Alessia Antinori is the youngest daughter of Piero Antinori and is the Vice President of Marchesi Antinori, one of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious wine companies. Growing up, Alessia helped with harvests on the family’s Tignanello estate in Chianti Classico and Guado al Tasso estate in Bolgheri. She earned a degree from the University in Milan in Viticulture and Enology and in the mid-2000s, Alessia spent time in India and Asia as the Antinori Family Ambassador. She moved to New York in 2009 to work with the Antinori sales team. Alessia supervises the Antinori Art Project and sits on the board of the National Italian Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, the American Academy in Rome, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In addition to the video, here’s more from Alessia Antinori:
Karen MacNeil: Antinori is one of the most successful wineries in the world. What’s the hardest part of being a famous wine business?
Alessia Antinori: I think the most challenging aspect is to try to maintain and give continuity to the family business and try to transmit our family values like integrity, simplicity, obsession for quality, and elegance to the next generation.
KM: Why is Primum Familiae Vini, the international group of some of the world’s oldest family-run wineries, important to you?
AA: For us this organization is very important, first, because it is a group of friends with whom we share the same family values and have spent many great moments together around the world. Secondly, because I believe that together we can showcase the values of family-run businesses from the old world.
KM: What other wine regions inspire you?
AA: Bordeaux and Burgundy for the elegance of their wines. Other world wine regions which are interesting because of their indigenous grape varieties are the Wachau, Austria for Riesling, Chile for Carménère, and select areas of southern Australia for Shiraz.
KM: What is the most sensational wine you’ve had in the last year?
AA: Chateau Haut-Brion 2000.
KM: It’s often said that in Italy wine is food. Was an appreciation of food part of your life growing up?
AA: Absolutely. Authentic and simple food ingredients are fundamental to me and my culture. I prefer more simple food dishes made with great quality ingredients. I grew up enjoying great ingredients!
KM: What could the wine culture in the U.S. learn from the wine culture in Italy?
AA: I think it’s a matter of Old World versus New World. Old World wine can bring elegance and finesse, focusing on indigenous grape varieties which can produce wines that are unique. New World wines bring power and fruit. I think there is always a lot to learn on both sides!
KM: If you could give one piece of advice to the next generation of women in the wine business, what would it be?
AA: To continue to pursue their values and strengths because in the agricultural world women historically haven’t been very involved. But I think our role is essential now and in the future.
KM: Tell us something about you that would surprise most people to learn.
AA: One of my most challenging experiences was the four years I spent living and traveling through Asia and the Middle East. This was more than fifteen years ago and being a woman trying to promote the wines of Marchesi Antinori in new markets was very challenging. I opened new markets for our wines such as: Cambodia, Vietnam, India and others in the Middle East…so maybe I could say that I have been a pioneer of that part of the world, bringing some Italian culture. Maybe a little bit like my father when he opened new markets for the company in Italy in the 1950’s— like Rome and Naples!
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