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WINERY SPOTLIGHT Tight Genes t THE ANTINORI FAMILY HAS BEEN MAKING WINES FOR 600 YEARS. ANTICA NAPA VALLEY IS THE STUFF OF PIERO ANTINORI’S DNA by Meridith May / photos by Rob Brown he steep and windy climb up Soda Canyon Road in Napa is scenic enough, but surprisingly rustic. We pass the Atlas Peak AVA sign, skirting vineyards, horse pastures and one-story farm houses. Finally, we’ve reached the top and arrived at Antica Napa Valley, Piero Antinori’s first California wine property. Although Marchese Piero Antinori first laid eyes on this magnificent mountain summit property 25 years ago, it went through several hands before the Italian nobleman took full ownership in 2008. “It takes time to develop a property,” says Glenn Salva, 56, Antinori California Estate Manager, who was there from the start, a decade before in 1993, when Antinori leased the majority of the estate’s vineyard to Allied Domecq. “But we also don’t want to grow too quickly,” Salva adds. “We want to understand what the property is capable of. Patience is in the Antinori DNA.” The Antinori DNA factor also includes passion, perseverance and persistence, according to Salva. “Making great land investments has been the history of what the Antinori portfolio has evolved to today— not just in Italy, but in Washington State, too, with Col Solare and now in Napa Valley.” The pedigreed Tuscan masterpiece Tignanello sits side-by-side with Antinori’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Antica. 90 / the tasting panel / december 2010

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