Piero Antinori, of the Florentine wine firm Marchesi Antinori; his brother Lodovico, part-owner of the Bolgheri estate of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia; and their nephew Niccolò Marzichi Lenzi, a world-class equestrian from Paris, are developing 150 acres of vineyards on the hillsides near the town of Bibbona. The three are renting the land from Umberto and Emanuela Cannoni, for an undisclosed price.
"The idea of the family joint-venture was mine," said Lodovico Antinori, who will be president of the new winery. "I came across the property in 1994 when looking for additional land to expand Ornellaia's potential. It's a magical place with wonderful soil and microclimate, very similar to that of Bolgheri."
The estate, called Campo di Sasso, is being planted to 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 40 percent Cabernet Franc and 40 percent Merlot. The Antinoris hope to eventually produce 20,000 to 25,000 cases of a single red Bordeaux blend. "We think that we can make something along the lines of Ornellaia or Guado al Tasso," said Piero's daughter Albiera Antinori, of Marchesi Antinori.
The first vintage of Campo di Sasso is expected to be 2005, which should be on the market in 2007, with an initial production of 8,000 cases.
This is the first wine project in which Piero and Lodovico Antinori have participated together in more than two decades. Originally, the two brothers worked together at Marchesi Antinori, but after differences of opinion, Lodovico left and started Ornellaia in the early 1980s.
"It's always been a dream of mine for my brother and I to work together again," Lodovico said a few years ago. That dream is now a reality.
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