WineAccess Travel Log
Read stories from the world's greatest wine trails.
This estate, in the heart of Chianti Classico, is famous-- and infamous-- for its experimental brand of winemaking. Its most contentious vines are divided between the Tignanello and Solaia Vineyards. In the 1970's they bore the fruit that caused a revolution in Italian wine, creating the "Super-Tuscan" or IGT classification.
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The story begins in 1900, when family member Piero Antinori bought Tignanello with the intention of producing traditional Chianti. His son, Niccolo, had different ideas, and in 1924 he caused a scandal when he produced a Chianti with Bordeaux varietals--mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Niccolo's son, also named Piero, took over for his father in 1966 and would take the experimentation even further. In 1971 he produced a wine called Tignanello, after the estate. It contained Sangiovese as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and was thus ineligible for classification as a Chianti. What was created would come to be known as the "Super-Tuscan," a wildly popular wine made with both Italian and Bordeaux varietals. Over 40 years later, not only are Tignanello and Solaia the top wines in the Antinori portfolio, they are consistently among the greatest in Italy.