Neil, Maria, and Tara Empson had long been looking for the right terroir in Puglia, when they discovered some of its finest and oldest vineyards. After tasting the silky, seductive, structured gems of this sunny region they set about finalizing the Matané project which was named after Maria, Tara and Neil.
When Neil and Maria began pioneering Italy’s fine wine exports, the Italian potential had barely been recognized, much less explored. Today, something like that is true of Apulia’s treasure trove of varietals and blends, both all-indigenous and native/international.
The Matané mission consists in exploring, enhancing and exporting the richness and excellence of Salento viniculture in the original Empson spirit. The Matané packaging correspondingly pays homage to Salento and depicts one of its symbols, a traditional local dance called pizzica. In ancient times, the pizzica was a ritual dance connected to Dionysus (a.k.a. Bacchus), the god of wine: a heritage from neighboring Greece and its settlers in Apulia.
The poem inscribed on the labels of Matané wines tells about the celebrations that happen during the harvest time: every night, after the harvest, locals get together and dance under the moonlight to celebrate the grapes that will soon become wine.
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