Chapter 5 of 11 from James Suckling

Meet the Maker: An Introduction


Every bottle has a story. Meet the maker behind the historic Marchesi Antinori, and learn about the winemaking family's role in creating the legendary Super Tuscan Tignanello.

Topics include: Meet the Maker: An Introduction

Every bottle has a story. Meet the maker behind the historic Marchesi Antinori, and learn about the winemaking family's role in creating the legendary Super Tuscan Tignanello.

Topics include: Meet the Maker: An Introduction

James Suckling

James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation

Flavor, aroma, and structure—Learn from wine master James Suckling as he teaches you to appreciate the stories in every bottle.

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Discover the story in every bottle

Called one of the “world’s most powerful wine critics,” James Suckling has tasted more than 200,000 wines over the past 40 years. In his MasterClass, James tours legendary Tuscan vineyards and teaches you to explore the stories, history, and people behind every bottle. Deepen your knowledge of the properties in each sip, cultivate your passion, and choose, order, and pair wines with confidence.

Immerse yourself in the vineyards of Tuscany with renowned wine critic James Suckling and deepen your appreciation for the wines of the world.

A downloadable wine guide accompanies the class with lesson recaps, supplemental materials, and a printable worksheet to help you conduct your own tastings.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. James will also respond to select student questions.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

James truly deepens your appreciation for wine. I particularly appreciated his daringness to pair what would seem to be unconventional food and wine pairings, but he makes them work -- and you come to understand WHY they work. I look forward to venturing further into the world of wines armed with James' enlightening knowledge. Cheers!

To discover some awesome Italian wines and vintages and to improve my english wine vocabulary. I've missed some more references to Spanish wines. Thank you for the material which is quite useful.

It was fun. I knew most of this since I study wine, but James is cool and chill and I like his vibe!!!

I really enjoyed both the pairing section and the section about Antinori and their Tignanello (which I had never heard of).


Federico G.

Tignanello is extraordinary wine and just 125 bucks a bottle. great value for money.

Thomas R.

Oh, she's fantastastic! Very charming but also very clear way to summarize about the vineyards and the winery. I always enjoy this part when visiting places for tastings and tours. It is part of the wine - "history in a bottle". Mrs. Antinori, invite me for a glass os Solaia please!

Alan M.

I have been enjoying the lessons. I plan two drink some of the ones he's spoken about, but I also looked at his website and got the list of the best wines un $30. We are members of a couple wineries, one of them being Buena Vista in Sonoma and he likes a couple of theirs, and tada I bought them.

William J.

These "lessons" are more like a seminar than a class room. This is the 3rd Master Class I have taken and I am enjoying each one. There is a lot to be learned from just listening to experts talk about their field of interest. It is definitely for the casual learner who can pick up on the subtle nuances. People who are looking for a class room type of setting with a black board and exams will be disappointed with the lessons.


It's very helpful hearing the terminology over and over again, that way when I grab a glass of wine, I'll be better able to communicate what I'm tasting, and I'll have a better understanding of the meaning behind the words people use to describe the wine. Excited to grab another glass!

Elizabeth S.

I’m not sure who you think could try a $125 bottle of wine. But that’s not normal. Sorry.

Zak S.

I loved this. And I wasn't expecting to enjoy it that much, to be honest. There's so much that's passed down as tacit knowledge that I can't imagine ever being able to teach in a course. It's communicated well even by how she struggles to break down what exactly makes the wine so good. And that the 2015 Tignanello is only $125! It's a stretch but a wine normal people could try if they wanted to.


I've met winemakers all over the world. But because we're having an immersive Tuscan wine journey, I wanted to extend that privilege to you in meeting a winemaker whose family has been making wine since the 1300s, and who is arguably the most famous wine family in Italy. And now at the mantle is Albiera Antinori. Could you tell us how this all fits into the context of your family making wines for 600 years? - We have a very long history. I mean, sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I think, my god, I mean, it's kind of a-- not a burden, but something that we have to respect and we have to keep on going ahead, teaching our children, making sure that the land that we've had, we received from our ancestors, that we take care of it. I think there are a number of reasons why all of this is still here. It's the values. It's the passion. It's the interest. It's the respect for the land. And then there is also a bit of luck that, for so many generations, this has come across and arrived at our days. - But your wines from this particular estate, particularly Tignanello has a special part of your story, a part of all of Italy-- the revolution in winemaking, modern wines. Tell us about that. - Well, Tignanello, for our winery, has it represented really the change of Step first vintage was '71. It was a moment where wines from this area were produced more for quantity than for quality. It was made really not with the objective of long-lasting, of great wines. So my father and grandfather decided to help the Sangiovese with some foreign varieties, in the case of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, plant it in a different way, make something that would be well-represented here with a piece of land that was there. So when this wine came out, it bared the name of the vineyard, which was unusual. And it made everybody realize that this area really could produce international class wines. I mean, it was like ringing a bell and saying, hello, we're here. This is our land. This is our history. So it was really a moment of great enthusiasm and great demonstration of what this part of the world really could produce. - So when people tasting Tignanello, what do you think they should be looking for? - Well, the pure quality is always what there has to be in a great wine, I mean, at absolute level. Having the Sangiovese as the main variety, it represents, really, our tradition. Tignanello is really a wine that has a taste that is recognizable across the vintages and across the years because it's that piece of land, this estate that gives wines that are elegant, at the same time powerful, that are silky, and that there is a very distinctive nose in it that really is recognizable always, because it's the terroir. Then there is a mix of Sangiovese for the tradition and Cabernet for the innovation. So it's just something that works well together. And it really makes this wine unique, together with its brother, Solaia, which is ...