Home > Uncategorized > Questing after tradition, one vintage at a time

Questing after tradition, one vintage at a time

Maria Teresa Mascarello

Maria Teresa Mascarello, daughter of the late Bartolo Mascarello of Barolo and today the exacting and traditional winemaker at Cantina Bartolo Mascarello.

“I am trying to make an honest wine, one that reflects all of the qualities of our territory, both its strengths as well as its flaws. – Maria Teresa Mascarello. Photo by Tim Atkins on Flick’r.


There is something missing in the world of modern-day winemaking. Or maybe several somethings.

That’s the feeling I had, and still have, after listening to winemaker Maria Teresa Mascarello of Barolo on a recent podcast of Levi Dalton’s excellent “I’ll Drink to That.”

This daughter of legendary winemaker Bartolo Mascarello is not one to mince words or opinions, whether it’s about her refusal to visit New York City or her thoughtful belief that to know a wine, you first must know its vineyard.

Everything she does is in the traditional method, down to the unheated and uncooled cellar where her wines age for years before being released.

And while critics, writers and the rest of the world casually tosses about the word “terroir” without perhaps understanding what it is they are talking about, Moscarello sees a vineyard’s terroir as just the starting point for enjoying her wines.

And, as Dalton points out, she believes that one of the measures of a wine’s success is that people will stick around and work the vineyards that produce it.

But perhaps her most telling statement, at least for me, was her saying that she enjoys the different vintages, and even more when they prove difficult.

“Every year is different,” Mascarello said. “I don’t find the same elegance (in 2013, her latest to be bottled) as I find in the 2010 and the 2012 but I like the difference.”

She said that when she tastes a wine, first she tastes and recognizes the grape variety.

“And second, I recognize the weather,” she said.

“Every year is different, that’s important to me because I like different,” she goes on. “I have more affection for the difficult (vintages).”




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