Cooking & Entertaining

The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles

The head of Italy’s "first family" of winemaking reflects on the Antinoris’ six-hundred-year legacy and a life of good food and drink in the hills of Tuscany. If you know wine, you know the name Antinori. Since 1385, this noble Florentine family has produced some of Italy’s finest wines. The Hills of Chianti tells the story of the Antinoris and the Tuscany they call home, through seven iconic bottles that define their legacy. From the Tignanello that ushered in the era of Super Tuscans to limited-edition vintages, these wines embody a way of life and will excite oenophile readers and lovers of Italy alike. In this family memoir Piero Antinori reveals the passion, tradition, and love of craft that have driven twenty-seven generations of vintners: from the first ancestor who signed up to the winemakers guild in the fourteenth century to Antinori’s own three daughters, poised to carry this most celebrated family of artisans into the future. But The Hills of Chianti is about much more than wine. At its heart the Antinori story is about "Tuscan-ness": a connection to the land, an appreciation for good food and drink, and the quintessentially Italian love of hospitality that make this one of the world’s most inspiring and memorable destinations.

About The Author

Marchese Piero Antinori is president of Marchesi Antinori, one of the most historic and prestigious names in Tuscan viticulture. The Antinori estate today is a multilayered wine conglomerate with operations in Italy and around the world. Most recent in a long list of recognitions, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2009 for "bringing Italy to the forefront of world enology in terms of innovation, quality, and recognition."

  • Publish Date: September 09, 2014
  • Format: eBook
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography - Culinary
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Ex Libris
  • Pages: 230
  • US Price: $13.99
  • CDN Price: $26.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4467-8


“Not every company can trace its origins back 600 years, so it’s probably telling that, according to one list of the world’s oldest family businesses, three of the top 10 are winemakers…The Hills of Chianti is as much about business as family, tracking the Antinori expansion in Italy and beyond as the company seeks to make better wines, and more of them…Antinori is refreshingly honest...” –The New York Times

"Delectable…Whether Antinori is explaining the wine crisis of the 1960s or defining the Tuscan way of doing things or how his family roots infused him with a love of travel, the result is a pleasure. Oenophiles and those just curious for a bit more information will appreciate the technical notes about each of the seven bottles. A delightful celebration of an extraordinary Italian family’s enduring love affair with wine." -Kirkus Reviews

“There is no more evocative book to read on the ride through Tuscan wine country than The Hills of Chianti.” –Book Trib 

“The long-term vision is what Antinori tries to explain in the book. He tells the story of how his company had to separate from a beverages industry partner, because the latter was too worried about the quarterly bottom line. Very gradually and carefully, Antinori grew his company by making great wines, and by expanding to make more of them. The story is well told in the book. If you care about wine, the story behind the creation of Tignanello or Solaia is well worth learning. And though the business now extends across the globe, that sense of family roots in Tuscany, in a certain aesthetic, in specific values that link it to its birthplace, is perhaps the best thing that the book communicates.” –New York Journal of Books

“The author’s well-founded experience in expanding the global market for Italian wines, as well as his genuine passion for his work and deep knowledge of the Italian terroir, informs this useful perspective for entrepreneurial readers.” –Publishers Weekly

“Anyone who loves Italian wines will enjoy spending some hours with this immensely intelligent and thoughtful Tuscan winemaker.” –Los Angeles Times

“Late in the evening, Sangiovese teasing your palate, do you ever wonder how grape farming and winemaking emerged from a lineage of humble agriculture to become the modern, ultraprestigious craft of fine wine, an industry aligned with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Maserati? Here is the story of Tuscany's noble Antinori family, winemakers since 1385, written by the most innovative Antinori of all. This is also the story of Tignanello, Solaia, Villa Antinori, Cervaro Della Sala, and three other iconic wines that helped the family bottle up their legacy.” –Foreword Magazine

'The nettlesome question about wine is: Does it make for good reading? For a subject reflexively associated with art and romance and la dolce vita, it tends to inspire god-awful prose: mawkish evocations of landscape, endless anthropomorphizing of the product itself (noble, hedonistic, mysterious, muscular, vivacious)…A reader of Mr. Antinori's memoir, The Hills of Chianti…consider that Mr. Antinori happens to be working with exceptional material. More than anyone else, it was the 76-year-old godfather of Chianti Classico who first convinced the mass market that Italian wine did not have to taste like the dreck that came out of jugs and straw-covered bottles. Mr. Antinori also introduced the first blended red wines known as Super-Tuscans to a rapturous world of critics, collectors and conspicuous consumers.” –Wall Street Journal

“…charming memoir…at its heart is the passion, tradition, love of craft and connection to the land…” –Bask

“Provides insight into Italian culture and heritage through the eyes of the Antinori family. It's a good read for anyone who loves Italian wine and the Italian lifestyle.” –Wine Spectator

“Unlike other fame-seeking wine entrepreneurs, the Antinori family did not have to buy history. It has been making wine for more than 600 years: According to one ranking, the Antinori family business is the 10th oldest in the world. There is a disarming frankness to "The Hills of Chianti," not to mention a welcome absence of authorial bluster…much that is novel and fascinating about the Antinori tale…If the answer isn't clear, one nonetheless senses that the passion is real—and that it grows on vines but not on trees.” —Mr. Draper is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic

“...let it be said that the Marchese was kindness and courtesy itself, innately gracious…He’s the same on the page as in person in The Hills of Chianti: The Story of a Tuscan Winemaking Family, in Seven Bottles…” –
“The Hills of Chianti
is a wonderful and insightful book that takes the reader on an insider tour of one of Italy’s most respected winemaking families. It is no secret that Marchese Piero Antinori has the vision, passion and patience for making world-class Italian wine. This book is a fabulous record of his achievements and vision for the future of Italian wine. His three daughters are poised to take the family business to new greatness! Buy this book if you would like to learn more about high-quality Italian wines. It will help you discover the heart and soul of Antinori’s beloved seven wines. Reading this book will leave you dreaming about taking a delicious trip to Italy!” –

Author Bookshelf: Natalie Danford