Vaio dei Masi is the name of the estate that Boscaini’s
ancestors purchased in 1772, and that he still runs today with
his family. “The story of this ancient and noble wine is my
story and the story of my family as well,” he proudly declares.
He also points out that his family has been producing
Amarone for more than two centuries, gradually refining the
process of appassimento, a method of making wine from
dried grapes practiced since ancient Roman times. This is
what makes Amarone wines incredibly rich and powerful.
No vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless
appeal and seductive aura of the Valpolicella valley than
the Masi winery. Visitors can stroll through the estate’s scenic
landscape of rolling hills and endless rows of grapes, learn
about the fascinating work of harvesting, or explore the cool
cellars full of ancient oak barrels and capture the tantalizing
aroma of aging wine.
A tour of the estate also provides a unique glimpse into
the grounds of the nearby Villa Sartorari, one of Valpolicella’s
loveliest properties. Throughout the park, the eye captures
the complexities, harmonies and occasionally the trompe
l’oeil effects of the mellow autumn light. Acres of glowing-red, brilliant-gold and bright-orange foliage will envelop you
in a blend of fiery autumn colors. Located on top of a hill, the
villa is one of many built in the Valpolicella valley between
1550 and 1600. A twelfth-century castle was razed to create
this elegant residence, whose south-oriented, sun-warmed
walls are festooned with Virginia creeper and wisteria.
The original gardens were planned in Renaissance times
and still preserve the traditional Italian layout, with the
prospect of three elegant descending terraces following
the contour of the hillside and blending seamlessly into
a woodland that includes oaks, hazel trees, pines and the
exotic touch of araucarias. But it was the previous owner,
Matilde Sartorari, who made the gardens as rich and varied
as they are today. Matilde, who inhabited the house in
the first decades of the past century, was a painter, and
the keeping of the garden became her personal concern.
She selected her favorite plants among specimens that are
mostly native in the temperate climate, notably oleanders
and bougainvilleas, hydrangeas, wisteria and Virginia
creeper. After almost 100 years, many of Matilde’s plantings
survive, though many have been restocked, so the park,
under the stewardship of the current owners, continues
to maintain the timeless appeal of her design.