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Opus One is among California’s leading wine estates. It was founded as a joint venture between two leading wine producers: Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the owner of Château Mouton Rothschild in Pauillac; and Robert Mondavi, one of the most influential figures in Californian wine history.


The History of the Estate:

Opus One was created in 1978 by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the legendary owner of Château Mouton Rothschild, and the famous Napa Valley wine producer Robert Mondavi. It is located in the Oakville sub-region of California’s Napa Valley. There are four estate-owned vineyards, including considerable holdings in the prestigious To Kalon vineyard. By combining both families’ winemaking traditions and innovations, the partners aimed to create an exceptional wine in the heart of the Napa Valley. Opus One was a success and has been acclaimed as a “Californian First Growth”. Opus One has 55 hectares of vines planted with Bordeaux grape varieties. Baroness Philippine de Rothschild inaugurated the new Opus One winery, one of the architectural gems of the Napa Valley, in 1991.

Constellation Brands acquired Robert Mondavi Winery in 2004 and reached an agreement with Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA in the following year to continue Opus One as a 50/50 joint venture. Asserting its independence and striking a perfect balance between its two partners, Opus One’s sole aim is to maintain its founders’ vision and passion for future generations.


The Vineyard:


The Opus One estate is made up of 4 parcels located in the western part of the famous Oakville wine region. Two parcels, covering 40 hectares, are part of the famous To Kalon vineyard. To these can be added the 28 hectares of the Ballestra and River parcels that surround the Opus One estate.



The vines are cultivated using traditional methods, such as harvesting by hand where this is the best option. In addition, if modern techniques can improve our viticultural methods, we study and evaluate them rigorously before implementing them.


The Wines:

While the exact proportions of the blend vary from vintage to vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon remains the emblematic grape variety, complemented by Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec in homage to Bordeaux tradition and the flagship varieties of Bordeaux’s left bank. From the vineyard to the cellar, every stage in the production of Opus One wines bears witness to the utmost care and attention. The wines are matured for 18 months in new French oak barrels. After bottling, the wine is aged in bottle for a further 15 months before being released on 1 October each year. These rigorous, uncompromising choices have produced the exceptional grand cru that is Opus One.

The family estate’s two signature wines, Solaia and Tignanello, are produced from these vineyards and have been defined by the international press as “among the most influential wines in the history of Italian viticulture”. According to Marchesi Antinori, Solaia and Tignanello are an ongoing challenge and a never-ending passion.

The History of the Estate:

Antinori is the most famous name in Italian wine and the influence of Piero Antinori in the last 25 years has been nothing short of revolutionary. Antinori’s flagship wine, Tignanello, first appeared in 1971 and caused a sensation by its use of Cabernet Sauvignon in a Sangiovese blend and with its practice of ageing in small French barriques. Antinori was accused of vinous treachery and treason but soon barrique-aged blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet began appearing all across Tuscany.

Tignanello was created by Giacomo Tachis and Piero Antinori in 1970, then it was called Podere Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva, becoming Tignanello, Vino da Tavola in 1971 when it was made as a pure Sangiovese. In 1975 the Cabernet Sauvignon arrived which in recent years is leaning towards Cabernet Franc under the guidance of Renzo Cotarella.



The Terroir:

Within the boundaries of Tenuta Tignanello’s about 130 hectares of vineyards, divided into smaller individual parcels, are two of the finest pearls: the Tignanello vineyard and the Solaia vineyard.

The soils, originating in the Pliocene period, are rich in calcareous rock and marl and sit at an altitude of 350-400 meters above sea level with considerable temperature fluctuation between day and night; all of these factors combined give the grapes their unique characteristics.


Grape varieties grown include the indigenous Sangiovese and untraditional varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that are able to fully express the territory’s distinctive characteristics.


The Wines:

Tignanello was the first Sangiovese to be aged in barriques, the first contemporary red wine blended with untraditional varieties (specifically Cabernet) and one of the first red wines in the Chianti Classico region that didn’t use white grapes. Tignanello is a milestone. It’s produced with a selection of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The Marchesi Antinori family are world famous for two wines; one is Tignanello and the other Solaia, which since 1978 has become Antinori’s and one of Italy’s most prestigious wines. Solaia is a mirror reflection of Tignanello made up of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Sangiovese, Tignanello is the exact opposite.


