How long has the Antinori family been making wine? A (really) long time---since 1385 to be exact, which means the family has made wine for over 600 years. So, when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 to discover the Americas, the Antinoris were already making wine for over 100 years. And when our forefathers were literally putting their John Hancocks on the Constitution, the family had more than 400 years of winemaking experience.
It’s (still) all in the family. Twenty-six generations later, the Antinori family still manages the business. Given the dynamics of any family, be it yours or the Antinoris, that’s quite a feat. Today Marchese Piero Antinori is president, and his three brainy, beautiful, and passionate daughters, Albiera, Allegra, and Alessia, are all knee-deep in the family business.
If you play it safe, you will not fail, but you will never be a big success either. - The Antinoris are known for making innovative, even courageous choices. The core of the Antinori philosophy is to maximize the undiscovered potential of specific wine regions, soils, and microclimates while staying true to the tradition, culture, and taste which give Antinori wines their individuality.
It’s all about the land. - The family’s estates in Tuscany and Umbria are some of the best parcels for winegrowing in Italy and the world. But the story doesn’t end there. Over time, the Antinoris have invested in other regions suited for quality wine production…like Napa Valley. It’s part of their quest to promote new terroirs rich in winegrowing potential.
California Dreaming - Marchese Piero Antinori first visited Napa Valley in 1966 and was inspired by the spirit of innovation in this then-emerging wine region. In 1985 the Antinori family and some business partners discovered a beautiful 1,170 acre estate in the Napa Valley where the hilly landscape was reminiscent of Tuscany. In 1993, feeling certain of the estate’s potential, the Antinori family assumed full ownership.
Mountain High – Antica Napa Valley is located high in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley. We’re within the Atlas Peak District appellation, aptly named after Atlas Peak Mountain, which locals fondly call the Blue Mountain. It is considered to be, above all, ideal wine growing country, and Piero knew that this property’s particular location—with its steep terrain, rocky, well-drained soils and high elevation—also offered great potential for growing quality wine grapes.
Antica’s volcanic soils met their perfect match with Cabernet Sauvignon, which we’ve planted in the high slopes of our estate. The high altitude (1,800 feet) means cooler daytime temperatures and a sunny haven above the fog line during the growing season. Heat inversion also means warmer nighttime temperatures. All this translates into low yields—just three pounds per vine —but the resulting wines show great structure with concentrated fruit, and focused and persistent flavors. Tannins are ripe, balanced, and integrated.
The estate’s lowest elevation (1,450 feet) is on the floor of Foss Valley, but typically is still above the fog line. This is home to our Chardonnay grapes. Though it might seem counterintuitive, nighttime temperatures are cooler here than the estate’s higher elevations, bringing out Chardonnay’s aromas and flavors while maintaining acidity.
The vineyard is our stage - Our 600 planted acres are shaped in an amphitheatre-like setting thanks to the fact that the estate is located in the elevated Foss Valley. We’re surrounded by steep slopes rising on all sides and are at the headwaters of two watersheds that flow into deep canyons to the Napa Valley below.
Neighbors and friends - In 1998, the Antinoris purchased a parcel of land adjacent to the estate from their neighbor, Mrs. June Townsend. She and her husband bought the land in the 1950s, and nearly 50 years later, Mrs. Townsend was looking for someone who would care for the land with the same love and passion. So she sold the land to not only a neighbor, but a man that had become a good friend and dedicated steward, Piero Antinori.
Townsend Vineyard is named out of deep respect for Mrs. Townsend. Set high on the ridge overlooking Rector Canyon and Napa Valley some 1,600 feet below, this 24-acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is on a west-facing slope of well-drained, volcanic soils. This vineyard is where we began to create wines of Italian heritage and Napa Valley pedigree – the signature style of Antica Napa Valley.
Above all… – In late 2012, we launched our Soprattutto™ wine club. "Soprattutto" is Italian for “above all,” and reflects Piero Antinori’s guiding principle when he selected the site for Antica Napa Valley: altitude. It seemed fitting that our wine club should be “above all” as well, offering wine lovers the best Antica Napa Valley has to offer. Club members enjoy access to wines prior to their public release, small-lot production wines available only at the winery, and library wines; invitations to members-only events at the winery; complimentary tastings; and more.
Antinori + California = Antica – Antica is a true blend of Tuscany and California, not only in name, but in style, too. It’s also the realization of Piero’s longstanding desire to produce an Antinori Napa Valley wine.
Do you support any charities? Yes, and we do so wholeheartedly. We are happy to support our local Napa Valley charities, like the Boys and Girls Club of Napa Valley, Napa Valley Adult Education, and the Queen of the Valley Medical Center Foundation through Auction Napa Valley, an annual wine auction put on by the Napa Valley Vintners. In 2010, we were proud (and a little astounded) when our lot, “Ancestry and Artistry” raised more than $1 million for the Auction. We are also proud supporters of the V Foundation for Cancer Research which has raised over $100 million dollars and awarded cancer research grants in 38 states and Washington, D.C.