BADIA A COLTIBUONO
By John Salvi
Medici, Machiavelli, Borgia!!!!!- These names roll off the tongue like
fine Chianti and Caviar! Great name of Italian history, imprinted upon
the mind from schoolroom history lessons of long ago, and as fascinating
today as ever they were then and throughout the ages, since their quite
remarkable acts and achievements.
What most people are totally unaware of, is that the Medici family is
still alive and well, and still flourishes today, principally in Tuscany.
It did not die out – only some branches of it. The family is still famous
and its members as charming, exotic and quixotic as ever they were, if
rather less disturbingly all–powerful. Today, the family members, about
whom I am writing, are fine wine growers and producers and proprietors
of the historical and truly magnificent BADIA A COLTIBUONO – ABBEY AT
COLTIBUONO – at Gaiole, in Chianti, in the Province of Siena.
THE DE’ MEDICI FAMILY
Perhaps one should start with the Medici family before coming to Badia
a Coltibuono and their world of wine. It stems from a gentleman by the
name of Averardo, a legendary knight, who fought for Charlemagne during
his conquest of Lombardy in the eighth century, who had 6 children and
who settled in the fertile Mugello valley, in Cafaggiolo, to the north–east
of Florence. The Medici family crest of red balls on a field of gold is
said to have been awarded to him by Charlemagne himself, for exceptional
valour. Before the turn of the 13th century they came to try their luck
in Florence and settled in the San Lorenzo district. They became money–changers
and then bankers. They prospered. Chiarissimo, son of another later Averardo,
is the first Medici to be mentioned in the records of Florence, in 1201.
He was the eldest of Averardo’s 6 children (the youngest, Iovenco, we
will come back to later) and himself had four children. Among them was
yet another Averardo – known as Bicci. It was common practice in great
families to use the same first names over and over again for successive
generations. Averardo Bicci died in 1363, having had five children, one
of whom was Giovanni di Bicci (1360–1429). Giovanni had two sons, Cosimo
and Lorenzo. Here started the great and glorious Medici history, and here
was the foundation stone of the family’s political power. Lorenzo was
murdered, quite a common occurrence at that time, but had already fathered
a son, Pierfrancesco (1431–1477). Pierfrancesco had two sons, Lorenzo
di Pierfrancesco (1463–1503), and Giovanni (1467–1514). Giovanni had a
son, Giovanni delle Bande Nere (1498–1526), who was in his turn father
of the great and famous “Cosimo the First” (1519–1574), who was recognised
as Duke of Florence, by Charles the Fifth, in 1532. Cosimo the First had
two children, the younger of whom was Ferdinando the First (1549–1609),
Grand Duke of Florence. His son, “Cosimo the Second” (1590–1621), was
also the Grand Duke. His great–great grandfather, Giovanni, had had the
brother, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco, mentiond above, whose son, Pierfrancesco
(1486–15250) had a child, Lorenzino, where that line of succession died
out. Cosimo the Second’s father, Ferdinando the First’s elder brother,
Francesco (1541–1587), had an only daughter, Maria (1573–1642), who made
history and carried the Medicis to the pinnacles of glory, by marrying
and becoming Marie de Médicis, Queen of France.
Back to Cosimo the Second, who managed to restrain himself to just seven
children. The eldest, who took over the reins of power, was Grand Duke
Ferdinando the Second (1610–1670). Poor Ferdinando fathered the incredibly
unfortunate “Cosimo the Third” (1642–1723). Unfortunate because, of his
three children, one was a female, one of the two boys was mad and the
other was homosexual. This led to the end of this noble Florentine branch,
responsible for a great deal of the glory of Florence today.
Let us now go back to Giovanni di Bicci and his two sons, Cosimo (1389–1464),
and the murdered Lorenzo. We have briefly traced Lorenzo’s descendants.
His elder brother, Cosimo, was the founder of the even greater Florentine
branch. His son, Piero (1418–1469), known as Piero the Gouty because of
his chronic gout, ruled with great skill in spite of his intense suffering.