The History of the Estate:


Antinori is the most famous name in Italian wine and the influence of Piero Antinori in the last 25 years has been nothing short of revolutionary. Antinori’s flagship wine, Tignanello, first appeared in 1971 and caused a sensation by its use of Cabernet Sauvignon in a Sangiovese blend and with its practice of ageing in small French barriques. Antinori was accused of vinous treachery and treason but soon barrique-aged blends of Sangiovese and Cabernet began appearing all across Tuscany.

Solaia is a Cabernet-dominated blend, which, like Tignanello, is from the Santa Cristina estate and is stunningly rich. Tenuta Belvedere is in Bolgheri on the Mediterranean coast.





The Terroir:

Solaia translates loosely as ‘The sunny one’, aptly named to reflect the glorious sunshine that showers the eponymously named 10 hectare vineyard. The Tenuta Tignanello estate lies at the heart of the Chianti Classico region, between the Pesa and Greve valleys. At 350-400 meters above sea level, it’s known as one of the highest and most picturesque localities in the entire territory.

The 130-hectare vineyard is divided into smaller parcels. The Solaia and Tignanello vineyards lie on the gentle southwest-facing slope, with marine marlstone from the Pliocene period that’s rich in limestone and schist.

The Solaia vineyard is 20 hectares with vines that average 15 years old. 75% of the vineyard is dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the remaining 20% is planted with Sangiovese grapes.

The site is adjacent to Tignanello in the Mercatale Val di Pesa zone of Chianti Classico, further inland than Sassicaia and Ornellaia (coastal Bolgheri).


The Wines:

Only produced in exceptional vintages Solaia is a very intense ruby red in colour with concentrated aromas of red and black fruits (cherries and black cherries, raspberries, cassis, blueberries, and wild berry fruit) alongside notes of vanilla, black pepper, and liquorice. The palate is exceptionally elegant and balanced, fresh in its flavour and and silky in texture and tannin. The finish, characterised by notes of fruit and spices, is of great finesse and length.

Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is located in one of the world’s most exciting wine regions: Bolgheri. A breathtaking avenue lined by towering cypress trees leads inland from the Aurelia, the old Roman coastal road, up to the walls of Bolgheri’s medieval hamlet. From the village the view extends far out to sea and on a clear day the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago and Corsica can be seen.

The History of the Estate:

Ornellaia has always been an expression of the close bond between humans and nature.

Owned by the Frescobaldi family, many men and women have defined the Ornellaia story. Some are no longer with us, while many others are essential parts of Ornellaia’s current incarnation and working towards its future. Marchese Ferdinando Frescobaldi is President of Ornellaia alongside Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO since 1999.

Winemakers for 700 years, the Frescobaldi family bring together a creative mindset, pursuit of excellence and a deep respect for tradition. Cultivating and celebrating local diversity has always been their philosophy, respecting the identity and independence of each wine estate.

Every vintage is a new page in the story of Ornellaia. Forty years since its founding, the Ornellaia name is synonymous with the Italian lifestyle and represents a timeless elegance.


The Terroir:



In the past, parts of the Ornellaia estate were covered by the Mediterranean Sea, leaving behind sand, marl and marine fossils. Clay emerges at a slightly higher altitude, dotted with limestone pebbles of varying sizes.





The soil at Ornellaia is marine, alluvial and volcanic in origin. The vineyards are separated into dozens of parcels: each is a microcosm with its own unique identity and expression. All around the vines, the Mediterranean bush and forest reigns supreme.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the main varieties planted on the estate, followed by Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, while Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng, Viognier, Verdicchio and Vermentino are the grapes used to make the white wines. The vineyards are mainly southwest facing to embrace the last ray of sunshine that sets over the sea.



