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The Antinori family has been making wine since 1385, ?and its new headquarters, carved into the hills, combines ancient craft with futuristic architecture.
As one drives south out of Florence toward Bargino, it’s difficult to imagine contemporary design existing in the landscape of rolling hills dotted with villas. Which is why the newly modernized Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico cellar is easy to miss. “The building has no façade—it’s a piece of hill,” says architect Marco Casamonti. It’s only up close that the chameleonlike structure, which resembles two horizontal slits in the hillside, reveals itself.
The Cantina, which is mostly underground, includes a winery, a restaurant, a tasting room and a portion of the family’s art collection. The materials—concrete dyed with iron oxide, terracotta, rusted Corten steel—echo the surroundings. The subterranean location keeps the barrels at a consistent temperature; the slope of the hill above allows the vineyard to employ gravity for grape processing, using a system that recalls the Roman aqueducts.
The design is a collaboration between Casamonti and Marchese Piero Antinori, the 25th generation of the family’s winemakers. Antinori wanted to move the company headquarters from a former 15th-century palazzo to this vineyard site. “We wanted to bring the heart and the body together again,” he says. The result, a careful blend of classical and modern, pays tribute to Antinori’s Renaissance roots.
The Antinori cellar is at Via Cassia per Siena 133, loc. Bargino; 39-055/23-595; antinorichianticlassico.it.