Italian wine giant Antinori has purchased a majority stake in the historic Jermann winery, located in northeastern Italy's Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region. The sales price was not disclosed.
"Our family has always been involved, being based in Tuscany, in the production of mostly red wines—with the exception only of Umbria's Castello della Sala," Antinori president emeritus Piero Antinori told Wine Spectator. "This is the reason that the addition of an iconic white wine winery was a logical move for us, and consequently we were looking for opportunities in one of the top white wine regions in Italy."
The aristocratic Antinori family represents 26 generations of wine production. Their stronghold in Tuscany includes the prized Tignanello estate, but today the portfolio encompasses almost two dozen different wine estates in regions throughout Italy, California's Napa Valley and other international sites. "Friuli and Jermann were the best possible answer," said Antinori.
Jermann was established in 1881 by Anton Jermann, great-grandfather of the current proprietor and winemaker, Silvio Jermann. Silvio is lauded for his role in bringing quality wines from Friuli to the forefront of Italian winemaking. Today the winery produces more than 16 labels from almost 420 acres of vineyards. "Silvio keeps a minority stake of the company and continues to be the 'soul' of Jermann, to guarantee the continuity of the style and quality of the wines," said Antinori.
Jermann gained international attention with its distinctive Venezia-Giulia Vintage Tunina, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Picolit first released in 1975, as well as its Venezia-Giulia Dreams, a white made almost entirely from Chardonnay.
The deal includes Jermann in its entirety—the inventory, two wineries, vineyards and the visitor and hospitality facility. "We have been good friends with Silvio Jermann for a very long time, and a mutual respect and trust has grown over the years," said Antinori, explaining that the deal was negotiated in only one month's time. "Therefore, talking to each other, we have realized that joining forces could be the best answer to his and our objectives."
—with reporting by Bruce Sanderson
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