Drink Local: Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell' Ornellaia and planted the first French varietal grape vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany's coas

In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia and planted the first French varietal grape vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany’s coastal region, Maremma; today the estate yields some of the finest Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany, Italy

 

Following our visit to Azienda Agricole Le Macchiole (winery) in the Coastal Bolgheri region of Tuscany, Italy [see our previous blog post], we drove to the nearby winery estate of Ornellaia, where we had an extensive tour and tasting.  We wrapped up our afternoon with a visit to the region’s namesake town, Bolgheri.

 

The visitor center at the front of the Ornellaia winery building in Bolgheri, Italy, features a display of artist-designed labels for Ornellaia vintages and a fabulous collection of mode

The visitor center at the front of the Ornellaia winery building in Bolgheri, Italy, features a display of artist-designed labels for Ornellaia vintages and a fabulous collection of modern art

 

“In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia, an estate whose potential had been ignored for decades.  With the help of Andre Tchelistcheff, the famous agronomist, Antinori planted the first French vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany’s coastal region, Maremma.  The estate yields some of the finest Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany.“ –  www.wine.com

 

The production facility at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy, glistens with stainless steel tanks and equipment

The production facility at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy, glistens with stainless steel tanks and equipment

 

Even the barrel aging room features modern art at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

Even the barrel aging room features modern art at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

 

“Ornellaia was established by Marchese Lodovico Antinori of the Antinori family, behind one of Italy’s most historic negociant firms, with the help of winemaker Tibor Gál.  The property is adjacent to Tenuta San Guido, producer of Sassicaia which is considered the original “Super Tuscan”.  Ornellaia has been described as Lodovico Antinori’s competitive answer to his cousin Nicolò Incisa’s Sassicaia, and his older brother Piero Antinori’s Solaia.  The vineyards of the estate were planted in 1981, producing the first vintage in 1985.  A modern winery was built in 1987, and a second 56-hectare (140-acre) property was later added, Bellaria, situated north of Bolgheri.  The Robert Mondavi Winery took a minority interest in the estate in November 1999, and were full owners by 2002, while initiating a partnership with the Frescobaldi family.  In April 2005, Frescobaldi bought the remaining 50% shares of Ornellaia from Constellation Brands after their acquisition of Mondavi holdings, coming to own the whole estate.   Axel Heinz is the current winemaker with Michel Rolland, involved with the estate since its beginning, retained as consultant oenologist.” — Wikipedia

 

The Ornellaia vintage wines_ “Archivio Storico” (archival, or library, storage facility), Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

The Ornellaia vintage wines’ “Archivio Storico” (archival, or library, storage facility), Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

 

The South African artist William Kentridge designed a special label, “Il Carisma” for Ornellaia 2015; Ornellaia is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Ver

The South African artist William Kentridge designed a special label, “Il Carisma” for Ornellaia 2015; “Ornellaia is a cuvée of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot and the faithful expression of unique terroir developed in harmony with nature” – http://www.Ornellaia.com/en/

 

“Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista celebrates the unique character of each new vintage of Ornellaia. Every year since the release of Ornellaia 2006 in May 2009, a contemporary artist creates a work of art and a series of limited edition labels drawing inspiration from the single word chosen by the Winemaker to describe the character of the new vintage. The Vendemmia d’Artista project includes a label created by the Artist for one bottle in each wooden case of Ornellaia (containing 6 x 750ml bottles) and a limited edition of 111 large size bottles (100 double magnums (3L), 10 Imperials (6L) and 1 Salmanazar (9L) each individually numbered and personally signed by the artist. Collectors around the world covet these bottles and the auction of some of them during an annual charity event raises money in support of the Arts. The Vendemmia d’Artista project culminates in a work of art created specifically for the Estate tying together the character of the vintage and the artist’s interpretation at the birthplace of Ornellaia.” — www.ornellaia.com/en/

 

The Berlin artist Rebecca Horn, in 2011, designed the art adorning the special large bottles of the 2008 vintage of Ornellaia – her artwork is titled l_Energia; Ornellaia (winery), B

The Berlin artist Rebecca Horn, in 2011, designed the art adorning the special large bottles of the 2008 vintage of Ornellaia – her artwork is titled l’Energia; Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

 

The lineup of wines for our wine tasting at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

The lineup of wines for our wine tasting at Ornellaia (winery), Bolgheri, Italy

 

The old castle is famous as the landmark symbol of the town of Bolgheri, Italy

The old castle is famous as the landmark symbol of the town of Bolgheri, Italy

 

Classic Italian architecture in this façade in the town of Bolgheri, Italy_

Classic Italian architecture in this façade in the town of Bolgheri, Italy

 

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