Solaia – Antinori family

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.