Wine and Dine with Italy’s Piero Mastroberardino

Piero Mastroberadino

With Piero Mastroberardino at Trattoria Gallo Nero

Bright sunlight breaks through the gray clouds as I enter Trattoria Gallo Nero in downtown Portland, Oregon. Greeted by warm smiles from my Italian meet up group in the small dining room, I catch a glimpse of Piero Mastroberardino, President of the Mastroberardino Winery in Campania. His lovely teenage daughter stands beside him as he converses with the guests. Sharply dressed in a stylish gray coat, his manner is authentic.

“I have visited your beautifully artistic cellars in Atripalda just this last September,” I inform him. He smiles and humbly accepts my praise. He is gentle and approachable.

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Piero is here in the U.S. on a 10 day tour. After his arrival, he attended a memorial service for his father Antonio in New York. A legendary patriarch of the Mastroberardino family, Antonio refused to give in to the pressure and cultivate non-native vines. Instead, he fought staunchly to preserve the original varietals introduced by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Piero is experiencing the fruit of Antonio’s labor. As President of the Mastroberardino empire, his winery is the only one given permission by the Italian state to research the ancient wine varietals grown in Pompeii and to replant them on their original plots. The resulting wine from the small yearly harvest is named “Villa dei Misteri.” (See my post, Mastroberardino Restores the Ancient Wines of Pompeii, and  ~ Resurrecting the Ancient Wines of Pompeii for more information.)

All of the wine is made at the cellars in Atripalda, Campania. Mastroberardino cultivates their vines on approximately 500 acres of mountainside terroir steeped with ash. The elevation can run high as Piero mentions some of the vineyards are not far from snow.

Wine tasting at Gallo Nero

Wine tasting and menu gazing at Gallo Nero

 

Piero, Davide, and Manuela enjoying lunch and a chat

Piero, Davide, and Manuela enjoy lunch and a chat

Davide (center) is a Florentine who is the chef for Trattoria Gallo Nero. His specialty is tasty Tuscan cuisine. Manuela, seated on the right, grew up just outside of Milan and leads the Italian meet up group. They are both very personable and fun to be with. Piero is also a business professor of economics at Foggia University during the winter while the winery slows down.

Piero introduces the Mastroberardino winery concepts and the Pompeii project.

Piero talks to the group about the Mastroberardino winery 

 

Featured Mastroberardino Wines

Featured Mastroberardino Wines

Four whites and two reds are present for tasting. Every one of them embodies an excellent taste and feel on the palate, with a warm and earthy essence. Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio, Tears of Christ, is made in both a red and white. Pleasantly surprised, I found each one to be appealing to my taste.

Following are a few photos taken during our lunch with Piero. It lasted most of the afternoon and ended with many well wishes and good cheer.

After lunch and espresso

Piero chats with an attendee after lunch and espresso

 

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Piero enjoys the chatter at the other end of the table

 

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Per la buona salute!

We were honored to be in the presence of Piero Mastroberardino, a man who represents his fabulous wine estate with ease and finesse. He left a lasting impression of quality, distinction, integrity and a family pride that can only impress and leave one feeling richer for being there.

Below is a map of the Campania region in Italy and the Mastroberardino cellars/vineyards ~taken from the Mastroberardino website.

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Categories: History

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19 replies

  1. I don’t know anything about wine or wineries, but I always love to hear about families keeping up traditions and growing heritage crops. New is not always the best. There are several vineyards in our community including one that was recently purchased by a world famous movie director. (I hope you have framed the first picture as it is a very lovely one of you.)

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

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    • I love the historical aspect of vineyards too, especially those passed down through the generations. It was a wonderful time and I learned much from Piero and the others. Thank you for reading the article and your kind words! Blessings ~ Susan

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  2. Such a great post! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  3. It is wonderful to be in the presence of winemakers of distinction. I am grateful that I have had that pleasure in both Italy (rarely) and here in Australia. I especially love the cooperative attitude among competing vignerons – they clearly care a lot about the image of their area, not just their own product.

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  4. looks like such a fun time! thanks for the details … we love wine and when we visit Italy we might have to put Mastro vinery on our itinerary.

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  5. We stopped in at the tasting room when we were in Atripalda (2010), researching family from there. Lovely wines.

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  6. Hi Susan — though I know very little about wine, I enjoyed the history and photos of this gift of winery. It’s nice to share a little Italian culture here in the states.

    I shared your post with another fellow blogger, Susan Cooper, who shares your knowledge and love of wines. Her latest wine post is “Winery Marketing, A New Phase: #Wine” — http://findingourwaynow.com/2014/03/winery-marketing-new-phase-wine.html#.UzmugsInI3w.

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    • Thank you Pat! I found the Mastroberardino winery in particularly interesting because of the history behind them and their activity in Pompeii. I do love their wine as well. Thank you for sharing this with Susan Cooper. I will read her post as well……:)

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  7. What a great afternoon. My sister has a vineyard and winery in Australia. We know how much hard work and love goes into producing good wine.

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  8. What a wonderful post and exprience to have Piero in company!!!

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