The wine cellars of renowned Tuscan producer Antinori are to be opened to the public for the first time.
An impression of the outline of the new winery
Chairing a seminar at the recent World Wine Symposium on Lake Como, Antinori vice president Albiera Antinori told Decanter.com the 600-year-old estate would lead by example in embracing wine tourism in the region.
‘Italy has been extremely slow in acknowledging the importance of wine tourism. We needed a new winery so we decided to build it in a way that visitors could see it without interfering with the wine production,’ she said.
The new winery and visitor centre, to be located between Florence and Siena, will be used to produce Antinori’s Chianti Classico DOCG wines and also serve as the company’s new headquarters.
Despite the difficult economic climate, Antinori is confident that the new winery is a worthwhile investment for the company and will attract tourists already in the region.
‘We have no concerns regarding a lack of visitors to the winery,’ she said. ‘The main goal has always been to improve our winemaking facilities. However, I am also sure that it will be an interesting, educational place for wine lovers to come see and we look forward to welcoming them.’
Tourism accounted for over 8% of Tuscany’s GDP in 2010, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The new winery and visitor centre is scheduled to open at the end of 2012.
Written by James Lawrence