In Tuscany, they tell you, wine is close to being a religion. If so, the 600-year-old winemaking dynasty of Antinori is an oenological priesthood, the current high priest being the Marchese Piero Antinori, widely regarded as a hero of the post'World War II Italian wine industry. His company developed the luscious, long-lived wines called Super Tuscans, which challenged both archaic Italian winemaking laws and the finest wines of Bordeaux. Now the Antinori descendants have gone right back to their roots, building a new winery and headquarters among the hilly vineyards of the Chianti Classico region outside their ancestral home of Florence. For all the family history, there is nothing remotely traditional about this earth-sheltered building.
Designed by Archea Associati, a Florence-based firm with offices around the world, the new Antinori HQ is just outside the village of Bargino. It is a building that is simultaneously industrial (a winery is, after all, a factory with warehousing), a visitor destination complete with museum and restaurant, and an office housing 120 people, including senior Antinori family members. The public face and administration area are at the front, factory functions are set higher at the back, and a sequence of wine vaults dug into the slope links the two.