Gianni Masciarelli, Abruzzo winemaker pioneer, is dead at 53.

The world of Italian wine mourns the loss of Abruzzese pioneer winemaker Gianni Masciarelli (left, photo by Gambero Rosso), who succumbed to a stroke on Monday and died this week after being flown to Munich for emergency care. He was 53 years old and is survived by his wife Marina Cvetić, for whom his top line of wines was named, and his three children. Masciarelli began making wine at his father’s winery in 1978 and has long been credited as a visionary in the revival of winemaking in Abruzzo and the refashioning of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo as a grape that could produce world-class wines. In 1984 he launched his Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Villa Gemma, a new benchmark in quality for the appellation and in 1991, he released the first vintage of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Marina Cvetić, named after his wife, a wine that set a new standard for “modern” expressions of the grape variety.

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8 thoughts on “Gianni Masciarelli, Abruzzo winemaker pioneer, is dead at 53.

  1. Gianni was a great humanitarian and a philosopher in his approach to everything in life. He and Marina made a wonderful team and produced excellent wines for the world to enjoy.
    Sincere condolences Marina. We will all miss him.
    Zohrab (Armenia’s Ambassador to FAO)

  2. This is hard to take. I tasted his new wines with him at this year’s VinItaly this past April and Gianni was as lively and as energetic as ever. It’s hard to believe i’ll never see his wonderful smile again.

    Tom Hyland

  3. We started this wine journey together, so I miss the companion, the friend and the comrade and still have in my ears his voice, saying to me, a few days before this tragedy, when I phoned him telling I was in a restaurant in Rome drinking a Villa Gemma: Bevi, Bevi we can supply more!

  4. Pingback: Masciarelli: An Abruzzo Winery That Needs No Introduction « avvinare

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