Mastroberardino is one of the leading wineries and wine families in all of Italy, in terms of production, market impact, and innovation. The family’s storied history dates back to the early 18th century. As one of Italy’s top winemaking estates, it holds a proud place in Italy’s viticultural history as a guardian and protector of indigenous grapes of Southern Italy’s Campania region. The family has not just worked to maintain them, but has successfully turned would-be extinct grapes into world-class varieties.
The family first established itself in the town of Atripalda, some 30 km from Naples in the shadow of the infamous Mt. Vesuvius. Since then, ten generations have cultivated the neighboring land, maintaining their hard-fought mission to protect the indigenous varieties and winemaking traditions native to Campania.
They began this work in earnest after WWII when Antonio Mastroberardino returned to his family’s estate to find it in ruins, a result of the pressures of financial depression, phylloxera, neglect and war. He refused to let his family’s legacy fall to circumstance, however, and worked tirelessly to restore it. They did this by replanting existing vineyards and purchasing the best land they could find to focus on revitalizing Campania’s three ancient varietals of Fiano, Greco, and Aglianico.
The family started with the Fiano grape, which was nearly lost to phylloxera, finding a few remaining viable vines that they nursed back to health (and which continue to thrive today). They also did great things for the once-obscure Aglianico grape — Antonio’s efforts were credited with bringing it back from extinction and establishing Taurasi (made of 100 percent Aglianico) as a world-class wine.
The revitalization of these grapes and others was just the beginning. Today Mastroberardino’s production has grown to 14 wine estates across Campania, all situated in the heart of the three DOCG production areas of Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, and Taurasi. Here, they continue the family’s mission to preserve tradition while incorporating modern approaches to their winemaking and marketing practices.
Antonio’s son Piero is now the 10th generation Mastroberardino to lead the company, overseeing not just the business operations, but also a multitude of research projects, including classification, planting, and viticultural zoning across the entire region.
In 1996 the winery’s work was further recognized when the Italian government selected Mastroberardino to manage the preservation of Pompeii’s ancient viticultural techniques at the Villa dei Misteri archaeological site. Here the winery carefully planted vines inside the Pompeii ruins following the plans and methods used by the Ancient Romans prior to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 B.C. Proceeds from the sale of these unique wines support the restoration of the ancient wine cellar at Foro Bario, one of Pompeii’s most impressive archaeological sites.
Today many of the top wines of Campania enjoy a legitimate place among the most exclusive in the world, all due to the perseverance and cultural commitment of Antonio Mastroberardino and the diligent work of his family’s following generations.