Discovering the land’s potential for winemaking was the starting point, but without vision and sheer there would be no Ornellaia. Nature is a generous friend to Ornellaia and we strive to respect its resources. This is the essence of Ornellaia, its past and its future.


The Wines:

Ornellaia is a blend of nature and musing. Complex ancient soils converse through human wisdom with a delicate microclimate that is echoed and reflected in the Mediterranean Sea. Prolonged ageing accompanies the estate’s fine wine in achieving its utmost expression, revealing finesse and generosity over time.

Ornellaia is a Cabernet/Merlot wine blend. It is a model of rich, silky elegance and has rapidly become a modern classic.

Masseto is an Italian wine produced in the Bolgheri of Tuscany, specifically within the coastal area known as the Maremma. It is renowned as one of Italy’s most prestigious and sought-after wines, particularly for its exceptional quality and limited production.


The History of the Estate:

Masseto was created around the same time as Ornellaia in the 1980s by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s founder Marchese Lodovico Antinori.

The slope, where the Masseto vineyard sits, wasn’t the ideal location for Merlot vines. But, Lodovico Antinori wanted to produce Bordeaux-style wines, took a risk, and planted them against all advice, tradition, and odds. Antinori wanted to plant Merlot to differentiate his estate from Nicolo Incisa’s Sassicaia.

The first vintage of Masseto was released in 1986 and received immediate acclaim. The reputation of Masseto wine continued to rise through the 1990s.


The winery was co-owned by Robert Mondavi and Marchesi De Frescobaldi from 2002 to 2005. The Frescobaldi Family (producers of Brunello di Montalcino) took over both Ornellaia and Masseto wine estates in 2005 and currently owns both.

In 2008, Masseto became the first Italian wine to be sold through the Place de Bordeaux (the complex system of negociants who sell Bordeaux wine to the rest of the world.)


Masseto continues to enjoy worldwide success under estate director and winemaker Axel Heinz, in consultation with oenologist Michel Rolland.


The Terroir:

The Masseto hill is both a revelation and a mystery, as it majestically lifts its head to look out across the Tyrrhenian Sea.

“We are always on the point of obtaining a fantastic wine, but the final result can never be taken for granted. nevertheless, this vineyard never ceases to amaze us. It’s truly a magical place where nature makes the most important decisions.”

Lamberto Frescobaldi, President

The sea is an integral part of every Masseto vintage. In summer, its rippling surface acts as a vast mirror, amplifying the sun’s brightness. As light pours over the vineyard, the sea brews another element. Soft, moisture laden Aeolian breezes that slide between the vines and around the grape bunches. The cool air tempers the ripening process, prolongs the gentle evolution of a bracing, balancing acidity and ensures the fruit is refreshed in the driest months, and dry in the wettest.


Beneath the earth, a third marine influence is at work. Roots find their way into the tract of million-year-old blue clay on which the vineyard now sits. Once seabed, it is filled with minerals and fossils of the life that was.



The Wines:

The Grand Vin of the estate, Masseto, is an invitation to discover, through a subtle alchemy between smoothness, elegance and power, the expression of a mosaic of vineyards planted on one of the finest Tuscan terroirs. A rare combination of sumptuous opulence and polished elegance.



As a tribute to its rugged force, its softness, and the debt it owes to the soil from which it rises, Masseto was named after the rock-hard clusters of blue clay called ‘massi’ that form on the vineyard’s surface.

Masseto is produced in minimal quantities, making it a rare and highly sought-after wine. The annual production is small, with variations depending on vintage conditions.

Tenuta San Guido is a legendary estate located in Tuscany in the Bolgheri area and extends between the coast and the rolling hills of the Maremma. The vineyards are planted up on those hills and have even been given their own DOC – Bolgheri Sassicaia, the first, and so far only case in Italy of a DOC contained in a single estate.


History of the Estate:

Tenuta San Guido’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most sought-after fine wines is largely owed to the vision and dedication of Mario Incisa della Rocchetta. The estate’s origins trace back to his wife’s family, who had owned land in Bolgheri since 1800. The name “Sassicaia”, meaning “place of many stones,” reflects the gravelly soil reminiscent of the Médoc region in France.

