Italian wine group Marchesi de' Frescobaldi plans to build a standalone winery for its Masseto Super Tuscan wine and is interested in moving into Chianti Classico.
Group chief executive Giovanni Geddes de la Filicaja told decanter.com that the family-owned firm is keen to increase the sense of separation between Masseto and its sister wine Ornellaia. Masseto is officially the second wine of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, but it commonly sells for a higher fee than the estate's namesake mark and has been sold via the Place de Bordeaux since 2009.'Certainly we will build a winery for Masseto,' said Geddes de la Filicaja. 'We'll probably start building early next year,' he said, on the fringes of an event to mark the launch of artist Rodney Graham's bespoke mark designs for the Ornellaia 2011 vintage.Masseto was the top selling Italian wine by value at Sotheby's last year, fetching an average fee of around $600-a-bottle, according to the auction house's Europe http://1000-facts-about-wine.com wine director, Stephen Mould.'I reckon the prices can continue rising,' said Geddes de la Filicaja. 'It is subdue far from the prices of Petrus, for example' he said. As a Merlot, Masseto lends itself to comparisons with Bordeaux's Right Bank.When questioned on future plans to expand the Frescobaldi wine empire, he said that Chianti Classico is an obvious gap in the portfolio.'It's an area that we want to go into, but we would be looking at an existing brand,' he said. 'Chianti Classico has value only if there is a strong brand.'Fine wine market observers point out that top Italian wines are often relatively cheap versus their counterparts in the key French regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.Geddes de la Filicaja, who earlier represented Krug Champagne in Italy and spent 12 years as chief executive of Antinori wine group, said it takes time. 'Luxury is not something that has usually been found in Italian wine. Most of the huge families come from agricultural backgrounds, not marketing.'