The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles

Piero Antinori, trans. from the Italian by Natalie Danford. Rizzoli, $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8478-4388-6
Prestigious Tuscan vintner Antinori’s elucidating work on the consolidation and growth of an old Italian wine-making family serves as a promotion of his products across the world as well. Known especially for its Villa Antinoni Chianti Classico, the family company reinvented itself over the decades by continually embracing new vineyards, both in Italy and in California’s Napa Valley, and by adapting to and incorporating new varietals, such as its Montenisa Brut Rose, Solaia, Tignanello, or Cervaro della Sala wines, to name a few. Having started in the family business as an “inspector,” Antinori excelled at drumming up new business through travel and took the helm in 1966 (he is the 25th head of the Antinori family, which means they got started in the medieval era). He freely admits to some business mistakes he made over the years, such as when he discounted the ability of his three daughters, Albiera, Allegra, and Alessia, to take over the business in the mid-1980s and instead joined an eight-year partnership with the British corporation Samuel Whitbread. (Antinori resumed ownership of the ancestral Palazzo Antinori in Florence, and now seems to be ceding the reins of the company to his talented daughters gradually.) The author’s well-founded experience in expanding the global market for Italian wines, as well as his genuine passion for his work and deep knowledge of the Italian terroir, informs this useful perspective for entrepreneurial readers. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 09/09/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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