Mario Incisa della Rocchetta planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines on this land and enlisted the expertise of Piero Antinori’s winemaker, Giacomo Tachis. Tachis played a pivotal role in shaping Tenuta San Guido’s winemaking philosophy and techniques.

From 1945 to 1967, Sassicaia remained a strictly private product, reserved exclusively for family and friends. The 1968 vintage was the first to appear on the market wich garnered universal acclaim. Over time, it has become recognised as one of the world’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines.



The Terroir:

Tenuta San Guido is the only winery to have vineyards suitable for claiming the DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, a type created as a sub-zone of the DOC Bolgheri back in 1994 and converted to an autonomous DOC in December 2013.

The vineyard are organised in different plots and located in areas chosen for their unique characteristics of exposure and soil composition.

In the Sassicaia microzone there are two distinct areas: the first, foothills, where the vineyards are at an altitude of about 80 metres above sea level and originate in the Lower Middle Pleistocene. The second is hilly, with vineyards located between 250 and 400 metres above sea level and originating in the Lower Cretaceous and Eocene-Paleocene periods.

Vineyards in such diverse areas are an important factor in the complexity of the wines and allow for an optimal selection of grapes depending on the climatic conditions that determine their degree of ripeness and acidity.


The climate is decisive for the correct and healthy ripening of the grapes. It is influenced by the sea and the hills behind, which protect it from the cold northern winds. There is no need to enrich the soil thanks to the complex alternation of soils that make up Tenuta San Guido’s agronomic heritage.




The Wines:

The wines of Tenuta San Guido are celebrated for their intense notes of cassis, coupled with a cedary elegance, and are renowned for their extraordinary power and length. This combination of factors has solidified Tenuta San Guido’s position as a pinnacle of quality and prestige in the world of fine wine.




The 1968 vintage saw the debut of Sassicaia, a courageous wine that at the time, broke away from the standard way of making Tuscan Wine.






Guidalberto marks the new millennium: the 2000 vintage appears on the market with less pretense than Sassicaia and with a more approachable drinkability, while showing a great aging potential.





Le Difese’s first vintage was 2002. It is the latest addition at Tenuta San Guido. It is an extremely pleasant, smooth and versatile wine that welcomes a selection of grapes blended with Sangiovese, while it exemplifies its qualities when paired with food.




“Well dressed and brilliant, a dense and demure bouquet, of an uncommon sullen elegance …with a consistent backbone in a well-structured fabric.”

(Luigi Veronelli, Panorama, 1974)

Domaine d’Auvenay is the fabled home of winemaking legend Lalou Bize-Leroy, one of Burgundy’s most fastidious and talented vignerons. Madame Leroy is truly a master of her art, producing microscopic quantities of magnificent white wines of unrivalled intensity and concentration that are exceptionally true to the unique terroir of each of her vineyards.

The History of the Estate:

The success story of the domaine d’AUVENAY started in 1868 with Maison Leroy, a négociant business founded by François Leroy.

Lalou’s career has been of an extraordinary kind. She first joined the family’s négociant business in 1955, then in 1974 stepped into the role of co-gérant of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti alongside Aubert de Villaine, where she remained until 1992. During this time, she made a name for herself by hosting wine tasting events for critics, sommeliers and others in the wine trade at her home, the Domaine d’Auvenay.

Domaine d’Auvenay amounts to 4 hectares of vines spread over 16 different appellations. The estate counts prestigious appellations such as Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru, Criots Batard Montrachet Grand Cru and Batard Montrachet Grand Cru, one of the latest additions to the domaine’s holding. The Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru of Madame Leroy is for many the epitome of what a great white burgundy is.



The Vineyard:

Since the very beginning Lalou Bize-Leroy has been committed to keep low yields, small berries and retaining the health of the domaine’s old vines.

To do so, her first decision when taking over the vineyards was to shift to organic practices, which at the time was revolutionary in Burgundy. Back in the early 90s, only Nicolas Joly in the Loire valley was managing his vineyards fully organically.

