The Antinori family is one of the biggest wine producers in Italy and one of the most famous in the world. Their innovations played a large role in “Super-Tuscan” Revolution of the 1970s.
The Antinori family has been involved in the production of wine for over six centuries, ever since, in 1385, Giovanni di Piero Antinori entered as a member, the “Arte Fiorentina”, the Winemakers’ Guild of the city of Florence. During this entire long period, thorough twenty six generations, the family has always directly managed this work with courageous and, at times, innovative decisions, but always maintaining, unaltered, a fundamental respect for tradition and for the territory in which they have operated.
In 1900, Piero Antinori bought several vineyards in the Chianti Classico region, including 47 hectares at Tignanello. His son Niccolò scandalised Tuscany in 1924 by making a Chianti containing Bordeaux grape varieties. He continued to experiment over the following years, with new blends, types of barrel, temperature control and bottle ageing. Niccolò retired in 1966, to be replaced by his son Piero who was even more innovative. He investigated early harvesting of white grapes, different types of barrique, stainless steel vats and malolactic fermentation of red wines.
The real revolution came in 1971, with the launch of Tignanello, a barrique-aged wine from the eponymous vineyard that contained Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which meant that it was ineligible for the Chianti Classico appellation. Even worse, from 1975 the blend contained no white grapes. It was Tignanello that really shook up the Italian wine industry, leading to far-reaching changes in rules and attitudes. However, even though the Chianti Classico DOCG rules have now been changed to accommodate wines such as Tignanello, the Antinoris continue to sell it as a Toscana IGT wine. Emboldened by the success of the 20% Bordeaux blend Tignanello, in 1978 Antinori launched the 80% Cabernet Solaia, from the neighbouring vineyard.
Today the firm is run by Marquis Piero Antinori with the support of his three daugthers, Albiera, Allegra, and Alessia, directly involved in the work of the house. Tradition, passion, and intuition have been the three driving principles which have led the Marquis Antinori firm to become a leader in Italian wine.
Each and every vintage, each and every separate area, each and every idea which is to be put into practice is a new beginning, a new search for higher quality standards. As Marquis Piero Antinori likes to repreat: “ancient roots play an important role in our work. But have never been a limit to our innovative spirit”. The estates in Tuscany and Umbria, the historic patrimony of the family, have been joined, over time, by investments in other territories with an important potential for high level wine both in Italy and abroad, in places where it would be possible to begin working for a larger prestige and wider awareness of the family’s ability to produce outstanding wine.
Marchese Antinori is member of Primum Familiae Vini.
ESTATES IN ITALY
Tenuta Guado al Taso
Pian delle Vigne
Castello della Sala
Badia a Passignano
Cantina del Chianti Classico
ESTATES IN THE WORLD
Antica – Napa Valley, USA
Col Solare – Washington State, USA
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars – Napa Valley, USA
Vina Haras de Pirque – Maipo Valley, Chile
Tuzko Bataapati – Hungary
Meridiana – Malta
Vitis Metamorfosis – Romania