Languedoc producer Domaines Paul Mas is planning to plant vines in the Venetian island of Sant' Erasmo.
Sant’ Erasmo. Image credit: Carlo Enrico / Wikipedia
Owner Jean-Claude Mas told Decanter.com that he was currently negotiating the purchase of four hectares of land on the island, to produce a ’boutique, vin de garage Venetian wine’.
Mas was encouraged to invest in Sant’ Erasmo – which is more famous as the vegetable garden of Venice than for wine – by owner Michel Thoulouze, who has had vines there since 2003.
‘It was quite incestuous; Michel’s brother was the architect who designed our Cote Mas restaurant and he introduced me to him,’ Mas said.
‘Michel convinced me of the island’s potential for viticulture after tasting his Orto white wine. Its limestone soils have great promise, as long as they are protected from the threat of salt water flooding,’ he added.
The circumstances of the proposed sale are quite unusual. The land formerly belonged to a individual who killed his wife in a marital dispute and subsequently forfeited his legal rights to the estate. The wife’s family now wish to sell, says Mas.
‘After the court procedures reach their conclusion, I’m fully certain that the sale will go through,’ Mas said.
He initially intends to plant Italian white varieties, probably including Fiano and Malvasia, to craft a ‘fresh, unique style of Venetian white for both domestic and export markets’.
Interest in Venetian wine production has been growing in recent years. The Bisol family are releasing a new red brand, Venissa Rosso, in 2014, from vineyards on the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni.
Written by James Lawrence