His wife gave him a son, Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449–1492), who was
also Lorenzo the First, the greatest single figure among the panoply of
famous Medicis – poet, ruler, statesman and Renaissance man. Piero the
Gouty had another son, Giuliano (1453–1478), who had an illegitimate son,
Giulio (1478–1534). In spite of his illegitimacy, Giulio became Pope Clement
VII, a political and totally unreligious Pope. It was under him that Henry,
King of England, broke away from the Catholic faith and founded the Church
of England. Lorenzo the Magnificent’s eldest son, Giovanni, became Pope
Leo X, at age just 38. It was he who condemned Martin Luther and sparked
the Protestant Revolution. Lorenzo’s third son, Piero (1471–1503), was
known as “Piero the Unfortunate”. Even more unfortunate than poor Cosimo
the Third of the other branch, because the Florentine Empire, and indeed
Italy as a whole, fell into hopeless and hapless confusion during his
time. This Piero fathered Lorenzo the Second (1492–1519), who became the
Duke of Urbino. Proudly aristocratic, he had two children, one illegitimate
and the other legitimate – Alessandro (1512–15370), illegitimate and Duke
of Florence, and Caterina (1519–1589), legitimate and who crowned his
fathers hopes and aspirations by marrying the King of France, Henry the
Second, in 1533, and becoming Catherine de Médicis, Queen of France.
Unfortunately, Caterina being a daughter and Alessandro being a bastard,
this branch of the family came to an end at this point.
Fortunately for us here today, if we go right back again to the beginning,
to Averardo’s six children, we have seen that Chiarissimo, the eldest,
was the start of all that we have so far described. The youngest of the
six was Iovenco, and from him descends the branch that is still so very
much alive and flourishing today. His descendants spread all over Italy,
but principally in the South. Guido Stucchi Prinetti, son of the amazing
and charismatic Lorenza de’ Medici, who married a Stucchi Prinetti, is
the one who was my guide and mentor, host and companion, teacher and advisor,
during my wonderful stay at the Badia. He is the 21st generation stemming
from Iovenco. His mother – Lorenza de’ Medici – is a lady of immense talent
and the author of numerous excellent cook–books as well as the founder
of an elite and discreet cookery school at the Badia. She made the unforgettable
remark “fortunately for me Averardo had children other than Chiarissimo
or I would not be here today!” She is very much here today, lives in an
apartment in Siena and follows the “Berliner Philarmonik” – Berlin Philarmonic
Orchestra - wherever it goes.
What an amazing family – then as now! It ruled the fame and fortune of
Florence and the Florentine Republic, officially and unofficially, for
over 300 years, and if, during that time, there were a few intrigues,
murders, bastards and debaucheries, that is no more than par for the course
in the rich panoply of Italian history, and is surely far outweighed by
the supreme creativity of the family. Its dedication to culture, learning
and literature and its sponsorship of the arts is unrivalled and is responsible
for a great deal, indeed most, of the magnificent poetry, sculpture, paintings,
frescoes, palaces, churches and great buildings that are our fortunate
heritage in Florence and much of Tuscany today.
HISTORY OF BADIA A COLTIBUONO
Ancient Times until Modern Times
The most ancient buildings on the site of the present Abbey date right
back to Anno Domini 770, when a certain Geremia de’ Firidolfi, a Florentine
nobleman, constructed a church and an oratory. Hermits were housed here.
These have completely disappeared and today the oldest building in existence
is a very beautiful and gracious stone “cancello” or “bell tower”, with
the date, 1160, carved in stone above the door.
