Anybody who knows even a little bit about Italian wine and its history knows who the Antinori family is.
For centuries, it has been one of the leading names in Italian wine. Antinori is one of the chief producers of Chianti Classico, as well as being one of the figureheads of the Super Tuscan region. The family’s history with wine goes all of the way back to the 14th century and the company’s influence on the wine landscape seems to grow every single year.
In fact, it’s that growing influence that we aim to cover in this article.
Antinori recently made a move that has solidified its position even further as one of the nation’s leading Chianti producers. Here, we examine what that move is, what it might mean for the family moving forward, and share a few things you need to know about the Antinori family.
The Big Move
If you keep track of the Antinori family, you know that the company has always favoured expansion. In recent years, it has bought a lot of land in regions outside of its native Tuscany with the goal of spreading the company wings and making more wines that fall outside of the traditional Antinori wheelhouse.
This may give you the impression that the family is starting to move away from its roots in Chianti.
But nothing could be further from the truth!
The big move we hinted at earlier is the purchase of four hectares of land on what has become known colloquially as the Tignanello Hills. Based in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, these hills provide the perfect environment for the product of the grapes used for Antinori’s most famous product.
What Does This Purchase Mean for Antinori?
The most obvious answer is that these four hectares of land mean that Antinori can increase its production of Chianti Classico and, possibly, Tignanello. This land means more grapes for the company’s most famous products, which can only be a good thing for lovers of the family’s wines.
But a more difficult question is what will this move mean for the rest of Tuscany’s Chianti producers.
With Antinori buying up more prime land, this obviously means there’s less land available for other producers. Are moves like this a sign that Antinori is trying to develop a stranglehold on Chianti production?
We’d lean towards saying that isn’t the case.
For as rich a history as the company has, and for as dominant its name may be in the world of Chianti production, Antinori has never been a monopolistic company. In fact, it often makes moves intended to benefit all wine producers, as we saw during the early era of the Super Tuscans. With Tignanello, Antinori put its considerable weight behind the development of new versions of Chianti that don’t follow the Classico rules. It’s very possible that the lack of support from the Antinoris could have led to the Super Tuscan era dying out before it ever really got going, which would have deprived the world of so many amazing wines.
With that in mind, we don’t think there’s anything monopolistic going on here. Instead, we prefer to look at the positive side of things.
More land owned by the Antinori family means more stunning Chianti Classico and Tignanello wines.
That can only be a good thing for consumers, many of whom might struggle to get their hands on these wines otherwise.
Furthermore, we interested in seeing what effect, if any, this new terroir has on the company’s products. Will they blend grapes from the new vineyard with grapes from its existing ones? Or, will Antinori use this new land to create a different vintage of wine?
Time will tell.
But for now, we’re just excited at the prospect of more Chianti to come from one of the most important winemaking families in Italian history.
And with that excitement in mind, we’d like to share four things you need to know about the Antinori Family if you happen to have never come across them before:
- The Antinoris are one of Italy’s most prestigious families and they’ve been powerhouses in Tuscan industry and politics for centuries. Of course, the famous Antinori crest contains the date 1385, which the family recognises as the date that it entered the wine industry. However, the family was well-known long before that date and was already prominent in both the agricultural and textile industries.
- Antinori hasn’t only achieved impressive longevity from a winemaking perspective. It stands as the world’s 10th oldest family-run business. This is a testament both to the quality of the wines the family produces and the family’s ability to weather so many storms over the years, from land disputes to full-blown global wars! No matter what happens, Antinori manages to keep growing.
- While Antinori is credited with spurring the Super Tuscan movement into what it is today, they weren’t the creators of the first Super Tuscan. In fact, its Tignanello wine came out several years after the originator of the label, Sassicaia. Still, we can’t downplay the role that Antinori played in terms of popularising this form of wine and doing battle with the DOC for the rights of producers to tread off the beaten path when it came to Chianti.
- Value is still important to the Antinori family. Despite its Tignanello vintages commonly being rated as some of the best in the world, the company endeavours to make even its best wines affordable to the general public. In fact, you can often find Tignanello available for less than €100, which is a steal for a wine of this quality!
The Final Word
With the purchase of four hectares of new land, Antinori looks set to increase the production of its most famous wines.
We’re looking forward to sampling the end results of the grapes the family will grow on the Tignanello Hills. But in the meantime, we still have plenty of the family’s wines available on the Xtrawine website. Check them out today and get yourself a little taste of a family that has an enormously impressive history in the world of Italian wine.