Marchesi Antinori Winery

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Antinori is a very noble, marquis, winemaking family from Florence, Italy. Winemaking has been a family tradition for more than 600 years. What an Amazing Wine operation they have created… Located on Via Cassia per Siena, 133 loc. Bargino, 50026 San Casciano in Val di Pesa Florence, the new Antinori Winery/office building is an incredible, modern architectural wonder that was finished in the year 2012. The planning and building stages for this project took about 10 years total and it shows in the beauty and meticulous detail… Built by the renowned Florentine architect Marco Casamonti, this is one big operation with non stop daily tours.

Built underground and carved into the mountain, with hollow, terracotta tiled walls, using the excavated terracotta mud from the digging on site, the cellar maintains an adequate temperature for the Antinori wines. The techniques used in the cellar portion of the winery operation are very meticulous. Pumping of the juice is done via gravity not mechanical pumps by pressing on the rooftop and letting the juice run down to the vats. Each varietal for their wine blends is macerated and fermented separately from each other and only blended together before bottling. Each grape varietal has their own unique characteristic and the philosophy of Antinori is not to blend until bottling for that purpose. Vinification is done in 50 large stainless steel vats and then aged (depending on the wine) using a mix of French, Slovenian and a small percentage of new American oak.

For a very special treat, I got to experience their Vin Santo cellar and see how Vin Santo is actually made… Production of Vin santo in Antinori is of only 10,000 bottles yearly because, when dry and pressed, the grapes yield very little juice. It is a very meticulous process and takes 3 years to age (hence the high cost of Vin Santo). The varietal used in their Vin Santo production is Malvasia Bianca.

Their head winemaker, Chiara Catania, is very renowned in Tuscany, and it’s becoming more and more common in Italy for women to be winemakers. In the past, because of the “macho” mentality, it was only common for men to make wine in Italy.

The complete guided tour of Antinori lasted roughly one hour, and at the end, I got to sample some of their entry-level wines (which I had already tried) Peppoli and the Marchese Antinori Riserva which they consider a baby version of their Iconic Tignanello. This is not a boutique operation by any means but nonetheless, Antinori manages to make very elegant, well balanced wines sold all over the world… When in Florence, I highly recommend a visit to this amazing wine operation! To book a visit call +39 055 2359700.

Categories: Wine Wisdom

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For any inquiries please email me at chris@cantinettavintners.com

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