Celebrating with Alessia Antinori

Celebrating with Alessia Antinori at Pelago Ristorante in Chicago as she and her two sisters become the 26th generation of the Antinori family to take the reins of the legendary Marchesi Antinori powerhouse.

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Since 1335, the Antinori family has been making wine, remaining a family-owned business after 629 years.  Not only does the Antinori family form the cornerstone of the Italian wine establishment, they are also daring pioneers, introducing - and successfully integrating - international grape varietals into the highest level of fine Italian wine.

This year, Piero Antinori is passing the torch of the vast Marchesi Antinori empire to his three daughters - Albiera (who will run the corporation), Allegra (who will oversee the Cantinentta restaurants and other hospitallity interests), and Alessia (who will head the winemaking operation).  To celebrate the 26th generation of Antinori winemaking, Marchesi Antinori hosted a most remarkable event in Chicago on October 20 and 21, 2014, hosted by Alessia Antinori.  We were honored to attend an intimate lunch at Pelago Ristorante in Chicago, and an evening of food and wine at the Florentine at the Marriot.

Lunch at Pelago was wonderful!  The afternoon began was a glass of delicious Franciacorta from a winery established in 1999 by Alessia and her sisters.  At the table, Alessia presented seven of the family’s Sangiovese–based wines which were meticulously paired with three courses crafted by chef Mauro Mafrici.  The luncheon finished with a botrytisized Sauv Blanc-based dessert wine that was served with a variety of dolci.  It was truly a pleasure chatting with Alessia about a wide range of topics ranging from her family's incredible history to the 26th generation's plans for the direction of the company.

The following night we attended the “Antinori Family’s Fascination with Cabernet Sauvignon Around the World” tasting at the Florentine.  Here, Alessia guided us through five of the family’s Cabernet-based wines from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Napa Valley, and Washington. Following this presentation was a reception where eight of Chicago’s top chefs each prepared a course which was paired with a magnificent wine.

The wine and food were simply outstanding!  But above all, I was thoroughly impressed by Alessia’s graceful confidence in her new role as head of winemaking. She was as humble as she was proud to be part of this legendary Italian winemaking family, and her genuine passion for her family’s product left no doubt that Piero has left his legacy in capable, loving hands.

Wines at Pelago

  • Montenisa Franciacorta Brut
  • Pèppoli Chianti Classico 2011
  • Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2010
  • La Braccesca Santa Pia Vino Nobile di Montepuciano Riserva 2006
  • Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva 2008
  • Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2008
  • Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006
  • Tignanello 2011
  • Muffato della Sala

Wines at the Florentine at Fascination with Cabernet Sauvignon:  

  • Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2010
  • Antica Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valleey 2011
  • Antica Townsend Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009
  • Col Solare Red Mountain 2009
  • Solaia Toscana 2011

at Wine and Food Pairing Reception:

  • Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva 2008
  • The Florentine - Chris Macchia
  • Tignanello 2011
  • Quartino Ristorante - John Coletta
  • Tormaresca Bocca di Lupo Aglianico Castel del Monte 2007
  • Spacca Napoli Pizzeria - Jonathan Goldsmith
  • Il Bruciato Bolgheri 2012
  • Nando Milano Trattoria - Alessio Vullo
  • Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2008
  • Café Lucci - Augie Arifi
  • Prunotto Bussia Barolo 2006
  • Pelago Ristorante - Mauro Mafrici
  • Guado al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2010
  • Coco Pazzo - Federico Comacchio
  • Solaia Toscana 2011
  • Prosecco - Mark Sparacino

Thank you, Patrizia, for including us in this wonderful celebration and for your tireless work orchestrating such a magnificent event!

-Doug D'Apuzzo
D'Apuzzo Import Group, Niwot, Colorado

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