WFSNY Events


OCT | 2019

Dinner at Ai Fiori with Memorable Vintages of Antinori Wines

Savor a sumptuous five course dinner at Michael White's , Ai Fiori, the recipient of three star from The New York Times. Ai Fiori, translated to ‘Among the Flowers’ in Italian, showcases the modern interpretations of French and Italian Riviera cuisine. The menu highlights Chef White’s signature hand-made pastas, emphasizes seasonal ingredients, and features traditional regional dishes inspired by land and sea. Chef di Cucina, Scott Schneider, oversees the daily kitchen operations at Ai Fiori. Ai Fiori received Michelin Star recognition the past several years. The restaurant was also included in Esquire Magazine’s 2011 List of Best New Restaurants in America. Additionally, New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo labeled the signature dish Astice the “greatest dish in the world.” Ai Fiori also ranks among Zagat’s Best Italian in NYC, and the Forbes Travel Guide awarded it four stars.

Alessia Antinori will join members for this memorable evening of food and wine. Member and Cellar Master, Greg Hurst, has planned an amazing pairing of food and wine. The Antinori family has been committed to the art of winemaking for over six centuries since 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member, of the “Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri”, the Florentine Winemakers’ Guild.

In 1966, Niccolò retired from the business and Piero, his oldest son, became president of Marchesi Antinori. Piero Antinori, Niccolò’s eldest son, began conducting research and experimentation: early harvesting of white grapes, the use of steel vats with controlled temperatures, cold fermentation of white wines, and cold sterile bottling. He also tried malolactic fermentation for red wines, which led him to understand that the "Governo all’Uso Toscano” method (the ancient Tuscan system of adding dried grapes to the must to induce a second fermentation to reduce acidity), was not necessary because malolactic fermentation reduces excessive acidity without the risks associated with the use of "Governo all’Uso Toscano". In 1967 the appellation Chianti DOC was introduced in Tuscany. Its very first vintage took the name of "Vigneto Tignanello" and 20,000 bottles were produced. The birth of Tignanello represents a milestone in Chianti Classico’s winemaking history. In 1975, the second vintage of Tignanello was produced using a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. The first vintage of Solaia was released in 1978, a "Cru" coming from the eponymous vineyard that sits next to the Tignanello vineyard. Its initial blend was 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Cabernet Franc, and later Sangiovese was introduced. It was a moment of great commitment but also of great achievements.  In 1979 Renzo Cotarella arrived at Castello della Sala and in less than 10 years he crafted the estate’s iconic wines.

In the 1980s, Marchese Piero’s three daughters, Albiera, Allegra and Alessia, began working in the family business.  At the same time the association PFV was established.  “Primum Familiae Vini" is an informal association of family owned wineries that goes beyond geographical boundaries maintaining a common bond between its members:  the protection and advancement of family owned vineyards and winemaking; family managed vineyards and estates must be tended to and aged with great care over time just like the fine wines they produce.  The Antinori’s have been members in the association since it began. In 1985 the family celebrated 600 years of winemaking activities. On this special occasion, Marchese Piero Antinori takes ownership of the Pèppoli Estate.  The following year the famous wine sector magazine Decanter named Marchese Piero Antinori “Man of The Year.

In 1987 the family acquired 325 hectares around Badia a Passignano, the Abbey in Passignano, in the heart of Chianti Classico. The abbey is still owned by the Vallumbrosan Order of monks but the Antinori family has taken over the management and care of the splendid medieval cellars since this time.  The Badia dates back to the year 1000 and is one of the most beautiful fortified abbeys in the Chianti Classico region. The abbey is well known and appreciated for its long tradition of wine making that goes back approximately 1000 years. In 1988, the Antinori family produced its first Badia di Passignano Chianti Classico Riserva that was released for sale three and a half years later. The family acquired the Pian delle Vigne estate with its 186 hectares of vineyards and woodlands located 6 km south of Montalcino, above the Val d'Orcia. It was named after the characteristic 19th-century train station located on the property that is still in use today. The first harvest of Brunello di Montalcino "Pian delle Vigne" was released in 2000.

Solaia’s 1997 vintage was judged Wine of The Year by the authoritative Wine Spectator magazine. Solaia was the first Italian wine ever to achieve the status of top wine in the world in Wine Spectator’s classification of The Top 100 wines in the world. 2006 marked the 500th anniversary of the family’s acquisition of Palazzo Antinori as their place of residence and business. At this important occasion, Piero Antinori’s book was presented: “The Ancient Future – History of the Antinori Family and its Palace” which was a tribute to the generations that preceded him and to the many generations to come. Antinori’s wine Matarocchio from the Guado al Tasso estate was released. The maximum expression of a single grape variety from a single vineyard parcel. A wine of great elegance and depth, that reflects the terroir where it was produced, Bolgheri, and from an exceptional vintage such as the 2007 vintage.