Salento is located in the southernmost portion of Puglia and is Italy’s easternmost area. It is a land of extreme and dramatic beauty with lush, dark red soil bathed in Mediterranean sunlight. Historic native varieties and outstanding vineyards are constantly windswept by the salty breezes of the Adriatic and the Ionian seas. The peninsula’s amazing palette of colors and sensations gives Salentino wines a layered depth, unique to the region. Needless to say, this new frontier of unexplored treasures is just want the Empsons were looking for. Neil, Maria and Tara Empson had long been searching for the right terroir in the area, when they discovered — with friend Valentino Sciotti — some of its finest and oldest vineyards. After tasting the silky, seductive, structured gems crafted by Filippo Baccalaro (third-generation enologist from a famous winemaking family), they set about finalizing the Matané project. A joint venture was decided between the Empsons, Valentino and Filippo, and the project was named after Maria, Tara and Neil. The Matané mission consists of exploring, enhancing and exporting the richness and excellence of Salento wines; 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 ritualistic dance connected to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine: a tradition from neighboring Greece and its settlers in Puglia.
Partnership of Neil, Maria and Tara Empson (hence Matan)
Filippo Baccaloro & Mario Ercolino