Tignanello and Solaia, a Pure Definition of Luxury Wine by Antinori

(More wine news on www.vitabella.fr). Tenuta Tignanello, with its famous Tignanello and Solaia vineyards, is situated between the Greve and Pesa valleys in the heart of Chianti Classico exactly between the little villages of Monteridolfi and Santa Maria a Macerata, 30km south of Florence. Tignanello covers 350 hectares of land, 147 of which are planted with vineyards, These are divided into small plots: the Tignanello vineyard covers 47 hectares with the 10-hectare Solaia alongside. These lands derive from Pliocene marl, with shaly, chalky elements, and are situated at an altitude of 350-450m, enjoying warm days and cool nights during the growing phase.

The native Sangiovese variety and the non-native Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varieties are planted at Tignanello. There is also a small quantity of white grapes - Malvasia and Trebbiano - used in the production of Vinsanto. Other non-native varieties grown at Tignanello include small quantities of Syrah, Pinot Nero and Merlot, planted experimentally in the Seventies. Antinori initially experimented with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the Twenties, but these varieties were then abandoned during the Second World War; they were replanted in the Sixties and began to be used commercially in the Seventies. The grapes are picked in about three weeks, between the end of September and early October and crushed and fermented on the estate. Afterwards the wine is aged in the old cellars below Villa Tignanello.

The 16th century villa on the estate was built on the foundations of one dating back to 1346, when the land belonged to the Buondelmonti (like much of the Val di Pesa). The estate was later taken over by the Niccolini who renamed it Poggio Niccolini, and in later years it was purchased and resold by various local aristocratic families. In the 17th century it passed to a cadet branch of the Medici family, who named it Fonte dei Medici, and subsequently to the Antinoris in the mid-19th century.

In this beautiful environment, Tignanello and Solaia are grown, made into wine and aged at Tignanello while other grapes grown on the estate are used in the production of Santa Cristina, Villa Antinori and Tenute Marchese Antinori. In his artistic-historical guide of the town of Sancasciano Val di Pesa (1892), Carocci describes Tignanello (now a large estate with extensive vineyards) as one of the highest and most picturesque points of the whole area. On the top of the hill, a scenic position rich in plantlife, stands a small group of houses, some of which are very old indeed. A splendid tuscan scenery for a beautiful wine story recognized internationally. (More wine news on www.vitabella.fr).