’ referencing the traditional approach to the land and the grapes that the land grows. Focusing on pure and organic farming, there are never any additions to the vines except for occasional sulfur and copper, and the fertilizers are limited to green manure. The late ripening Aglianico grapes are harvested by hand from the volcanic soils that give a unique balance of structure, tannin, alcohol, and flavor. Natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks is carried out before a traditional process called ‘Svinatura’ occurs, where the must is separated from the skins before malolactic fermentation has started. Then placed into used French oak barrels, the wine rests for 5 months before being bottled and set to lie for at least one year. The wine is deliciously round, full of tannin and grip, yet so loaded with fruit and spice and earthy complexities that the body feels seamless and smooth. A long finish full of savory character, and the acidity resounds and keeps the weight of this grape in perfect check.