Lodovico Antinori already had a head start at birth. The Antinoris have been among the Florentine merchant nobility for centuries and already joined the wine buyers' guild in 1385. Since then, there has always been one member of the family in the wine trade. The family estates in Tuscany were greatly expanded in the 18th and 19th centuries and the family gained a lot of experience in the winery. At the beginning of this century, she founded an influential trading company. Marquis Lodovico worked for a while in the family business, but decided to go his own way in the early 1980s. He created an extensive vineyard on Tenuta dell'Ornelllaia, a family estate in Bolgheri on the Mediterranean, 96 km from Florence.
This part of the Maremma not only has a beautiful wild nature, but is also a fertile agricultural area, a region with great potential for wine production. Lodovico's uncle, Marquis Incisa della Rochetta, had already drawn Bolgheri's attention to the wine world with his pioneering work on Tenuta San Guido and with his Sassiciaia, now regarded as one of the world's greatest red wines.
Lodovico Antinori followed in his uncle's footsteps in nearby Ornellaia, although he makes a completely different type of wine. He learned from a number of international wine authorities that the character of the Bolgheri soil resembled that of St.-Émilion and Pomerol in Bordeaux was ideal for the production of quality wine. The special feature of the Ornellaia vineyard - for Italian standards - is the high percentage of merlot. The assembly for Antinori's top wine, the red Ornellaia, contains 40% merlot. However, this grape comes into its own best at the vigna veccia (old vines) of the winery. Since 1987, this plot has supplied the raw material for a 100% Merlot cuvée called the Masseto. The grapes for this wine have been picked under a sunny September sky. After the long fermentation of 18-20 days, the wine is naturally transferred to tanks. After which a maturing process in new Barriques. The result is a wine with structure, very pure fruit and a beautiful balance.