Almost one thousand years ago (in the 11th century), the Vallombrosian
Monks, a subordinate chapter of the Benedictine Monks of the order of
Saint Benedetto, established a place of “worship, meditation and agricultural
practices” at Badia a Coltibuono – cultus bonus, meaning “place of the
good harvest”. Their order was devoted to the conservation of ancient
texts. As good Benedictines they were scholars and amanuenses. However,
at the same time, the Vallombrosians were just as involved in farming
and agricultural practices, and worked daily in the fields and forests
planting vines, trees etc. They introduced the vine to this region. Their
foundation was originally a place of “food, shelter and relief for travellers”
and a lot of the land was originally a donation to the monks by the Nobility
(common in those times), noble families such as Firidolfi–Ricasoli, in
that 11th century. At that time, 1141, Brolio, which belonged even then,
as it does today, to the Firidolfi–Ricasoli family, was absolutely immense.
The Coltibuono coat of arms epitomises the philosophy of those founding
monks – a hand holding a staff and sowing seeds. At that time, wine was
made by the monks, mainly red wine, both for daily consumption and for
liturgical purposes. The land was worked on a system known as “mezzadria”,
with tenant farmers and farmhouses.
In the 16th century, the present Abbey was built by Abbott Paul. This
included a superbly beautiful 16th century cloister, surrounding a mighty
central well. In the 17th century, the Abbey was enriched with magnificent
frescoes in the refectory, in the chapel on the first floor (which today
serves as a library) and in the corridors leading to the monks’ cells
(today’s bedrooms). Also a grape–vine pergola was planted by the monks,
which is still flourishing. In the 17th century, the later splendid wine
cellars were built, still now in use. The original underground corridors,
where the wine was first housed, were probably 11th century. Part of the
cellar now is the original crypt. There was further construction in 1710
and in 1761. Around 1850, the 16th century cloister and the well were
enclosed in order to reduce the draughtiness of the house when it became
a residence. A book, printed in 1736, describes each farm comprising the
Convent property and its buildings. They are described as “workmen’s’
houses”. In 1772, the church walls were whitewashed and decorated and
a vaulted ceiling was built, in matting, in place of the original fine
Romanesque spanned ceiling, which exists no longer. Exquisite stuccoes
are still to be found in the Abbott’s apartment on the ground floor.
Over the centuries donations, purchases and exchanges steadily increased
the size and extent of the property and it became an extremely important
religious and cultural centre.
The monks were the first people to cultivate the vine in the Chianti area.
The name “chianti” is mentioned in documents for the first time, in 1044.
In 1250, the “Lega Del Chianti” was founded, covering the territory of
today’s Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, “for the territorial defence and
administration of property in common”. The “Podesta” had the insignia
of a “Black Rooster on a yellow background”. Its seat was in Radda. Thus
we can see how old is the famous Chianti Classico insignia of the “Black
Cock”. In 1716, the Grand Duke of Tuscany fixed the boundaries of Chianti,
which coincided with those of the “Lega”, together with a certain amount
of Greve. The present day limits were defined, by Ministerial decree Number
209 of 31st July 1932, and this is “Chianti Classico” today.
Throughout the ages, surrounded by the Arno and the Arbia valleys, the
Badia is a “wondrous microcosm among rolling woodlands, looking to the
peaks of the Pratomagno Mountains and to Mount Amiata (Apennines). Nothing
of this has changed since the beginning of its history
From Napoleon until Today
On 29th September 1810, after over eight centuries as a place of God,
Napoleon issued his edict, suppressing all convents, and the Abbey ceased
to be a place of religion and became private property. 35 years of highly
irreligious living followed. When he “kicked out” the monks, the Abbey
was given into the charge of a certain Count Giraud, who owned properties
around Livorno. Because of the donations and acquisitions it had become
a vast monastic property. Giraud found the upkeep too expensive for him
and the taxes too high. In 1819, a lottery was held and the entire property
was sold off whole. The prize was the abbey itself, with all the tenant
farmhouses attached to the estate. This became known as the “Lotteria
di Coltibuono” and took place on 21st June 1819. The winner was a certain
Polish Baron Ponietowski, who had a penchant for frivolous young ladies.
