This prestigious winery was founded by Lodovico Antinori, a man of some pedigree in Tuscany, his aunt having been wife to Marchese Mario, the man who at the Sassicaia estate was responsible for beginning the Super-Tuscan movement. He began as a winemaker in California, but returned to his native homeland in 1981. Having inherited a plot of marshy Maremma coastland from his mother, Antinori began creating his wines in the Super-Tuscan mould, eschewing native varieties like Sangiovese for those more typical of Bordeaux. He cultivated Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and released the first vintage of his flagship wine, Ornellaia, in 1985. The Merlot was planted as an experiment and in an effort to differentiate his estate from Sassicaia, the original Super-Tuscan where Lodovico Antinori’s brother Piero was a highly successful consultant.
From the vine to the wine
The vineyards of Tenute Silvio Nardi extend east and west of Montalcino in a primarily hilly area that ranges between a height of 140 metres and 480 metres above sea level.
The soils are generally composed of clayey substrates with sandy and muddy intercalations. On the terraces near Casale del Bosco, which are probably of fluvial and tectonic origin, there are shallow but cool bare soils over jasper. In the area of Manachiara the soils lay on top of clays and siltstone-marl with calcareous intercalations and sands rich in quartz. The lands are not very deep but are well-structured with medium inclines and weak erosion.