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Published:  23 July, 2008

Antinori is to pull its Villa Antinori brand out of the Chianti Classico DOCG and include it in the Toscana IGT, in the name of quality', as of the 2001 vintage. The brand, which was previously produced using grapes sourced from both Antinori-owned vineyards and from suppliers on long-term contracts in the DOCG, will now be made exclusively from grapes grown in Antinori's 1,100 hectares of vineyards throughout Tuscany. According to Susannah George, marketing manager at Berkmann Wine Cellars, Antinori's UK agent, the move comes in response to exorbitant' grape prices in the Chianti Classico region and out of a desire to experiment with different blends', including international varieties. They [Antinori] wanted to have greater control,' George said. I'm sure a lot of other suppliers are in the same position, and will probably follow them. It's not the death knell for Chianti Classico - there will still be a lot of it about - but it's going to become increasingly expensive.' Antinori will maintain a presence in the Chianti Classico DOCG, however, with wines produced on the Pppoli and Badia a Passignano estates, while Tenute Marchese Antinori will remain within the appellation.