One of these, Cassandra Luci, astutely married him just three years before
he died, and managed to squander every penny of his money. ALL his properties,
not just Coltibuono, had to be put up for sale, in spite of his having
had five sons, and it was Michele Giuntini, forerunner of the present
Stucchi Prinetti family, who bought it in 1846.
HISTORY OF PRESENT OWNERS
The present descendants of the Iovenco branch of the Medici family have
now therefore become joined through marriage with the present owners of
Coltibuono, who have been here now for 160 years. The De’ Medicis are
The Giuntini family were an old family. In 1777 there had been some family
problems and the son Michele went to work for Vicenzo Moria Morelli, a
Florentine Merchant. Vicenzo trained him and turned him from a raw young
student into an expert financier, a capitalist, a man of means and a well–to–do
farmer. He became a wealthy Private Banker. In 1846, he saw Coltibuono,
fell in love with it and bought it at the above mentioned sale. He immediately
had problems because, in 1848, came the Grand Duchy crisis and the Insurrectional
Movement. He weathered these successfully and set about restoring the
buildings and reorganising the agriculture. He also acquired properties
in Selvapiana (Chianti Rufina) and La Parrina (Maremma). All three estates
were run on the old “mezzadria” system, with managers for each. Coltibuono
was Michele’s summer residence. It was run as a farm and the wine was
sold in bulk. Just enough was bottled, with no particular care, for family
consumption. . His son, Giuseppe, increased the production of both wine
and of olive oil and planted more than 50,000 new vines and continued
to restore and to modernise and to improve the wine. In 1907, the Chapter
House – refectory was restored, by Leto Chini, and is today a living room.
Still visible is a superb 1584 fresco of the “Symbols of Passion” in the
Chapel, which is now a library.
By the Second World War the property was being run by Marilú Giuntini
(Guido’s grandmother and Giuseppe’s daughter). She lived in Florence,
whilst her brother lived in Selviapiana. She was a powerful personality
and kept the property together during the entire period of the war. This
was the lady who married Andrea Stucchi Prinetti, an industrialist from
Milan, and descendant of one of the most pioneeristic family in Italy
at the time. One of the inventions for which the Stucchi-Prinetti family
is famous, was the first Italian car built in collaboration with Bugatti,
in 1896. The couple had Coltibuono together although it was Marilù
who did all the running of the estate. It was Andrea’s great grandfathers,
Augusto Stucchi and Giulio Prinetti who, in 1883, started the company
Prinetti Stucchi. At the turn of the century Ettore Bugatti was one of
the head engineers, chiefly responsible for a highly innovative, coupled-double,
mono-cylindrical, front-mounted engine, but he had to be ‘laid off’, in
1903, due to Giulio Prinetti’s political career. Giulio was nominated
Minister of Public Works, and his dropping out of the company meant that
Augusto had to buy out all his shares. This subsequently put a stop on
any further investment, including Bugatti’s project on a new automobile.
Thus it was effectively Ettore Bugatti who worked for the Stucchi-Prinetti’s.
Prinetti & Stucchi became Stucchi & Co, in 1903, but they were
the first in all of Italy to produce an automobile.
Andrea had three sons – Piero, Franco and Giancarlo – and it was Piero
who took over Coltibuono. The other two boys met tragic accidents. One
was shot in 1943 and the other killed in a car accident. However Piero
ONLY inherited Coltibuono and the other family members got the rest of
the very considerable estates.
Piero was an engineer, descended from a Milanese industrial family. He
had married Lorenza de’ Medici, the principal Medici and raison d’être
of this entire article. They had four children. Today their eldest child,
Emanuela, runs the estate and is the ex–president of the Consorzio Del
Marchio Storico Chianti Classico. Paolo looks after the (estate restaurant)
art, culture and tradition with which Badia a Coltibuono abounds. Roberto
is a qualified oenologist and is responsible for the U.S.A Market, and
to a much lesser extent is involved in the viniculture, the viticulture
and the wine. Guido, the youngest, my guide and mentor, looks after hospitality,
visitors, public relations and the cooking school. He is the perfect host.
