It’s impossible to take Tuscany out of Marchese Piero Antinori but the patriarch of Italy’s “first family” of winemaking can certainly be enticed out of his native homeland. Even if it is halfway around the world. All it took was an exclusive event to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Pèppoli at Pebble Beach, a restaurant Antinori is a partner and an establishment bearing the name of Antinori’s Pèppoli Vineyard in Tuscany where his family first started making wines in 1385!

“A great wine in my opinion, is a wine that has a soul and having a soul above all, means having personality and being recognizable,” claims Antinori.

If one holds to that theory, than Antinori’s delicate Tuscan wines have deservedly landed at one of America’s most prestigious resorts boasting those same characteristics and together, they produced the perfect blend to capture the essence of a celebration that also coincided with the Antinori’s 630th year making wines. That mastery now extends into Napa wine country where Antica Napa Valley is in its beginning stages on a hilly landscape reminiscent of the Tuscan landscape.

At this very intimate gathering at Pèppoli at Pebble Beach, located inside The Inn at Spanish Bay, Napa Valley Life was invited to experience an amazing four-course meal prepared by Chef de Cuisine Angela Tamura, whose artistic culinary skills helped to pair her Tuscan-style dishes with Antinori’s wines.
As soon as the first cork popped on a 2014 Guado Al Tasso Scalabrone Rosato (Bolgheri), guests were indulging on baccala fritters of house-salted cod, one-bite ravioli “cacio e pepe” and house-made salami with pickled peppers.

Soon after the warm-up act, the first course of salt-crusted snapper paired with a 2012 Cervaro, Castello della Sala (Umbria) was followed up by baked rabbit-heirloom tomato conserva accompanied by a 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva, Marchese Antinori (Tignanello Estate), course No. 3 of grilled venison chop, semolina gnocchi and roasted eggplant with a 2012 Antica Single-Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Townsend Vineyard, Napa Valley) and the crema della crema that included Italian plum cake, goat cheese gelato and fruit with a glass of 2014 Antica late harvest G & G Soracco (Napa Valley).

With gratitude to 26 generations of Antinoris making wines, a taste of Tuscany is flourishing at Pebble Beach and the Napa Valley. NVL