Ignoring all critics, Madame Leroy chose to explore further her beliefs and quickly moved to biodynamic farming as a holistic system from beginning to end. Constantly innovating, Lalou Bize-Leroy has also introduced the use of tisanes and herbs concoctions in her vineyards to reduce the use of sulfur.


As a result, the vines produce some of the lowest yields in Burgundy with an average 15-hectolitre per hectare. But more importantly, all that hard work in the vineyard makes for pure and concentrated wines with a magical energy.



The Wines:

It’s interesting to note that Domaine d’Auvenay house is located about 200 metres higher than the Domaine Leroy’s winery in Vosne-Romanée. That small difference means that the cellars are colder. This explains why people often find d’Auvenay’s red wines less expressive when young when compared to Leroy’s wines. The reds of d’Auvenay need time to open up and reveal their true quality.

Both red and white grapes are put into tailor-made wooden fermentation vats that fit a specific parcel of vines. Every stage of the vinification is driven by the desire to preserve each terroir’s identity.

With this level of attention to detail it’s not surprising that year after year Domaine d’Auvenay produces such exceptional wines at only 10,000 bottles per vintage.

Founded in 1868 in the Côtes de Nuits by François Leroy, winemaker and wine merchant, Maison Leroy embodies the quintessence of great Burgundy wines. World-renowned and adulated by all the great critics and tasters of the world, Maison Leroy is one of the myths of Burgundy.


The history of the Estate:

Henri Leroy joined the family business in 1919. Thanks to him, Maison Leroy enjoyed a meteoric rise. In 1942, the Leroy family became co-owners of the iconic Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which went on to become a veritable jewel in the crown.


The House of Leroy is inevitably associated with Lalou-Bize Leroy, the great lady of Burgundy. Lalou Bize-Leroy became co-manager of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1974 and worked alongside Aubert de Villaine until 1992. An outstanding taster, Lalou Bize-Leroy fascinates with her unique and singular vision of Burgundy. She has a perfect knowledge of the terroirs and is an extreme perfectionist. She established herself as a pioneer by introducing biodynamic viticulture to her vineyards as early as 1988.




The Terroir:

Domaine Leroy owns 21 hectares. It has 9 Grands Crus, 8 Premiers Crus, 9 Villages and plots in generic appellations. From Chambolle-Musigny to Pommard, via Volnay, Vosne-Romanée, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault and Santenay, Domaine Leroy covers the most prestigious terroirs in Burgundy.


Domaine Leroy is blessed with a heritage of ancient vines, in part because Lalou Bize-Leroy never grubs up and replants. Instead she replaces individual missing vines, from her own cuttings, but never too many at once in a given vineyard. These old vines combined with her training and pruning policy, restricting the bunches to just four per vine, explain in part the concentration of Leroy wines. The average yield across appellations and vintages at Domaine Leroy is around 16 hl/ha.


The Wines:

In the cellar there is no winemaker no oenologist, André Porcheret not having been replaced when he left after the 1993 harvest. The grapes are of such quality that they do not need a winemaker.

Today Domaine Leroy has achieved unrivalled status. Currently, 8 of the 20 most expensive wines in the world are produced by Leroy and production is minuscule – some of the plots produce one, maybe two to four barrels a year, with each barrel equating to only 100 bottles. While four of the First Growths make 20,000 cases plus a year each (across 22 hectares which comprise 25 different vineyards), Domaine Leroy produces just 600 cases. The minuscule DRC Romanee Conti produces more than this alone, while DRC La Tache releases three times this.

Calon Ségur is one of the oldest vineyards in Médoc. His name is derived from the term ‘Calones’, which referred to small transport vessels sailing on the Gironde estuary. Wine production started in the XII century and is today part of the iconic estates of Saint-Estèphe.


History of the Estate:

Historians trace Calon’s origins back to Gallo-Roman times. Wine production has been documented since the 12th century, but it was in the 18th century, with the Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, who also owned Latour, Lafite and Mouton, that the estate wrote its finest pages.

