Tignanello estate is the home of the renowned Tignanello and Solaia
vineyards. It is located between the Greve and Pesa Valleys in the
heart of the Chianti Classico area, 20 miles south of Florence, 9 miles
south of San Casciano, and one south of Mercatale Val di Pesa, between
Montefiridolfi and S.M. Macerata, off the Via Chiantigiana.
consists of 350 hectares (861 acres), with 147 hectares (363 acres)
under vine. The vineyards are divided into small individual plots,
including the southwest-facing 47 hectares (116 acres) Tignanello
vineyard (which is mentioned in records dating to the 15th century) and
the contiguous 10 hectares (24.7 acres) Solaia Vineyard, both of which
are planted with Cabernet and Sangiovese that greatly benefit from the
specific exposure and microclimate. The vineyards are planted on soils
derived from Pliocene marine marls with limestone and shale, at
elevations ranging between 320-400 metres (1,050-1,312 feet); they
benefit from warm days and cool nights during the growing season.
white grape vineyards include indigenous Malvasia and Trebbiano which
are generally harvested during the first half of September.
red grapes are indigenous Sangiovese and the non-traditional Cabernet
Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that Antinori initially experimented with
in the 1920s, abandoned during World War II, replanted in the 1960s,
and began using commercially in the 1970s.
These grapes are
harvested over approximately three weeks from late September to early
October, and are crushed and fermented at the estate before subsequent
aging and bottling. Other non-traditional grapes at Tignanello include
small amounts of Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlot, which were first planted
by Antinori for experimental purposes in the 1970s.
many years, Antinori has identified, selected and separately vinified
Sangiovese clones found on Tignanello estate. Bud wood from these
clones is sent to a nursery in Bolgheri to be propagated for use in
replanting Antinori vineyards. Other experiments have involved planting
Sangiovese in the poorest soils to deter its propensity to
over-produce, as well as giving it the best possible exposures to
resolve its problem of late ripening. Vine density per hectare has been
greatly increased for more concentrated fruit. Also, Antinori
experiments with vine heights to achieve specific desired results. In
the cellars significant investments have recently been made, including
new wooden open fermenters that have given increased complexity and
softness to the wine. Equipment that ensures that the grapes arrive for
crushing perfectly unbroken has also been introduced. The entire
processing is carried out very gently, thus avoiding the release of
bitter tannins into the grape juice.
and Solaia are grown, vinified and aged at Santa Cristina, while other
grapes grown on the estate are used in the production of Santa
Cristina, Villa Antinori Riserva Chianti Classico, and Tenute Marchese
Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva.
Tignanello estate, which has been in the Antinori family since the
mid-1800s, is built on the foundations of an estate that dates back to
1346, when the land belonged to the Buondelmonti family, as did much of
the Pesa Valley region. The estate was subsequently ceded to the
Niccolini family who renamed it Poggio Niccolini. In the 17th century,
it passed to a junior branch of the Medici family who named it Fonte de
Medici, and then to the Antinoris. In 1900, Antinori enlarged the
estate by purchasing and consolidating several smaller adjacent farms,
and in 1993 renovated and expanded the cellars to 2,286 square metres
and installed 10 1,500 gallon oak fermentors. Today, the property
includes 37 hectares (160 acres) of olive groves for the production of
limited amounts of Antinori extra-virgin olive oil.
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