The Antinori family has been devoted to winemaking for more than 600 years: since, in 1385, Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member of the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri winemakers’ guild. Throughout their long history, the family has always managed its winemaking business directly, making innovative, and sometimes brave, decisions, while upholding respect for tradition and the land. Tradition, passion and intuition have been the driving qualities that have developed the reputation of the Marchesi Antinori in Italy and around the world.
The cellar was designed for production reasons and to give the wider wine-loving public the opportunity to experience the family’s winemaking philosophy first-hand: to see how wine is made, from the vine to the bottle, through vinification and refinement. Seven years in the making, the innovative architecture of the cellar is the work of Archea Associati, with product engineering by Hydea.
The central focus of the building is a profound relationship with the land, with low environmental impact and high energy saving. Upon first glance, it resembles a big hill with two cracks cut into the vine-growing ground. Brick red in colour, like the soil, the cellar was built using natural materials, such as terracotta, wood, weathering steel (corten) and glass. It was designed to be welcoming to visitors and to display winemaking in all its stages, as well as the history of the Antinori family, art and the area’s food and wine culture.
Since the inception of the cellar project, the fundamental feature was its “invisibility.” The construction had to take place at one and in harmony with the surrounding landscape, which is why the decision was made to plant a vineyard that would cover the entire building. The cellar only overlooks the countryside via a terrace that is surrounded by the vineyard, where the main grape variety is Sangiovese as well as others historically cultivated in the Chianti Classico area, such as Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, Malvasia nera, Mammolo and a small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc.