Leonardo Mustilli, “the engineer of Falanghina” has died
On 23rd October Leonardo Mustilli passed away. Born in 1929, he was nicknamed the “engineer of Falanghina” and was one of the pioneers of vinegrowing in Sannio. In 1979, Mustilli was the first winery to make and bottle a varietal Falanghina. Yesterday, we visited the historic site of the family winery in Sant’Agata dei Goti, with his daughter Paola Mustilli. It is dug out of tuff, 16 metres below the streets of the old town centre. These rooms are used for wood aging Aglianico today, but winemaking (which is now done on a technologically modern site) used to be done here until 2001.
Valorising local production
The Mustilli Winery’s philosophy still reflects the idea of its founder, Leonardo, who worked towards quality in the early 1980s: “safeguarding typical local production and spreading the culture of food, towards a knowledge of good things from the earth, in search of a healthy lifestyle,” as written on the winery’s website.
Leonardo Mustilli and the “native” turning point
The Mustilli family originally came from Ravello and moved to Sant’Agata dei Goti at the start of the 1500s. In the 1970s, Leonardo and Marili Mustilli decided to modernise their vinegrowing by replanting native Campania grapes in the hills of Sant’Agata dei Goti: Falanghina, Greco, Aglianico and Piedirosso. These were varieties that were being gradually abandoned for international ones at the time. Today, his daughters work full time at the winery: Paola handles sales and communications, while Anna Chiara manages the vineyards and cellar.