An Ital­ian win­ery with a 600-year-old his­tory has an HQ that com­ple­ments the land while con­nect­ing to the fu­ture.

VOGUE Living Australia - - Art & Design - By AN­NEMARIE KIELY Pho­tographed by FELIX FOR­EST

In light of the glob­ally ob­served statis­tic that 12 per cent of fam­ily busi­nesses sur­vive be­yond a sec­ond gen­er­a­tion, the Tus­can-based Antinori fam­ily is not only anoma­lous, it is down­right freak­ish. Count­ing 26 gen­er­a­tions of wine pro­duc­ers, dat­ing back to 1385 (just decades af­ter Dante penned The Di­vine Com­edy), they have for more than six cen­turies trans­formed the ter­roir of Tus­cany into wines that push the pa­ram­e­ters of taste. In­deed, Mar­quis Piero Antinori, the hon­orary pres­i­dent of Marchesi Antinori — who has presided over 11 es­tates, mainly in Tus­cany, for the last five decades — ig­nited the so-called “Super Tus­can” rev­o­lu­tion nearly 40 years ago with his aro­matic Tig­nanello — the mile­stone Chi­anti made with no white grapes. It out­raged the purists, turned the com­pany into a global pow­er­house and re­cently prompted Wine Spec­ta­tor, the US bible on all things vino, to rate the 2013 vin­tage of “this iconic super Tus­can” in its top 10 world-best 100 wines for 2016. It marked a moment for the Mar­quis to pass the pres­i­dent’s ba­ton to his el­dest daugh­ter Al­bieria, who, sup­ported by her sis­ters Al­le­gra and Alessia, is turn­ing the long-term pat­ri­mony of pro­duc­tion into a 21st-cen­tury soror­ity. This break with tra­di­tion tells in the Antinori Chi­anti Clas­sico win­ery, the new Marchesi Antinori head­quar­ters and cel­lars in the ham­let of Bargino (half an hour by car from Florence), where, af­ter 600 years of closed-to-the-pub­lic pro­duc­tion, the fam­ily has laid open its pro­cesses in award-win­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. “We needed a new win­ery in the Chi­anti Clas­sico area be­cause the old one in San Cas­ciano town was squeezed in,” says Al­biera, who steered the com­mis­sion for a new com­plex that would con­sol­i­date the com­pany’s ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices and in­ter­face with the wine con­sumer. “We said, ‘Let’s try and do some­thing that is a sign of the fu­ture for to­day.’” Meet­ing with Marco Casa­monti, found­ing part­ner of Florence-based firm, Archea As­so­ciati, Al­biera briefed for a sub­tle in­ser­tion into the “very del­i­cate and his­tor­i­cal” coun­try­side — a work­ing win­ery that was pleas­ant to be in and pro­jected the “essence” of the Anti­noris. “We are Floren­tine with a long his­tory and we are used to beau­ti­ful things, but things that are very sim­ple,” she says, il­lus­trat­ing the point with Palazzo Antinori, the Re­nais­sance stun­ner (in Florence’s fash­ion­able Via de’ Tornabuoni) that was bought by Nic­colò Antinori in 1506. “There are very sim­ple straight lines and the build­ing is very ef­fi­cient for what it has to do; ev­ery space has a pur­pose.” Casa­monti ac­cord­ingly de­canted the Anti­noris’ deep con­nec­tion to land and their pro­found re­gional le­gacy into a pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity that buries its bulk into the Bargino hill­side. Lower-level ter­ra­cot­talined vaults (hous­ing pro­duc­tion and stor­age) con­nect with up­per-level ad­min­is­tra­tion and pub­lic ar­eas that present as Fon­tana-like slashes of glass façade from the road. The ubiq­ui­tous use of Corten steel, rusted to the tint of the ter­roir, dis­solves all struc­ture into vine­yard slope, re­sult­ing in a sub­tle red that packs in­ner sur­prise. Arch Daily named it ‘Build­ing of the Year’ in 2013; we call it a sin­gle vin­tage spec­tac­u­lar that must be slowly en­joyed.

“We are Floren­tine with a long his­tory and we are used to beau­ti­ful things, but things that are very sim­ple”

The cir­cu­lar voids in the win­ery build­ing al­low light into the lower lev­els.

left: The spi­ral stair­case at Marchesi Antinori links the lower-level car park to the re­cep­tion area and restau­rant above.

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