The Napa star behind 100-point wines
- Mitchell Masotti earned his stripes on the winemaking team at one of Napa's most exclusive wineries — Bevan Cellars. After getting 100-points on bottle after bottle, there was something else Mitchell wanted to see on a label — his name.
- Now he's ready to make his own dream wines — top-shelf classics with his own powerful punch. He’s starting off with what he knows best and going for Napa’s biggest catch — Cabernet!
- With your support, Mitchell is ready to bring Angels the best craft luxury wines from Napa and Sonoma without the sticker shock — you’ll never pay the $100 price tag these wines usually carry.
Mitchell Masotti's Story
Mitchell grew up on Maui because his parents decided to relocate their little slice of the big, Italian Masotti family from California’s Central Valley in the 1960s. His childhood left him with deep respect and reverence for nature and an appreciation for traditions surrounding food and family that the melting-pot of Hawaii inspired. Mitchell took these lessons with him when he returned to the mainland to study and reconnect with his Italian roots in California wine country, and would go on to make over ten 100-point wines.
Discovering the Craft
When Mitchell left Maui, it was to study biology at the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California. He graduated with an expected degree in the field of biology and an unexpected passion for another field — enology.
In his final year of the program, Mitchell was invited by his uncle to help out with some home winemaking. His garage housed a redwood fermenter which had been in the family for generations. The old tank was responsible for many vintages of high octane Zinfandel and Rosé, which were enjoyed in small glasses alongside prosciutto during driveway gatherings, or as fuel for the vibrant scenes of weddings and family parties. As Mitchell learned more about the process of making wine and heard more stories of his family history, he began to think that pursuing winemaking professionally could be the perfect path.
“Winemaking combined my Italian heritage and my love for nature, food, and science. Plus, I got to share the fruits of my labor with the people I love most!”
He decided to try on the career with a harvest at the Woodbridge Mondavi winery in 2003, and it changed his life forever.
“My most memorable moment was opening my first season in 2003 at Woodbridge Mondavi when Robert Mondavi came to toast the vintage and kickoff the season. It was a special moment that kicked off my own career as well. I'll never forget it.”
When the fermentations finished up, he enrolled in the enology program at Fresno State, doubled-down to finish in two years, and set out to explore the vast world of wine beyond his uncle’s garage.
From Harvests to Healdsburg
In an attempt to fit multiple harvests into a year with only one growing season, young winemakers with infinite stores of energy often work two harvests a year — spending autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the southern. Immediately after graduation, Mitchell packed his bags for harvest at Craggy Range in New Zealand, where he made aromatic Sauvignon blanc under none other than Naked winemaker Rod Easthope. After 5 months learning the ropes from a talented winemaker, he bought a ticket back to California and made Cabernet Sauvignon with O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery in Napa. Next, he trekked to Argentina to make internationally acclaimed Malbec and Cabernet Saugivnon blends with Viña Cobos. When he landed back in California for his fourth harvest in two years, he got an Assistant Winemaker position at the MacPhail Family Winery in Healdsburg, and decided to stay in the area. As Mitchell learned the region, he chased quality, eventually adding wineries Dutton-Goldfield, Freeman, and Bevan to the list.
Discovering Naked Wines
Mitchell had been bringing Russell Bevan’s 100-point wines to life for years before being introduced to the Naked team. Through his work with Bevan, he developed relationships with many talented growers as he honed his craft. When he realized that working with Naked Wines would give him the chance to use these connections, create the wines of his dreams and share them with a vast audience of wine lovers — he couldn’t sign up fast enough!
“I hope to share my brand with people who love wine as much as I do. I really want to ‘wow’ Angels and give them a unique wine they’ve never had in a direct way. Naked Wines allows me to do this and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to make it happen!”