The Magnificent Masselina Estate and Their Gentle Women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

 

I had a wonderful opportunity to visit a winery while on my visit to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.  It still amazes me, even today, that a woman, Ruenza Santandrea, is the “Presidente” of Gruppo Cevico vini Romagnoli, the company that owns the winery in the area of Castel Bolognese called Tenuta Masselina.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Since I was fascinated by the ceramic logo on the wine bottles of the more prestigious wines at Tenuta Masselina, I had to do a little research on them.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

As it turns out, Ms. Ruenza is from a small village not too far from the vineyard named Faenza, where there has been a ceramics factory since the first century BC, as indicative of the activity related to the clays of the river Lamone on the banks of the village. It is a special kind of richly colored ceramic called “glazed faience” or “majolica”.  The quality of this glazed pottery is made opaque by oxides from tin. The very name faience, comes from the Romans who developed this region and has become synonymous with ceramics (majolica) in various languages, including French and English.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

The ceramic “labels” on the bottles are reproductions of the “gentlewomen” or faces of the women during the Renaissance period, known as “Delle Gentili Donne di Faenza”, which means “gentlewomen of Faenza”.  Each one is made by hand in Faenza.   Each bottle has the face of one woman with the name shortened to the last initial to pay homage to these young women, such as Bella T. or Lucia B., each with a front-facing bust, but the face in the profile facing left.  These paintings depict women as a gesture of courtesy, love or nuptial homage.  These are idealized conceptions of women and their faces are as expressed commonly by the Italian majolica during the Renaissance period.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

The Manfredi family, which ruled Faenza in the 14th and 15th centuries, enriched the ceramic with works of art and architecture, including buildings from the Renaissance- style Cathedral, the Governor’s Palace and the International Museum of Ceramics. It is this museum that now houses piece from all over the world, where there is a rich section that is dedicated to Faenza pottery during the golden age of the Renaissance.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

So you can see the great influence that was put on this little girl Ruenza Santandrea growing up in a village rich in culture and history of the ceramics.   It makes sense that she would now as a grown woman, use this as the “label” for her specialty line of wines at Tenuta Masselina.

Vino from Tenuta Masselina

Vino from Tenuta Masselina

And not only that, this winery sits at the precise point of the encounter where Romagna and Emilia meet (this the collision of the Byzantine and the Longobard cultures).

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

At more than 150 meters above sea level, it is the ideal exposure for many hours of sunshine, yet cool temperatures for the grapes to percolate.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

The vines planted here are Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon for the red grapes and Chardonnay, Trebbiano and Pignoletto for white.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Sangiovese is a very popular red wine from this region, that I heard repeatedly during my visit there.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

With its rich history of the Romans producing wine 10,000 years ago, as during this time it was a very important drink for the soldiers, the employees of the winery believe that most likely, their wine was “bad wine, almost like vinegar.”

 

Since that time, wineries have used the oak and clay techniques available today to create such magnificent wines that we know.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

 

It is the reflection of these age-old traditions, culture, religious inspiration and evolutions that the wines of Tenuta Masselina are produced.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Each one with its own particularly shaped bottle, depending on which grape was used.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

It was a lovely day at the winery in Castel Bolognese!

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

AWARDS: 

The Wine Style Asia Award 2010:

  • 147 Chardonnay won the silver medal for still white wine class under $8.00  
  • Masselina Sangiovese Reserva 2008 won the silver medal for Reserva class over $15.00.

I would like to thank Ruenza Santandrea, Ricardo Castaldi, and Marco Nannelti for a wonderful day spent at the winery.

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Disclosure: This post was a part of Buonvivere Blog Tour, organized by Settimana del Buonvivere in collaboration with 21grammy.

Come along with me as I explore the magnificent Masselina Estate and the gentle women of Faenza, Italy

2018-11-27T12:41:45+00:00

7 Comments

  1. Penny sadler October 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Those bottles are beautiful and it was a lovely day at the winery. Nice write up.

    • admin October 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you! Those bottles are beautiful! After drinking the wine, you can use the bottle as an olive oil dispenser.

  2. […] which is amazing in itself, I was introduced to the local library, a gem at the foot of the Appenine Mountains. This city is just 9 miles from the Adriatic Sea and was an important town during Roman times which was famous for its wines in the region. […]

  3. Erica October 28, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Well don’t those grapes just look scrumptious. Looks like fun!

    • admin October 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Ha! Ha! I think all grapes in Italy look that way! Thanks for reading!

  4. EverywhereAmy October 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

    These photos are great! This looks like a great experience.

    • admin October 30, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Amy, it was such a nice experience. Now I have to go to Faenza to see the ceramics! My job is never done!

Comments are closed.