Agostino “Pippo” Parodi and his wife Bice inherited a family estate of mostly fruit and vegetables that Pippo’s grandfather, Filippo or “Fèipu” in local dialect, had first planted. Convinced that his property was particularly well suited to winegrowing, Pippo slowly cleared the land starting in the mid-1960s and replanted it with vines, focusing especially on the native Pigato. Since there were no appellations for Ligurian wine at that time, he decided to highlight this exceptional terroir by naming the estate after the locality, Massaretti. His efforts were instrumental in establishing Ligurian Pigato as a quality wine, and soon they had a long list of potential clients begging for an allocation of their tiny production. As Pippo and Bice eased into retirement, they handed the reins over to the next generation: their daughter Brunella married a banker, Mirco Mastroianni, who quickly fell in love with winemaking and joined his sister-in-law, Ivana, at the family estate. Under Mirco’s direction the family has rebuilt the old winery and increased production, but the estate remains small and the wine is still a clear expression of the terroir.
Mirco is proud to be in an area where wine estates are still family-run and most of his neighbors share his respect for traditional wines. Massaretti lies just inland of Albenga on the Mediterranean coast, in what is probably the former riverbed of the Neva, which left a sandy alluvial soil. The area also enjoys striking diurnal temperature shifts thanks to the alternation between winds from the sea during the day and from the land at night. These two factors combine to provide the perfect home for Pigato and Rossese to develop their full aromatic potential, giving light wines that are easy to drink but more elegant and complex than you might expect.