Before the advent of our global economy, people had to go to Italy to experience the blissful joy of sipping limoncello, which was very much a local specialty, usually made from a time-honored, secret recipe.
Despite modern production techniques, Villa Massa Limoncello is still produced from a family recipe dating back to 1890, using the distinctive lemons of the Sorrento region. Sipping this luscious sweet lemon liqueur, either before a meal with tonic water as an aperitif or afterwards in a cordial glass, digestif-style is the embodiment of “La Dolce Vita.”
Villa Massa’s lemons grow on shady terraced slopes overlooking the bay of Naples. This unique microclimate, replete with volcanic soil and the swell of ocean breezes, allows the citrus to mature slowly and concentrate its flavors. The Sorrento lemon is so distinctive that in the year 2000 it was given a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) by the European Union. Eight years later, Liquore di Limoni di Sorrento received a similar distinction; only makers, like Villa Massa, who produce limoncello with Sorrento lemons can use the PGI seal, feature the term “Sorrento” and show images of the region.
This specificity sets Villa Massa’s limoncello apart. The company, which was officially founded in 1999 by brothers Stefano and Sergio Massa, has won numerous awards of excellence for their hyper-regional lemon liqueur. While science may say that it’s the soil and the manufacturing that produce such a remarkable product, it is also likely that the glorious location on the Amalfi Coast imbues these lemons and their resulting liqueur with a sort of magic. One sip and you feel like you have been transported to the Italian countryside. How sweet it is.