|Past and present: the timeless beauty of Badia Passignano from a model at the Antinori Chianti museum|
|Present and future: the grand plan for the streamlined winery to outdo all wineries|
|The building of, as seen in the winery auditorium|
|This bird's eye view gives an idea of the size of the site; the village of Bargino is to the left; showcase vineyards are being planted where the earth is now|
|from winery museum: the family has displayed a number of paintings, most by well-known artists, in their little museum|
In their own words, the winery is seen as a homage to the Chianti Classico territory and to the family's historical links to this land. The Antinori family has been producing wine since 1385, over twenty-six generations.
|the Antinori family tree, as depicted in the 16th-17th century|
|strips of untreated oak line many walls inside the winery: one might almost be inside a wine barrel!|
|These light wells are so large that, when we flew south recently and gazed over Chianti, they pinpointed the winery for us, from at least 10,000 feet.|
What you first see of the structure is a cavernous underground parking area. Industrial-sized cylindrical red-steel tubes let in light. Then there is the staircase. A huge, narrowing helix of corten, it is probably the showpiece of the winery's design.
|staircase from below|
|and from the first floor|
|entrance to reception on first floor|
|the grape selection area, quite small in comparison to the rest, for reasons of quality control|
|one of the barrel cellars; the three cellars resemble giant folds in the earth|
|gelosie, typical terracotta fretwork found on old barns here, fills the walls at either end of the cellars|
|this photo does not render the size: the far wall must be about 100m away and the first vats are at least 5m tall|
|the vin santo preparation and aging area under the roof, as per tradition; the barrels are oak|
Our guide, proficient in English and very 'simpatica' and informative, took us through the whole wine-making process as well as describing the building of the winery. She was born nearby at Mercatale, had grown up helping in local vineyards at harvest time and was full of passion about and attachment to local traditions.
|At the wine tasting three wines were offered, one white and two reds: the best was decidedly the Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva|
At the end of the tour she pointed out the museum, enoteca, shop and auditorium as well as the restaurant on the roof, named in honour of the family's founding father, Rinuccio degli Antinori. We ate there: it was good, simple Tuscan fare, no frills, and quite reasonably priced.
|detail from restaurant: the small wine bottle on the right is an ingenious pepper mill: the name of one of the Antinori vineyards is Peppoli. The water glass is the bottom part of a wine bottle.|
|enoteca or wine shop; there is also a gift shop|