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Tignanello turns 50 and lights up Palazzo Antinori in Florence

A legendary wine, Tignanello by Antinori, today blows out its first 50 candles. It does this by illuminating Palazzo Antinori in Florence with an installation designed by Felice Limosani and with its contribution to the restoration of Ponte Vecchio. Half a century of one of the symbols of the Italian wine Renaissance, from those who have been carrying on a family heritage for 26 generations that harks back to that May 1385, when Giovanni di Piero Antinori, first of a long series that led today to the Marquis Piero, to his daughters Albiera, Allegra and Alessia and to his grandchildren who announce the continuation of the dynasty, he became part of the Florentine Arte dei Vinattieri. And it was an exciting five-decade long tasting of Tignanello in which we were led to celebrate a label that was able, among the first in the Italian panorama, to break the mold, becoming a point of reference that started what would have established itself in the world as the “Super Tuscan” movement.

Marquis Piero Antinori and his grandchildren

The special tasting for the 50th anniversary of Tignanello

Appointment on May 28th at the estate of the same name, on the splendid hills of Chianti Classico. And it is a look at the panorama that surrounds us that highlights the first element that tells of the uniqueness of Tignanello. As Marquis Piero Antinori himself has the opportunity to underline, when in introducing the special occasion he highlights how the beauty of the place represents one of the specific characteristics of this vineyard.

“Now there will probably be someone who will say but what does beauty have to do with the quality of the product”, his words. “There is actually no scientific explanation, but it is a fact that the great wines of the world all come from beautiful areas and that if we are well we can produce better and this does not only apply to the vineyards but to everyone”.

Tignanello turns 50 and with The art of Felice Limosani illuminates Palazzo Antinori in the heart of Florence

Furthermore, Tignanello is a heartfelt wine for Marchese Piero Antinori and his family: “50 years later, Tignanello never ceases to surprise me, year after year. A wine to which my family and I are deeply attached and which represents for us a never-ending challenge, the obsession to improve ourselves, to always question ourselves, to find ever higher quality margins”.

As demonstrated by the choice, in January 2021, to transform this suitable hill into a real Monopole, recomposing its original unit.

“Just a few months ago we replanted the last part of the vineyard on the Tignanello hill, and by chance it was precisely during this anniversary”, explained Marquis Piero Antinori, in front of the chosen place where in 1971 he had originates the first vintage of the special fruit of “76,682 vines of ancient Chianti vineyard, called Tignanello”, as stated in the text by Luigi Veronelli on the label of the first historic release, designed in 1974 by Silvio Coppola, famous graphic designer of his time.

We are at 390 meters above sea level, on hilly terrain rich in Alberese and Galestro. Here a wine takes shape conceived as the first Sangiovese to be aged in barrique, the first modern red wine blended with non-traditional varieties (such as Cabernet), and among the first red wines in Chianti Classico not to use white grapes.

A label that has become legendary over the last five decades and which today presents itself as a selection of Sangiovese and Cabernet coming from the vineyard of the same name on a 57-hectare plot of land facing south-west.

A story that saw its celebration in a unique tasting through symbolic vintages of the last 50 years.

A journey in the glass from 1978 to the 2021 preview

“Te Duce Proficio”: the motto of the Antinori family which means “Under your guidance I proceed”, also present on the Tignanello label, leads us to the discovery of that “table wine from Val di Pesa” born in 1971 from a the intuition of Marquis Piero Antinori. He is the one who bet on the Chianti terroir and on their ability to give wines with a unique character that would be able to compete with the best productions in the world. Supporting him in the realization of the project are a great character, oenologist and French wine enthusiast, Émile Peynaud, and Giacomo Tachis.

The first vintage, composed almost exclusively of Sangiovese grapes, was aged in Tronçais oak barriques until 12 February 1974, and was then released on the market at the price of 2,200 lire, compared to the 870 lire that were needed to buy a bottle of Chianti Classico at the time .

But Tignanello’s is an intuition to be cultivated and refined: the awareness is almost immediate that, to create a modern red wine of the highest quality capable of aging over time, an important contribution could be made by using a small amount of Cabernet. And this is how this mythical label finds its “recipe”.

As Émile Peynaud used to repeat, taking up the words of Oscar Wilde: “tradition is a successful innovation”. An innovation that works well, that is successful, becomes a tradition: and so it was for Tignanello, one of the first wines to be nicknamed “Super Tuscan” by the American press.

A confirmation, the extraordinary success of that first intuition, which also comes from tasting a vintage for each decade of the five explored so far.

The 1978 proves to be of extraordinary exuberance, despite the many years behind it, while the 1983 highlights an exemplary balance, with fruit perfectly integrated with the acidity and a velvety silkiness of the tannin that offers great emotions. Then the 1997, a vintage rich in quality, the 2004, full of energy, refined and savory, and the 2013, which closes the circle of the story of a wine that has always been modern. A story that continues today with the “50 year” preview: that Tignanello 2021 which Antinori already presents as perhaps the best ever, after a patient vintage which was able to give perfect grapes which in the cellar allowed the birth of a a wine of great richness and balance, already christened with excellent prospects in terms of aging potential.

Tignanello turns 50 and with The art of Felice Limosani illuminates Palazzo Antinori in the heart of Florence

And if, as with every myth, anecdotes abound, our journey to discover Tignanello ends with the list of vintages that can never be tasted: 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1984, 1992 and 2002. The reason why it’s easy to explain: they are the ones never produced.

The art of Felice Limosani illuminates Palazzo Antinori in the heart of Florence

The celebrations for the 50 years of Tignanello lead not only to Chianti Classico, but also to the heart of Florence. For the special occasion, in fact, from 31 May to 9 June, from 9pm to midnight, Palazzo Antinori comes alive with the experiential art of Felice Limosani to celebrate the anniversary of the legendary label, thanks to the installation entitled “Ars One” freely visible to all.

The historic family residence thus dialogues for the first time with a digital work, giving the city of Florence an exciting and contemplative experience.

Commissioned by the Antinori family, Felice Limosani reinterpreted the traditional techniques of landscape and floral painting using artificial intelligence and generative software, creating surreal settings between the figurative and the abstract, enhancing the majesty of nature. The work, visible on the facade and in the courtyard of the palace, transforms the atmospheres of the Chianti Classico into dreamlike landscapes and enchanted gardens. The soundtrack, composed of the natural sounds of birds, cicadas and crickets, evokes a unique and immersive sensorial dimension.

“For over six centuries our family has had a deep bond with the city of Florence, the world of wine and art”, comments Marquis Piero Antinori. “The 50 years of Tignanello have given us the opportunity to unite and pay homage to these three elements that are particularly close to our hearts, in the name of the Renaissance, both viticultural and artistic”.