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Federica Mascheroni, Castello di Volpaia

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When it comes to Chianti Classico, Castello di Volpaia is one of its benchmark producers. Federica Mascheroni is the global ambassador for the brand but is also part of the family that has helped establish its presence throughout the world. Having grown up in the winery, with her parents, especially her mother, leading the direction and production of the wines, Mascheroni has long had a passion for Volpaia and is excited to share that passion with others.

Federica looks to her mother, Giovannella—who is technically retired but still very involved—as a primary role model who continues to support her as she manages the future of Volpaia.

She emphasizes the passion needed to thrive in pursuing a career in wine. “In all careers, you need passion, but I think you need it even more in this one. It is a work that becomes a style of life. I love this work, and I think love has to be at the foundation; love for nature, love to communicate, work, exchange, and continue learning.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with Mascheroni with a few questions about what it’s like to be a piece of Chianti Classico’s wine story.

Growing up with Volpaia as part of your life, when did you realize it was something you wanted to be a part of for your career?

I didn’t realize it very early. In the beginning, I thought I was not going to be able to follow the incredible job my parents, especially my mother, did before me. I finally found a way to give my different personal approach to the work, and I’m incredibly happy to work with my mother and brother. My mother has a very strong personality and way of doing things. And I wasn’t sure if I could work with her. But she has shown me that it is important to her for me to do things the way I want to, and it’s been really great.

What did you do before you started working with Volpaia?

Before joining the winery, I was restoring artwork and paintings. Still a form of art, but not in wine.

What is your primary role/job with Volpaia and Castelprile today?

Nobody has a fixed role in the family or winery, but I would say I am the person that is now presenting Volpaia and Castelprile out in the world.

As a woman in the Italian wine industry who has watched her mother (and father) represent an iconic brand such as Volpaia, have you seen any changes in holding a leadership role today compared to 20-30 years ago? Do you feel like you see more women in similar positions that are helping to shape the wine industry today?

In the last 20 years, the world has changed for all businesses. Everything is much faster. In the past, an order arrived by fax; now, you can read and write an email wherever you are, and everything keeps rolling. In the wine business, the number of women has increased in the last few years. The “Donne del Vino” association was very important in moving and promoting women in the wine industry. Now, I think women have their space, and they are growing more and more.

With Volpaia and Castelprile, what are some of your goals for taking the brand forward?

We use a few words as our key points to try to follow, including passion, heritage, purity, elegance, and curiosity. We want to go beyond what we have already achieved while looking to our past and culture for guidance. We want to create memorable wines with the bare essentials that are affordable and elegant. And we want to stay curious and open to what the future holds.

Also, farming organically is very important to us. We have been organic long before we were writing it on the label. (In the past, organic was not always a good selling point for several markets. Often you were placed on a different shelf as a “different” wine.) This is something we will remain committed to as we continue forward.

Volpaia has focused on preserving indigenous Sangiovese grapes for the Chianti Classico region. Why is this important to you?

We thought since the beginning that Sangiovese was the expression of our land. In the 1980s, we released our Coltassala, which is 95% Sangiovese, to show a more pure expression of the grape. Since then, we have created a project where we have selected 25 Sangiovese clones from this area, planting them to see which ones will do the best in our soils. We have since narrowed those selections down to five clones. Eventually, with this project, we would like to see one single clone that we would consider the Volpaia clone. The Il Puro, Casanova is a single vineyard wine that showcases this project. It is 100% Sangiovese.

You also grow Vermentino and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Maremma region on the west coast of Italy. This falls under your separate label, Castelprile. What do you like about Vermentino specifically? What makes it such a great variety to work with in this region?

Vermentino is a white grape that is typical in Tuscany. It needs to grow near the sea, and it gains this nice salinity there. The Castelprile location is only a few miles from the ocean, and it grows well here. It has the sea in the front and a ridge of hills in the back, with sandy soils in the vineyard. The wines have a perfect mineral undertone that is wonderful.

If you could work with any other grape, regardless of climate or location, what would it be?

I was born with the Sangiovese, and the more I try wines around the world more I think Sangiovese is the most incredible grape. I think it is a grape where you can best drink a terroir. You can taste exactly where it is from. It is the best grape to bring you to the land where it is grown.


