Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation
Home > USA > Spotlight
Antinori, six centuries of wine
Roma - (Adnkronos Multimedia) - Six centuries of history, since when, in 1385, Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member of the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri, the corporation bringing together the best wine producers. 26 generations later, Marchesi Antinori srl are the most important wine producers in Italy: almost 2000 hectares of vineyards in Italy and over 400 abroad; and a âŹ100 million turnover, 55% of which is realised on international markets. Today, the company is led by Piero Antinori, with the help of his three daughters Albiera, Allegra and Alessia. In addition, tradition and passion and intuition have been the driving qualities which have led to Antinori's success. Over time, investments in other areas have been added to the family's historic estates in Tuscany and Umbria. The new estates in Italy and abroad were chosen as being particularly suited to the production of quality wines, where it was possible to bring the best out of new "terroirs" with high potential for wine production.
What is the secret of the success?
"Above all, research and innovation," explains Piero Antinori.
"We are always experimenting, working on: the selection of clones of Italian and international grapes; new growing techniques; researching the effects of altitude on the vines; fermentation methods and temperatures; traditional and modern winemaking techniques; the study of the wood, size and age of the barrels; and varying the length of bottle ageing."
Antinori has made a reputation on international markets as a company with excellent standards of quality. What has this evolution involved?
"A great commitment to constantly follow strict standards, or in other words continuous work aimed at improving quality in various fields, such as research and experimentation, the purchase and planting of new vines. This has always been part of our philosophy, but has especially characterised the last 10-15 years.
No less important has been advertising, because quality, once achieved, must also be transferred to the market. This has meant a great commitment in travelling to foreign markets and taking part in events, fairs and establishing contact and a good relationship not only with experts in the sector, importers and customers, but also with the international mass media".
What role has been played by tradition on one hand, and innovation, on the other?
"On one hand, our ancient roots have taught us the responsibility towards the territory and respect for the environment; on the other, our interest in innovation motivates us to exploit the huge potential of our vines".
What markets have you focused on, and why?
"In Europe our top priority is without doubt Germany, which we thought was the market with the most growth potential, and where in fact the image of Italian wine, and Tuscan wine in particular, has made enormous progress in the last 10 years. In addition to Germany, the United States represents a reference market of primary importance. Recently, the Americans have completely changed their lifestyle and their approach to food and wine, which is now increasingly popular".
What strategies have you used to penetrate these markets?
"In addition to advertising, we have relied for distribution on importers specialised in the sector, with whom we have set up an extremely close relationship of collaboration, considering them more like partners than simple customers".
What goals have you set yourself for the near future?
"Without doubt exports can still grow. In addition to consolidation of the traditional markets, we see great potential in new markets such as Russia, China, India and Latin America".
Marchesi Antinori srl
Piazza Antinori 3
50123 Florence - Italy