Home to one of the greatest cellars of old Chianti in all of Tuscany. The winemaking focus at Badia a Coltibuono reflects a dedication to long-lived wines and traditional methods. Roberto Stucchi, the winemaker of the estate until 2001, is an old friend of Oliveto and has been an invaluable participant in the creation and development of the Wine In Time project.
Badia a Coltibuono (which means Abbey of the Good Harvest), dates from the middle of the eleventh century. In 1051 the monks of the Vallombrosan Order, a Tuscan reform of the Benedictines, founded the Abbey and also began planting the first vineyards in the Upper Chianti area. Over the centuries they extended their vast land holdings to include many thousands of acres. In 1810, when Tuscany was under Napoleonic rule, the monks were forced to leave Coltibuono and the monastery was secularized. The estate was first sold by lottery and then in 1846, Coltibuono was bought by Guido Giuntini, a Florentine banker and great grandfather of Piero Stucchi-Prinetti, the present owner. Under the guidance of Piero Stucchi Prinetti, the estate grew and built a solid reputation in Italy and abroad through the high quality of its products. Nowadays, his children Emanuela, Roberto, Paolo and Guido continue the activities embarked upon by their ancestors.
Conversion to organic growing methods began in the early 90s with 20 hectares of olive groves and was concluded in 2000 with 70 hectares of vineyard being cultivated using organic methods. They first reduced and then eliminated the use of chemical substances which may be harmful to the soil, the farm workers and the environment. Vineyards are now fertilized with compost and manure, but mostly the soil is managed with careful observation of the native weeds. The maintenance of the native cover crop between the vines helps preserve and rebuild the organic substance, essential to the health of the plants.
Insect pests are reduced at a minimum through the increase of biodiversity in the vineyard: striving to protect the diversity of insect life means first and foremost eliminating the use of insecticides; the use of pheromone traps and visual inspections allow us to determine the number of insects present. This helps us to identify and prevent potential disease.
Fungi and mildew diseases are kept under control by careful canopy management, and by improving the health of the soil. One of the obvious effects on the winemaking is the improvement in the fermentation process. The naturally present yeast benefits from the increased nutrient content in the must, and the fermentations are easier and cleaner: over time this has helped reduce the amount of sulfites used. The intensity and brightness in the fruit flavours has noticeably increased.