Piero married Lorenza de’ Medici in 1953, and for Lorenza it must have
been a strange sort of “déjà vu” when she came to live at
Coltibuono. She was far from the first Medici to have had dealings with
it. If we look back at our history of the Medici family, to Lorenzo the
Magnificent, he coveted the place, and in the middle of the 15th Century
he used his immense power and influence to have Donato Ugolini appointed
as the Abbott of the Abbey. Donato was one of his closest friends, and
his brother, Baccio (Kiss) Ugolini, was a poet, as was Lorenzo the Magnificent.
He wrote a letter, still in the archives today, dated 13th July 1476,
in which he says:
« Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici, most excellent patron.
….and the red wine here is better than at Vallombrosa, the white if not
superior at least equal. The less the coolness the more the thirst, and
there are shady pine trees and murmuring streams.”
From Coltibuono on the 13th day of July MCCCCLXXVI
“To your Magnificence, most devoted – Baccius Ugolinos”
Such assessments of the quality of a wine were rare and remarkable so
many centuries ago. Lorenzo the Magnificent ate wild boar at the Abbey,
and drank the wine, but did not acquire the property. His son, Giovanni,
who as we have seen became Pope Leo X, was made Abbott of Coltibuono at
8 years of age and nominated a Cardinal, on 11th December 1488, at age
13, at which time he was given proprietary rights over the Abbey. He became
Pope, in 1513, and passed on the rights to his cousin, Cardinal Giuliano
Lorenza, when she came to live there, said “some people say that I am
the last Medici. Some people even say that I ought to be extinct!” Her
nephew, Ottaviano, has quite recently written a book about the family
history of her branch of the family. She was born and baptised Lorenza
de’ Medici de Ottajano (a principality in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies,
of which the Medicis were Princes). Hers is commonly known as the Neapolitan
If we go back to Lorenzo the Magnificent, we find that a granddaughter
of his married a collateral cousin, Ottaviano, a senator in 1532, and
their son was called Bernadetto. The family sent him to Naples, in 1567.
He became Baron of Ottajano and his brother, Alessandro, became Pope Leo
XI. Bernadetto’s son, Alessandro, was Prince of Ottajano and Duke of Sarno.
Much later, when Cosimo The Third’s daughter, Anna Maria Louisa, last
of the Florentine line, Electress Palatine and Grand Duchess of Tuscany,
was forced to hand over the Grand Duchy to the Lorraine’s of Austria,
she imposed one condition – “all my property, palaces, villas, works of
art, NEVER be removed from Florence for the benefit of the public from
all nations”. Ottaviano, the nephew who has recently written the book,
thinks that at this point it should have been Giuseppe de’ Medici, Prince
of Ottajano at that time (end of 17th century) and descendant of Alessandro,
first Prince of Ottajano, and the then only surviving member of the Medici
bloodline, who should have inherited the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany
and all the Medici possessions. This did not happen, or Lorenza would
have today been the heir to all the Medici treasure in the Pitti and Medici
palaces and elsewhere!
Under Piero, and now quite recently even more so, under the management
of his children, tremendous changes and improvements have been made. The
Abbey still has its stupendous 16th and 18th century courtyards, basically
unchanged. The old monks’ cells have now been converted into comfortable
bedrooms, without changing any of the original shapes or forms. All is
lovingly preserved. The ancient flagstone stairs and corridors resound
and echo as they must have done four hundred years ago. The Italian gardens
are a joy and balm to the soul, quite literally so, with their fine collection
of ancient medicinal herbs. The entire complex, built originally with
the lovely Albarese stone and surrounded by 2000 acres of their own woodland,
remains intact. It is hard to get much closer to heaven here on earth
We have looked at all the members of the Stucchi Prinetti family, who
own the property.
They have a consultant oenologist who is Maurizio Castelli.
Other personnel of vital importance are: Claudo Marenghi (agronomist),
Alessandra Michelini (chief accountant), as well as Francesco Bargellini,
and Fabrizio Bongini (commercial representatives).
