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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Montefalco, Umbria
People: Filippo Antonelli, Owner | Paolo Salvi & Massimiliano Caburazzi, Winemakers
Viticulture: Certified Organic
Palate Press: We believe in Sagrantino
NJ.com: The Art of Antonelli Winemaking
The Feiring Line: Sagrantino: A Wine That Needs Freud
The Feiring Line: Filippo Antonelli. The Sagrantino Voice of Reason
Wine Enthusiast: Discovering Umbria: The Wines of Central Italy
The Antonelli estate dates back at least to the Middle Ages, with mentions in documents of its suitability to growing grapes and olives. Francesco Antonelli bought the estate in 1881 and it has been in the family since. They’ve been planting and farming from the beginning, but started bottling and marketing its wines in 1979.
Antonelli wines are made exclusively from estate-grown grapes, which are all organically grown (started in 2009; certified in 2012) and vinified with an eye toward preserving quality and integrity. There are 40 hectares under vine, on hilly slopes with an average altitude of 350 m. Soil is clay with limestone deposits, with some parts rich in fossils, contributing intense and varied tones to the grapes. Sagrantino and Sangiovese are the main red varietals, but Montepulciano, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon are also grown. Their whites are Grechetto and Trebbiano. Vines range from 15 to 30 years.
Their vinification and racking process employs gravity instead of pumps, to avoid damaging grapes, especially Sagrantino. The wines are aged in an underground cellar. Their exacting standards and gentle winemaking point to their ethos of authenticity and harmony, ultimately achieving elegance and drinkability.
"Antonelli San Marco is located in the heart of the Montefalco DOCG, where Filippo Antonelli and his team oversee 50 hectares planted to Grechetto, Trebbiano Spoletino, Sangiovese and, of course, Sagrantino. (As a side note, Filippo Antonelli has another project in Lazio under the name Castello di Torre in Pietra, also included in this report.) The winery is organic and has a long history of studying the region’s terroir and vineyards. This can be witnessed in the winery’s two single-vineyard Sagrantinos: the Chiusa di Pannone, from a vineyard that was planted in 1995 with a southern exposure at 400 meters, and the newest addition to the portfolio, the Molino dell’Attone, hailing from a plot planted in 1990 with an east-facing exposure at 400 meters. Quality here is extremely high, from top to bottom, and the wines reflect a commitment to transparent representation of territory and varietal character."
"Along with Marco Caprai, there isn't anyone who has done more to promote the merits of Sagrantino and its wines than Filippo Antonelli, owner of the Antonelli-San Marco estate. Antonelli's greatest claim to fame is its remarkably well-balanced Sagrantino wines, some of the purest, most genteel and least brutally tannic wines of the whole denominazione. Owned by the Antonelli family since 1881, it previously belonged for centuries to the bishop of Spoleto. The estate is located on a site, San Marco de Corticellis, that was already famous for its wines and oil in medieval times. Readers who, not unreasonably, have found Sagrantino wines too much to handle due to their unforgiving mouth-coating tannins should give Antonelli's fine examples a try."