Later in 1855, when the estate was under the reigns of Firmin de Lestapis, Calon Ségur appeared in the famous 1855 classification as a third growth.

In 2012, Suravenir, a subsidiary of the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group, acquired Châteaux Calon Ségur and Capbern. The renovation programme was launched. On 26 September 2016, the new vat room opened for the harvest. The renovated ageing cellars welcomed their first barrels in November.


The Terroir:

Calon Ségur is unique because its terroir is unlike any other. The altitude can reach 13 metres, but the relief is clear and the slopes encourage rainwater to run off. Everywhere, the layers of gravel deposited by the river in the Quaternary period are thick, covering a predominantly clay subsoil. This combination of gravel and clay explains, among other things, the strength and finesse of Calon Ségur wines.


The restructuring of the vineyard begun in 2006 is continuing, with two major objectives: to increase planting density and to give more room to Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon now accounts for 56% of the vineyard, alongside 35% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. It will reach 70% by 2032, at the end of the restructuring programme.




The Wines:

The great wine of Calon Ségur is a reflection of its terroir: rare, authentic and moving. With a great deal of naturalness, it reveals both great sweetness and exceptional intensity. The style is driven by a Cabernet Sauvignon that reveals its finesse without arrogance. Elegance is everywhere, in the purity of the flavours and the delicacy of the texture. Finally, the depth and length are remarkable.



The wine’s extraordinary bottle age is another of the estate’s hallmarks. The 1947, 1953 and 1982 vintages, for example, show astonishing signs of youth.

Château Beaumont is a large Cru Bourgeois estate in the Haut-Médoc which can trace its history back to 1824. Located between St Julien and Margaux, Château Beaumont has 113 hectares of vineyards. It aims to produce a rich and crowd-pleasing wine. They have hired consultant Eric Boissenot, a renowned oenologist in Bordeaux who is involved in many estates, in order to do so and the results are promising.


The History of the Estate:

Cleared in 1772, the estate became the property of Henri Labarthe, who cleaned it up and prepared it for vine growing. The Beaumont vineyard was created in 1824 by its new owner, Monsieur Bonnin. From 1830 to 1847, the Maison de Beaumont belonged to the Marquis d’Aligre, one of France’s greatest fortunes, who tripled the size of the vineyard. In 1849, the estate passed into the hands of the Bonnin brothers, who built Château Beaumont in 1854. They were succeeded in 1890 by the Parisian industrialist Joseph Germain. Through his devotion, he succeeded in elevating the wines of Château Beaumont to the top rank of Médoc Crus Bourgeois.

After several handovers of the vineyard, in 1986 Château Beaumont began its twelfth life with the arrival of the GMF group, which joined forces with the Japanese Suntory group to create Grands Millésimes de France, which also owns Château Beychevelle and Bordeaux wine merchant Barrière Frères.


The Terroir:

Situated on the left bank of the Gironde, between the communes of Margaux and Saint-Julien, Château Beaumont draws its finesse and delicacy from the deep gravels of the best Haut-Médoc soils. The château has opted for integrated wine production in accordance with the Terra Vitis specifications, with the aim of producing quality grapes with the greatest respect for the environment.

With a surface area of 113 hectares, the average age of the estate’s vines is 20 years. The grape varieties are typical of the appellation, with 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The château produces between 600 and 700,000 bottles each year.


The Wines:

Blossoming on gravelly hilltops, the Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine structure, the Merlot smoothness and the Petit Verdot brilliance. A rigorous selection of grapes produces wines that are delicious and full of charm. The nose is full of fresh red and black fruits with subtle hints of spice. The palate is beautifully balanced, with stunning rich black fruits and full, fine and ripe tannins.

Château Beaumont wines can be enjoyed young or cellared for up to fifteen years, when they will reveal their full complexity.

To achieve the best balance in their wines, they use only gentle, selective methods to extract colour, tannins and aromatic compounds. The wines are matured in French oak barrels for 12 to 14 months, with one-third of the barrels replaced each year. The château wants to prevent the aromas brought on by the new wood from overpowering the fruit aromas brought on by the grapes.