Marchese Piero Antinori, known for his lifelong curiosity about how grapes are grown around the world, journeyed to Washington's Columbia Valley in 1992 at the urging of Andre Tchelistcheff, also a wine industry legend and then a consultant to Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
During that trip, Antinori discovered an emerging wine region supported by the zealous leadership of Chateau Ste. Michelle, the Northwest's oldest and most acclaimed winery, highly regarded for its innovative work within its vineyards and winery.
Antinori's renowned Solaia and Tignanello wines revolutionized the Italian wine industry in the 1970s with the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon and French barriques, among other innovations. In Washington, he found old-world character, structure and fruit expression in the vineyards and cellars. He then turned to Chateau Ste. Michelle to form a partnership, based on the mutual pursuit of grape-growing and winemaking philosophies.