Tenuta dell'Ornellaia was founded in Bolgheri in 1981 by Marchese Lodovico Antinori.
At the time the potential of this outstanding wine region wasn't discovered yet, the Tuscan Coast of Bolgheri was only planted with olives by local farmers and the vine was just another plant interspersed among the olives.
However, there was an exception. Ludovico's cousin Mario Incisa della Rocchetta had been producing Sassicaia in this region, although at the time it was reserved only for family consumption. So Tenuta dell'Ornellaia was Lodovico's competitive answer to his cousin Mario Incisa's Sassicaia, and his older brother Piero Antinori's Solaia. Today the three are true icons of the Italian enology.