Originally part of the Ornellaia estate, the Masseto vineyard was planted in 1984 following the advice from the legendary Russian-American winemaker and consultant for Ornellaia André Tchelistcheff (known for his pioneering work in Napa Valley through the ’60s and ’70s). Tasked with looking for sites to plant Cabernet for Ornellaia, he instantly identified the blue
clay soils on the Masseto hill as ideal for Merlot. Merlot had never really been planted in Bolgheri and Lodovico Antinori (the original owner of the property) was hesitant at first. Nevertheless, he followed Tchelistcheff’s advice – and from the first vintage in 1987, Masseto earned a reputation for its quality and unique identity, separate to that of the Cabernet-based Ornellaia.