The Antinori have been involved in the Tuscan wine
trade for an impressive 26 generations. They’re the
tenth oldest company in the world, but it’s fair to say
that the family has never thrived as it has under the
leadership of Piero Antinori, the current head of the
And it is one vineyard, Tignanello, in the Chianti
zone, that has headlined this recent success. It was
here, in 1970, that Piero first made a wine that was
predominantly the local Sangiovese, but with a little of
the international variety Cabernet Sauvignon added
for depth and complexity, rendering the wine ineligible
for the official Chianti classification. So he marketed it
by name alone.
While it was not the first Super Tuscan (that honour
goes to Sassicaia, made by Piero’s cousin), Tignanello
played a huge role in shaking up the Italian wine scene.
The wine’s success was quickly followed by the creation of Solaia from the adjoining vineyard, this time made
from a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc,
with just 20% Sangiovese. It’s become one of Italy’s
most sought-after wines.
In subsequent years, the family have turned their
attention further afield. The Castello della Sala estate
in Umbria is the perfect example. Cervaro, crafted on
this estate, is Solaia’s white little brother, made from
the international variety Chardonnay, with just a drop
of a local grape, in this case Grechetto.
As a family that balances 800 years of history with a
modern outlook, it’s no surprise their wines are held in
such high regard.