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Badia a Coltibuono

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

The history of this legendary estate dates back to 1051 when the Vallombrosa order of monks (a Tuscan reform of the Benedictines), most likely planted the first grapes in the region.

Located in Gaiole in Chianti, the abbey or ’Badia’ is still the beating heart of this magnificent wine and agriculture estate: ‘Coltibuono’ means ‘good harvest’ which seems more appropriate than ever today.

In 1810 when Tuscany was under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, the monks were forced to leave and the monastery was secularised. The estate was first sold by lottery and then in 1846, was purchased by Guido Giuntini, a Florentine banker and ancestor of the current owners.

The estate thrived under the direction of Piero Stucchi Prinetti, noted for the quality of its varied produce.

Badia a Coltibuono is now under the stewardship of Emanuela, Roberto and Paolo Stucchi Prinetti.

Roberto's commitment to organic wine making and the use of traditional methods is noted. He takes care of all aspects of this highly praised wine production and has also designed the cantina with wide floor areas to access the steel vats during fermentation and aid circulation in all working spaces.

Paolo runs the Coltibuono restaurant set in the stunning grounds of this National Heritage Site overlooking the breathtaking valley views of the Chianti Classico area from the commanding height of the hilltop Badia a Coltibuono was built on.

As well as the history and the highly praised winery the estate has a very famous cookery school attached to the hotel founded by Emanuela’s mother, the renown Italian food ambassador and writer: Lorenza De'Medici whom apart from a career as editor of Novelty magazine (later to become Vogue) is the author of many highly regarded books on Italian lifestyle and its worldwide appeal cuisine. Emanuela now heads the hospitality and marketing as well as being the figurehead of the cookery school. In 2000, she was elected to be the first female president of Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico.

On the day of my visit, it was my privilege not only to enter such illustrious kitchen and to witness the students at work but also to sample the flavoursome lunch they prepared.

This historic estate covers an area of 700 hectares (over 1700 acres) of which 70 hectares is under vine, organic cultivation is the byword for all produce at Badia a Coltibuono.

The vineyards at Badia a Coltibuono are mainly planted with Sangiovese (90%) situated around the town of Monti and Vitignano (Castelnuovo Berardenga) or Vagliagli as is the latest designation of the western part. The estate produces approximately 270,000 bottles annually depending on vintage.

The wines:

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico, Sangiovese and traditional grapes.

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva, Bottled in superlative harvests.

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Sangioveto Toscana IGT.

Badia a Coltibuono Montebello Toscana IGT, Blended from historic vines such as Pugnitello, Colorino, Sanforte, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo, Foglia Tonda, Mammolo, Ciliegiolo and Sangiovese.

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice (Sangiovese)

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico ( Trebbiano Malvasia)

R/S Vermentino Cultisbuoni (from vineyards in Maremma)

Tasting notes

Badia a Coltibuono RS Vermentino IGT 2021

Pale yellow in colour.Yellow florals, slate minerality, medium bodied, honeydew melon, white floral tea notes. Well balanced. Fresh integrated fine tannins and crunchy acidity.

Has charm and elegance.

Points 91 TW

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico 2020

Medium ruby red in colour, translucent purple undertones.Red rose aromatics, red cherry, blackberry, liquorice and mint nuances. Warm entry. Medium bodied.Ultra fine tannins and fresh acidity.

Expands on the mid palate then shows a vertical inclination. Balanced with a clean fresh mouthfeel. Long finish.

Points 91 TW

Badia a Coltibuono Montebello IGT Toscana 2016

Bright ruby red in colour. Wild strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, plum, faint notes of eucalyptus, liquorice and blond pipe tobacco. Purple florals. Shell minerality. Linear with a juicy close.

Points 92 TW

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva 2012

Ruby red in colour. Black and red berry fruit, dark blue florals, liquorice and cake spice.

Faint balsam notes. Freshness that gives suppleness. Floats on the palate with harmony.

Wonderful textural richness. Hovers on the close.

Points 94 TW

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico

Intense golden yellow in colour. Peach, apricot, fig, almond and dried date. Notes of vanilla and lavender scented honey. Fresh, non cloying.

Points 92 TW

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice (Sangiovese)

Pale amber with golden undertones in colour. A bouquet of aromatic wood, honey, hazelnut shell, warm candied orange peel, Eastern baking spice. Youthful, fresh, yet concentrated. Not a shy personality!

Points 94 TW

With my sincere thanks to Roberto Stucchi Prinetti for graciously agreeing to participate to my "High Five with Tony Wood"video interview series.

© Tony Wood Italian Wine 2022

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