After ten centuries of uninterrupted agriculture, the Stucchi Prinetti
family are determinedly organic today. They say, quite simply “viticulture
must have been 100% natural originally. Healthy viticulture makes distinctive
wines and ensures the health of the vines, the soil and the environment.
We believe in preserving the best of the old ways”. They use neither herbicides
nor pesticides. The 2000 acres of woodland are home to deer, squirrel,
wild boar, falcons, buzzards, long–eared owls, hedgehogs and porcupines.
Small scale producers in the neighbourhood, selected with very great care,
provide a portion of the grapes and also of the wine. These are brought
to the modern and ecologically friendly wine–making facilities, described
below, built at Monti, in Chianti, in the hills of Brolio (Monti), where
they are further improved by a “labour of love”.
The farms of Coltibuono, where they produce the majority of their requirements,
comprise 917 hectares in total. 800 hectares are woodland and 95 are cultivated.
Of these 95, 77 hectares are devoted to vineyards and 18 to olive groves.
95% of the vineyards are planted with Sangiovese and the remainder with
Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, together with a very small parcel of Merlot
and Gamay (1 hectare total). Also Malvasia and Trebbiano. The Chianti
that they make here is “Classico”.
These vineyards boast fine, mature, aged vines. There are still some 50–year
old vines and a vast range of 30 to 35–year old clones of Sangiovese,
which were produced by massal selection. 80% of the vines are over 10
years old. The average production is some 3 ½ metric tons per hectare,
but could well be five without any detriment to the quality of the wine.
The pruning has now been Single Guyot since just 3 years ago for the Sangiovese,
and is now so also for the Malvasia and Trebbiano.
Controlled cover crops are used, and the grass, which is grown between
rows, is then mulched. Plantation density is being increased to 5500–6500
vines per Hectare.
Two of their farms, Argenina and Montebello, at a height of 250–320 metres
above sea level, used to be planted with olive groves that dated back
as far as the 13th century. Today, all the 8,000 olive trees, on the 18
hectares of groves, are planted in the DOP Valdarno Superiore region,
just 2 kilometre beneath the Abbey itself.
The rich clonal mix of Sangiovese grapes in the vineyards, with their
wide genetic diversity, developed over the centuries, gives rich, unique
characteristics to the wine. The climate is hot by day, cool by night.
The soil is rich in clay and limestone rock. Grapes are picked plot by
plot, with careful parcellar selection, at optimum ripeness and no over-maturity,
always by hand. Concentration, length, complexity, balance and suppleness
are the aims and the objects of the Stucchi Prinetti family, as well as
soft and enveloping tannins, fresh and controlled acidity and deep fruit.
All this gives elegance, purity and depth.
The wine–making plant is an attractive, modern, Renaissance fortress,
designed by the architects, Piero Sartogo and Natalie Grenon.
Situated at 350–450 metres above sea level, it can handle grapes and wine
from 100 Hectares. Its official capacity is 8843 Hectolitres and it has
3205 Hectolitres capacity in barrel. The annual production is some 2000
Hectolitres, 80% of which is bottled and aged at the property. It was
Guido’s father who really started Coltibuono on its way back to fame as
a wine, with a fine label design and a first bottling in 1958. However
there are wines in the cellars back to 1937. A few bottles of 1946, discovered
by Guido, apparently still taste splendid! These used to be kept in old
chestnut casks for many years. At first the wine was just “riserva” before
becoming “Chianti Classico”. Long slow fermentation at 24–26°C gave
it great fragrance.
Advanced technology, gravity displacement of the grapes and of the wine,
barrel ageing and rigorous quality selection are all practiced regularly
to ensure that only the highest quality wines emerge from the aesthetic,
yet classical cellars. Once the wine is in the barrel it is transported
back to the Badia, where it ages in barrel in the cool ancient corridors
underneath the abbey itself. These are both a joy and an historical marvel
The wine is matured in barrels, 45% of which are of Slovenian oak. Each
year one third new barrels are used, one third barrels of one year old
and one third barrels of two years old. This is done for the 225 litres
“barriques” only, the larger ones being scraped every 10 years.
