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Antinori begins Friuli white wine venture with Jermann

Tignanello owner Marchesi Antinori has marked a new chapter in its long family history after acquiring a majority stake in celebrated Jermann winery in north-east Italy.

Marchesi Antinori recently confirmed that it has bought a majority stake in the Jermann winery, founded in 1881 and today particularly well-regarded for its white wines from northern Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region.

Jermann’s Vintage Tunina 1997 is a Decanter Wine Legend.

Financial details were not disclosed, but winemaker Silvio Jermann has kept a minority stake in his namesake winery.

Antinori’s chief winemaker and CEO, Renzo Cotarella, described the deal as a collaboration. ‘The [Jermann] company is in good shape and completely autonomous,’ he said.

Yet the move also marks a new departure for the Antinori family, which has been producing wine for more than 600 years across 26 generations.

Antinori is today mostly known for its work on Tuscan red wines, from the Tignanello and Solaia labels to Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino.

Castello della Sala in neighbouring Umbria is the major exception, and home to highly rated white wine Cervaro della Sala.

The Jermann deal represents new territory. ‘As a logical move, we started looking for opportunities in one of Italy’s best white wines regions,’ said Cotarella. ‘It took us some time to find the right fit.’

He added, ‘When the right occasion with the iconic Jermann winery came along, the long-time friendship, mutual respect and trust between Piero Antinori, myself and Silvio Jermann definitely helped the negotiation.’

He said the two Italian wine powerhouses share ‘strong values’, citing a quest for ‘utmost quality’ alongside respect for the land and the desire to innovate.

Silvio Jermann will play an active role in the new era, Cotarella said.

‘He will continue to be the ‘soul’ of Jermann in order to guarantee the continuity of the style and quality of the wines.’

Jermann’s range also includes ‘W…Dreams…’, a white wine made mostly from Chardonnay and first created in 1987, as well as Vinnae, an IGT Venezia Giulia wine made predominantly from Ribolla Gialla.

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