The why, the what and the how of...

Tignanello, Marchesi Antinori

The Antinori family is royalty in the winemaking world; for over 600 years the family has been central to the Tuscan wine industry, 26 generations in all.

With vineyards throughout Tuscany for centuries, it was the purchase of the 47-hectare ‘Tignanello’ vineyard in 1900 that really put the family on the map. By 1924, Niccolo Antinori was causing a scandal by planting Bordeaux varietals alongside the revered native Sangiovese, inspired by his cousin at Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia.

In 1974 the first vintage of Tignanello (the 1971) was launched and made of entirely Bordeaux varietals – so soon after the release of Sassicaia this caused shockwaves in the region. Inspired by the success, 4 years later they bought the Solaia vineyard, and a similar project was also underway in Bolgheri on the Guado al Tasso estate, inherited by the Antinori family in the 1930s.

Tignanello is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The vineyard sits at 350-400m above sea level. This was one of the first Sangiovese wines to be aged in small barriques, a technique for softening the grape tannins. The wine is aged for at least 16 months in barrel – half of which is new and is predominantly French although a small percentage are from Hungary.

One cannot talk about Tignanello without mentioning legendary winemaker, Giacomo Tachis. Tachis spent 30 years as Piero Antinori’s head winemaker and helped turn the dream of Antinori’s quality revolution into reality. 25-27,000 cases of this generally undervalue world fine wine are produced every year.

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