Splendid Vin Santo is made from three Hectares of vineyard, which has
been recently replanted. For this wine, the must weight is often 33–35°
and they produce some 7–8,000 half bottles per vintage. Four years maturing
in the little barrels gives a wine of around 7–8° of alcohol, which
ferments in summer and stops in winter during this period. Since 2003
Coltibuono also produces a Vin Santo “Occhio di Pernice”, made with 100%
Sangiovese grapes. The system of vinification is identical, and this first
wine will be bottled in 2007.
All the wines produced express, according to Emanuela “particular subtlety
of flavour and a style suitable for a variety of uses. Wines with an easy–to–drink
and easy–to–appreciate character, that are outgoing and not too serious,
and therefore easily adaptable to a modern lifestyle”.
Both wine and olive oil are produced at Coltibuono, as well as other fine
agricultural products (see PRODUCTION), and an excellent restaurant serves
the wines of the property with delicious Tuscan dishes inspired by Lorenza
de’ Medici – hand made fresh pasta, local lamb and rabbit and the incomparable
Chianina beef, as well as local sheep and goat cheeses and almond tarts
and pastries. The present chef is Francesco Torre.
PRODUCTION, WINES AND PRODUCE
We cannot finish without enumerating the wines produced at Badia a Coltibuono.
Emmanuela describes them as “being poised between the typicality of Chianti
Classico and the elegant traditionalism of the “Riservas”. Since the 2003
vintage, all wines are produced with fully organically grown grapes, as
certified by ICEA (Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification).
This means grassing, green manure, cover crops of broad beans, cloves,
oats, and alfalfa. It means organic fertiliser from their own compost.
It means vine stakes made from Coltibuono’s own chestnut. It means total
respect of the soil, the environment and the ecosystem. In other words
– “resolutely the best of the modern with the finest of the old, the traditional
and the historical”. Could anything be better?
Wines produced are the following:
Cetamura Bianco. ( Trebbiano, Malvasia and Sauvignon)
Cetamura Rosato. (Sangiovese and Canaiolo)
Selezione RS, Chianti Classico D.O.C.G. (Sangiovese)
Badia a Coltibuono, Chianti Classico. D.O.C.G. (Sangiovese 90% and Canaiolo
Cultus Boni, Chianti Classico, D.O.C.G. Top of the line, first produced
in 2001 (Sangiovese 80%, Colorino, Ciliegiolo, Merlot)
Badia a Coltibuono, Chianti Classico, Riserva, D.O.C.G. (Sangiovese 90%
and Canaiolo 10%)
Trappoline, I.G.T. Chardonnay and Sauvignon
Cancelli. I.G.T. Sangiovese, with a little Syrah
Cetamura Chianti. D.O.C.G. Sangiovese and Canaiolo
Sangioveto, I.G.T. (Pure Sangiovese). Top of the line
Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, D.O.C. Trebbiano and Malvasia
Also produced are:
Olio di Uliva – Olive Oil. Extra Virgin olive oil
Albereto Extra virgin olive oil – organic, unfiltered
Campo Corto Extra virgin olive oil – organic, unfiltered mono-varietal
Grappa di Sangioveto
Balsamic Vinegar, Lorenza de’ Medici
Red Wine Vinegar
In spring 2005, no less than 10 of the old monks’ cells, transformed into
comfortable bedrooms, were opened to the public. This is the first real
“Wine Resort” in Italy. Artistic and musical culture can be enjoyed here.
The famous cookery classes started by Lorenza de' Medici are staged here
for guests staying in the Abbey. The fine restaurant, now running for
over 20 years, and which used to be the old Abbey stables, is open to
resident guests and outside visitors alike. In future no visit to Italy
will be complete unless it includes Badia a Coltibuono as part of the
itinerary. Buon viaggio!