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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia is the Italian wine estate from which Masseto is created. It was established by Marchese Lodovico Antinori, of the historic Antinori Italian wine making family. The vineyards of the Ornellaia estate were first planted in 1981 with its first vintage produced in 1985. The estate is located in Bolgheri in Toscana which is world renowned for producing "Super Tuscan" wine. The Ornellaia is said to be the world's leading Bordeaux producer. In 2012, the name of this Italian winery was changed to "Ornellaia e Masseto" because of the increased significance of their Merlot-based wines.
The variety of grapes used at Ornellaia e Masseto are primarily Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. In 1995, the estate added a small plot in the vineyard dedicated to Petit Verdot. The clay soil conditions are ideal for Merlot, but not at all hospitable to the Sangiovese which make up less than 1% of the grapes grown here.
Arguably one of the world's greatest Merlot based wines, it is a wine of very singular achievement in Tuscany, with the top years being, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2010.