When it comes to Chianti Classico, Castello di Volpaia is one of its benchmark producers. Federica Mascheroni is the global ambassador for the brand but is also part of the family that has helped establish its presence throughout the world. Having grown up in the winery, with her parents, especially her mother, leading the direction and production of the wines, Mascheroni has long had a passion for Volpaia and is excited to share that passion with others.

Federica looks to her mother, Giovannella—who is technically retired but still very involved—as a primary role model who continues to support her as she manages the future of Volpaia.

She emphasizes the passion needed to thrive in pursuing a career in wine. “In all careers, you need passion, but I think you need it even more in this one. It is a work that becomes a style of life. I love this work, and I think love has to be at the foundation; love for nature, love to communicate, work, exchange, and continue learning.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with Mascheroni with a few questions about what it’s like to be a piece of Chianti Classico’s wine story.

Growing up with Volpaia as part of your life, when did you realize it was something you wanted to be a part of for your career?

I didn’t realize it very early. In the beginning, I thought I was not going to be able to follow the incredible job my parents, especially my mother, did before me. I finally found a way to give my different personal approach to the work, and I’m incredibly happy to work with my mother and brother. My mother has a very strong personality and way of doing things. And I wasn’t sure if I could work with her. But she has shown me that it is important to her for me to do things the way I want to, and it’s been really great.

What did you do before you started working with Volpaia?

Before joining the winery, I was restoring artwork and paintings. Still a form of art, but not in wine.

What is your primary role/job with Volpaia and Castelprile today?

Nobody has a fixed role in the family or winery, but I would say I am the person that is now presenting Volpaia and Castelprile out in the world.

As a woman in the Italian wine industry who has watched her mother (and father) represent an iconic brand such as Volpaia, have you seen any changes in holding a leadership role today compared to 20-30 years ago? Do you feel like you see more women in similar positions that are helping to shape the wine industry today?

In the last 20 years, the world has changed for all businesses. Everything is much faster. In the past, an order arrived by fax; now, you can read and write an email wherever you are, and everything keeps rolling. In the wine business, the number of women has increased in the last few years. The “Donne del Vino” association was very important in moving and promoting women in the wine industry. Now, I think women have their space, and they are growing more and more.

With Volpaia and Castelprile, what are some of your goals for taking the brand forward?

We use a few words as our key points to try to follow, including passion, heritage, purity, elegance, and curiosity. We want to go beyond what we have already achieved while looking to our past and culture for guidance. We want to create memorable wines with the bare essentials that are affordable and elegant. And we want to stay curious and open to what the future holds.

Also, farming organically is very important to us. We have been organic long before we were writing it on the label. (In the past, organic was not always a good selling point for several markets. Often you were placed on a different shelf as a “different” wine.) This is something we will remain committed to as we continue forward.

Volpaia has focused on preserving indigenous Sangiovese grapes for the Chianti Classico region. Why is this important to you?

We thought since the beginning that Sangiovese was the expression of our land. In the 1980s, we released our Coltassala, which is 95% Sangiovese, to show a more pure expression of the grape. Since then, we have created a project where we have selected 25 Sangiovese clones from this area, planting them to see which ones will do the best in our soils. We have since narrowed those selections down to five clones. Eventually, with this project, we would like to see one single clone that we would consider the Volpaia clone. The Il Puro, Casanova is a single vineyard wine that showcases this project. It is 100% Sangiovese.

You also grow Vermentino and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Maremma region on the west coast of Italy. This falls under your separate label, Castelprile. What do you like about Vermentino specifically? What makes it such a great variety to work with in this region?

Vermentino is a white grape that is typical in Tuscany. It needs to grow near the sea, and it gains this nice salinity there. The Castelprile location is only a few miles from the ocean, and it grows well here. It has the sea in the front and a ridge of hills in the back, with sandy soils in the vineyard. The wines have a perfect mineral undertone that is wonderful.

If you could work with any other grape, regardless of climate or location, what would it be?

I was born with the Sangiovese, and the more I try wines around the world more I think Sangiovese is the most incredible grape. I think it is a grape where you can best drink a terroir. You can taste exactly where it is from. It is the best grape to bring you to the land where it is grown.

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