The Antinori family has been committed to the art of winemaking for over six centuries since 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member, of the “Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri”, the Florentine Winemakers’ Guild. All throughout its history, twenty-six generations long, the Antinori family has managed the business directly making innovative and sometimes bold decisions while upholding the utmost respect for traditions and the environment.
Each vintage, each plot of land, each new idea to be advanced is a new beginning, a new pursuit for achieving higher quality standards. As Marchese Piero loves to say: “Ancient family roots play an important part in our philosophy but they have never hindered our innovative spirit”.
On February 2nd, 1506 Niccolò di Tommaso Antinori, one of the most promising and influential men in Florence at that time, bought Palazzo Antinori (known as Palazzo Boni) for 4000 florins.
For over six hundred years, the Antinori family has linked their name to excellence in the art of winemaking and as a passionate patron of the fine arts. Two different areas of expertise that have progressed together: Marchesi Antinori have often entrusted the important task of documenting their family’s values and history to the fine arts.
The Tenuta Tignanello estate is in the heart of Chianti Classico, in the gently rolling hillsides between the Greve and Pesa river valleys. It extends over an area of 319 hectares (788 acres), of which about 130 (321 acres) are dedicated to vines. Two of the estate’s prized vineyards are on the same hillside, Tignanello and Solaia, on soils that originated from marine marlstone from the Pliocene period rich in limestone and schist. The vines enjoy hot temperatures during the day and cooler evenings throughout the growing season. The estate’s two signature wines, Solaia and Tignanello, are produced from these vineyards and have been defined by the international press as “among the most influential wines in the history of Italian viticulture”.
The current 16th century manor house was built on the foundations of an estate that dates back to 1346 when the property belonged to the Buondelmonti's, a noble family that owned a great part of the land in Valle della Pesa. In the seventeenth century, a cadet branch of the Medici family took possession of the estate and named it Fonte dei Medici. In the mid 1800's the Antinori family acquired the estate. The "Carocci", a historical-artistic guide of the town of San Casciano Val di Pesa, described the Tignanello farm and extensive vineyards in 1892 as one of the highest and more picturesque localities in the entire territory.
Within the boundaries of Tenuta Tignanello's about 130 hectares (321 acres) of vineyards, divided into smaller individual parcels, are two of the finest pearls: the Tignanello vineyard and the Solaia vineyard. The soils, originating in the Pliocene period, are rich in calcareous rock and marl and sit at an altitude of 350-400 meters above sea level (1148-1312 feet) with considerable temperature fluctuation between day and night; all of these factors combined give the grapes their unique characteristics. Grape varieties grown include the indigenous Sangiovese and untraditional varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that are able to fully express the territory's distinctive characteristics. There are also small parcels of Malvasia and Trebbiano for Vinsanto production and 37 hectares (91 acres) of olive groves.
Throughout the 1970's, Tenuta Tignanello was a sort of laboratory for Marchesi Antinori, a center for new viticultural research and development as they introduced new winemaking techniques and new varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Innovations concerning vine density or pruning techniques and the selection of the Sangiovese grape were always intended to obtain grapes with concentrated fruit and soft tannins. In this unique terroir, Sangiovese and Cabernet are able to fully express their own distinctive personalities and reflect the territory's signature characteristics.
Tignanello and Solaia each have their own exclusive vinification and aging cellars. This approach enhances the unique qualities of each wine by allowing us to refine and perfect each and every detail. The vinification cellar was completely rennovated between 2008 and 2009. Wines produced on the estate reflect expressly different aspects of one unique terroir, Tignanello. The territory's exceptional characteristics are captured in the wine's decisive, unmistakable and elegant personality.