I never had the fortune to meet Bartolo Mascarello before he passed. But over the years, I’ve become friends with Maria Teresa Mascarello, his daughter (above). We’ve visited at the winery and I taste with her every chance I get (and a few years ago I was thrilled to buy a single-edition collection of Arabic poetry on wine that she and Baldo Cappellano had had translated from the original into Italian, a wonderful book that I cherish).
I love the wines and I love the family and I love all that they stand for — the wines and the people. There is perhaps no winery where ideology and winemaking align so perfectly, delivering wines that truly express the land and the people who grow and vinify the grapes while remaining true to the ideological purity of the people who sacrificed their lives to keep Italy free in the face of fascism (before, during, and after the war).
Above: Large format bottles in the Bartolo Mascarello cellar.
My friend Tony in Houston knows how much I appreciate these life-changing wines and so whenever Tracie P and I visit him together, he always opens something from his deep cellar and picks something special from his ample stash of Bartolo Mascarello wines.
Tony has asked me to host a dinner at his restaurant in Houston on July 19, where we’ll be opening a few wines by Bartolo Mascarello as well as a 1990 Recioto della Valpolicella by Quintarelli (another one of my personal favorites).
The price of admission isn’t cheap but it’s worth every penny considering the flight of wines we’ll be enjoying. And of course, I’ll be speaking about my experiences at Mascarello and Quintarelli.
Here are the details…