Book Reviews

Book Review: The Hills of Chianti

If you are wine drinker you know the name Antinori, one of the oldest quality-oriented Tuscan families.

Marchesi Antinori, over six centuries old, is now under the management of Marchese Piero Antinori. Under his management the winery headquartered in Florence, expanded to California, New Zealand and beyond, a feat no other family enterprise in the wine sector has been able to achieve.

Since Marchese Piero Antinori took over the management of the still family-owned winery, he has helped to expand it to five continents, added wine bars and restaurants, and is now planning to enter into the accommodation sector with unique concepts and service ideas.
Marchesi Antonori is specially known for ushering in the Super Tuscan revolution with its superior quality Tignanello, considered to be one of the best red wines of Tuscany, if not Italy.

In this beautifully told history of Marchesi Antinori, Piero tells how he merged his company with a British beer conglomerate (Whitbread) and soon, after regretted his decision, then courageously fought to buy it back. This book can serve as a guide to modern winemaking, packaging, marketing, and philosophy to being successful and efficient.

You can also look at the narrative as a case study and learn that corporate business and wine production are two entirely different industry sectors. The two are incompatible as Piero Antinori experienced, and explains how to avoid future mistakes.
The same happened to the legendary and late Robert Mondavi in California.
Marchese Antinori looks at wine as pleasure, and the winery business driven by curiosity and desire to make new discoveries.

His unshakable belief in quality, above all else, proves that the only way to succeed in wine production and marketing.

He is also an astute business tycoon who wisely decided to turn over a god portion of the day-to-day management to his three daughters, and a few trustworthy professionals.
I have had the privilege to taste Marchesi Antinori wines for a few decades, and can attest that all are made with quality in mind. He and his management team are never satisfied with has been achieved, but constantly try to improve it.
For Marchese Antinori quality is a moving target and his various high-quality wines prove his philosophy.

The narrative flows well, is written from the “heart”, based on real life experiences. There is not a single sentence of artifice in the whole book.
This book is a pleasure to read, and well worth recommending to all wine drinkers for whom quality matters.

Highly recommended.

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