I just returned from a wine writing assignment in Italy where I had the opportunity to visit several of the Antinori estates and discuss wine and food with the three Antinori daughters who will eventually succeed their father, Piero Antinori, and who represent the 26th generation of the famous family that has been making wine since the 14th Century.
Albiera, Allegra and Alessia Antinori all have primary roles in the family business, all are very friendly, unpretentious, smart and attractive, but they are all refreshingly different in their styles and interests. I look forward to writing about them more in the weeks ahead.
Two other writers and I had dinner with Alessia at La Pinetta restaurant on the Tuscan seashore near the family Tombolo Talasso resort and later lunch with her at their Tignanello Estate in Chianti. Next, an alfresco pig-roast lunch with Allegra at Guado al Tasso, where she also raises thoroughbreds. We had two dinners with Albiera, first at Badia di Passignano and then at the Cantinetta Antinori in Florence, the first of a small chain of restaurants by that name, located just downstairs from the family enclave at Palazzo Antinori and a few steps from the city's famous duomo. In between all this, we also stayed at the Antinori's Fonte de' Medici agritourism farmhouse at Montefiridolfi and visited other estates at La Bracessca and Castello della Sala in Umbria. During this time, we had a wide array of excellent wines with matching Tuscan food.
In short, the enterprise Antinori is amazing in its history and its very modern approach to wine, food and travel. As Albiero and Allegra have children already, a 27th generation of Antinori winegrowers seems like a sure bet.
New Publications: In the June issue of The Drinks Business, my article titled "Barmy Days in Balmy Bordeaux" chronicles the 2008 Bordeaux growing season, the anguish of a late harvest, the elation of the vintage's reception at Primeurs and the wacky campaign that followed.
The May/June issue of Sommelier News carries an article I wrote about three wine tastings that each raised an interesting discussion -- about vintage quinta Ports, the orthodoxy of biodynamics, and Moueix and the return of good shippers' Bordeaux. It's called "Cuvees of the Tete."
Please let me know if you would like a pdf of either article.
Twitterdumb: Follow my tweet life on Twitter at Battonage.
Until next time...