The famous Italian noble family in Tuscany has been dedicated to viticulture for 26 generations. The family is one of the largest and most important wine producers and trading houses in Italy. The founder was Giovanni di Piero Antinori in 1385, whose lifetime also includes the rise of the Medici family in Florence. He came from a Florentine merchant family with a long winemaking tradition. At that time, the city had gone through a long period of warlike turmoil and several waves of plague. Wine production, together with the silk trade and international banking, formed the third pillar of the family's activities. Niccolò di Tommaso Antinori acquired the Renaissance palace on the Piazza degli Antinori, built in 1469, in 1506. Subsequently, vineyards and small estates were acquired in Tuscany.
In1898, the two brothers Piero and Ludovico Antinori, together with their brother-in-law Guglielmo Guerrini, founded the present Marchesi Antinori company, originally under the name Marchesi L&P Antinori, with the aim of "creating a little order among the various viticultural activities built up since the 14th century by the previous generations of Antinori". On a trip to Champagne in 1905, Lucien Charlemagne (one of the Chefs de Caves) was engaged to create the house's first sparkling wine using the méthode traditionnelle. A next milestone was the Chianti "Villa Antinori" in 1928, vinified in a long-lasting style that was new in Tuscany at the time.
Niccolò Antinori laid the foundation for the highest quality Chianti and Orvieto wines and successfully expanded the company despite the turmoil of the Second World War (1939-1945). In 1966, his son Marchese Piero Antinori (*1938) took over the management. He is regarded as the leading figure of the oenological revolution in Italy, also in connection with the so-called Super Tuscans, who had a significant influence on the quality of Italian wines. Among many other innovations, he was one of the first to experiment with barrique ageing. In 1961, he hired the young oenologist Giacomo Tachis (1933-2016), who already gained legendary fame during his lifetime. He gave the impetus for the use of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety in the Chianti region. He was succeeded by Renzo Cotarella in 1993.
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Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien