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Antinori plans vast new cellar, HQ, museum

Marchesi Antinori has launched a €40m project to build an ultra modern cellar and headquarters at Bargino in the hills above Florence.

The project was presented by Piero Antinori, president of Marchesi Antinori, earlier this month at Florence’s Palazzo dei Congressi.

After 26 generations Marchesi Antinori has decided to move its headquarters from Palazzo Antinori’s renaissance building in Florence to the Florentine countryside, near San Casciano Val di Pesa.

‘The idea is to reproduce the original Tuscan farm in a contemporary style,’ Antinori said.

‘The new cellar will be an important but invisible landmark. A privileged point of view from where one can observe the landscape without being seen. A place where tradition meets modernity, leaving the view unchanged.’

The building’s architect, Marco Casamonti, said he wanted to create ‘a slit in the hillside, to be seen and not to be seen. The idea is to blend into the countryside by using traditional Tuscan materials such as the grey “pietra serena”, cotto tiling and wood.’

The total length of the cellar will be 200 metres. According to Renzo Cotarella, Antinori’s managing director, the building will start this summer and be ready by 2008.

In addition to serving as Antinori’s new headquarters, the building will be used for the vinification of the 2m bottle production of their Chianti Classico range of wines: Marchesi Antinori Riserva, Peppoli and Badia Passignano Riserva.

‘We also plan to age the wines here in barrique and give them a longer and better bottle ageing in temperature controlled cellars,’ Cotarella said.

The new cellar will also be a museum with a ‘vinsantaia’ for hanging the late harvest grapes for vinsanto, a bread oven, a cooperage, an olive mill, a restaurant and a 200-seat auditorium.

Written by Michele Shah

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