We have written many times about the extensive history of the Antinori family and how their deeds and work have played such an enormous part in shaping the current Italian wine industry. Though more recent enthusiasts will likely know them for their contributions to the growth of the ‘Super Tuscans’, the family’s history actually extends all the way back to the 14th century and they have worked in many industries besides wine in addition to being influential in Italian politics at various points through the ages.
In more recent times the Antinori’s have been focused specifically on what they do best – making amazing wines. In doing so the company has continued expanding throughout Italy and has founded a number of other vineyards and estates that allow them to apply their centuries of knowledge and experience to wines outside of the Chiantis that brought the family to prominence.
One of these estates is Castello Della Santa, which has developed a stunning reputation for quality ever since the Antinori’s took over and has a deep and interesting history itself. Here we will take a look at the basic story of the estate and, more importantly for enthusiasts, a recently-released product from the company that we think will be ideal for those who are looking for a Christmas gift and people who want to get a full sample of what the estate has to offer.
The Castello Della Santa is a place that is in keeping with the deep history that the Antinori family has. It is a stunning medieval fortress that towers over the surrounding landscape thanks to its positioning in the Umbrian Apennines. This places it a little over 500 metres above sea level, meaning it dominates the surrounding countryside majestically and offers a view that few other wine estates can compete with.
Approximately 11 miles from the Orvieto, which is a city that has an interesting history in its own right, this amazing fortress is now surrounded by old Etruscan villages and the many vineyards that have allowed the Antinori family to make this such an important part of their company.
The estate is host to around 500 hectares of land, on which 140 are used for the vineyards that produce the rather marvellous wines that are produced in the region. Each is located anywhere between 100 and 450 metres above sea level, which means the vines are offered something special from the soil, which is heavy in clay and volcanic residue. As such, the wines produced at Castello Della Santa often have something of a mineral quality to them and are true representations of the regions that bore them.
The ambition of the company is demonstrated further by the decision to dedicate about 8 hectares of the land to the production of a stunning extra-virgin olive oil. The contrast of the vines and olive groves is truly a sight to behold, especially when set against the backdrop of the castle itself. This has made Castella Della Santa an attractive destination for wine tourists who are looking for something particularly special in their tours.
Of course, the main focus of the estate, and the Antinori family as a whole, is to make stunning wines and we have something particularly special in mind for this week’s blog. Join us as we take a closer look at a particularly special collection that will give all enthusiasts an even deeper understanding of the work that the company does in the region and the any varieties of grapes that the hilly landscape make possible to grow.
This is a true treat for the wine enthusiast, as it offers a little bit of everything that Castella Della Santa has to offer.
The Antinori Varietà del Muffato 2010 collector’s box aims to highlight the many varieties of grape that go into Castella Della Santa’s most famous wine. Not only does the entire package come in a beautiful wooden box that really highlights the wines it contains, and can see use later on when taking wines to others, but it is a unique idea that we would love to see other producers experiment with.
The box contains six wines. The first is the Muffato Della Sala 2010 that has achieved such critical acclaim in recent years. Made using five different grape varieties, this wine offers an interesting example of a sweet white wine that also has immense complexity that you may not believe possible of such a drink. It is a stunning example of the Antinori’s work in its own right, but what makes this package truly special is everything else that comes with it.
See, the other five bottles in the box contain wines that are made solely using the five grapes that went into the Muffato Della Sala 2010’s production. These are:
- Sauvignon Blanc
When combined, each of these grapes creates a complex wine that is truly one of the best to come from the estate. However, with this package the Antinori family want drinkers to experience for themselves exactly what each wine brings to the table.
While some of these grape varieties, particularly Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, are well-known, the package also allows you to enjoy wines made solely using grapes that are not often given their own chances to shine in the spotlight.
What this culminate in is a stunning collection of dessert wines that offers drinkers the opportunity to learn even more about the structure of the Muffato Della Sala 2010 and what has made it such a favoured dessert wine in its own right.
It is an excellent idea for a gift to somebody who loves the wine or is a general fan of dessert wines, but we also think it offers plenty of enthusiasts buying for themselves. After all, there is something to be said for sampling each of these grape varieties individually, culminating in tasting the wine that is produced when they are all brought together.
As a package this offers something unique and interesting to the fold and we look forward to other producers possibly following the example to help us learn more about the many grapes they produce.