Tuscan producers Lodovico and Piero Antinori have just bought a major tract of vineland in New Zealand.

The US$1.5m purchase is the newest addition to the brothers’ Campo di Sasso joint venture which they founded in 2001 when they bought a winery of the same name near Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast.

The 13ha of vineyards, near Cloudy Bay in Malborough, are already planted to Sauvignon Blanc. Campo di Sasso plans on buying 15 more hectares over the next few years which will also be dedicated to the same varietal.

Lodovico Antinori told decanter.com he is a fan of Sauvignon Blanc and its possibilities in the region.

‘I strongly believe that this area of Malborough, along with the Loire, is one of the finest in the world for Sauvignon Blanc. We have been considering buying vineyards here for a quite some time but waited until we found just the right property with the best terroir.’

Campo di Sasso plans on producing two wines. One will be produced from younger vines and will be sold in typical New Zealand packaging, including screw caps, to be released in February 2005.

The company will also produce a wine made with the best grapes from older vines which should be released in the best years after 2006, and will be sold in more traditional packaging and natural cork.

At the moment, Campo di Sasso is not planning other foreign acquisitions.

Written by Kerin O’Keefe