Fattoria dei Barbi
The Colombini family have owned Fattoria dei Barbi since the end of the 18th century, but have owned land in Montalcino since 1352. They have been producing Brunello since 1892, when Pio Colombini crafted the first bottles. He married Elina Padelletti, who was from an ancient and noble family, and thereby gained the Villa Podernovi, where the cellars and laboratories of Fattoria dei Barbi are located today. Pio and Elina's son Giovanni was a pioneer of modern viticulture, and he also had the idea of opening Italy's first public wine shop in the the fortress of Montalcino in 1936. They have always been pioneers; there are indeed a lot of “firsts” in their history. For example in 1817 they were the first to export Brunello to France; in 1832 the first to sell mail order Brunello; in 1962 the first to export Brunello to America, to England in 1969, and to Japan in 1975. In 1969 they created the Super Tuscan Brusco dei Barbi, and the first single varietal Grappa in 1975. They also pioneered organic fertilisers in the 1960's. Today the company is owned by Giovanni's grandson, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, and with him the pioneering spirit has continued into the 21st century. In 2000 Fattoria dei Barbi were one of the first to use carbon dioxide for cold fermentation of red wines. Since 2000 in collaboration with the University of Bologna, Stefano has been developing four Sangiovese clones from Poggitoia, the oldest vineyard in Montalcino. He was the coordinator of a project to create the first “artificial nose” for analysing wines. He has also written books on the history of Montalcino and Brunello, and served on the boards of the Consortiums of Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano many times, and is also a fellow of the Georgofili, the oldest and most prestigious agriculture academy of the world, established in 1753. The Fattoria dei Barbi estate has 66 hectares under vine with Sangiovese for Brunello and with each vine producing a little over a single bottle of wine. L'Aquilaiadei Barbi is their estate in Scansano, in the Maremma region of Tuscany, acquired in 1997. Here 28 hectares are planted with 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot for their Morellino di Scansano DOCG wines. For over seven centuries this historic producer has seamlessly blended innovation with tradition, and their outstanding wines are multi-awarded: the Brunello's with their unmistakable blue label bearing the coat of arms given to the Colombini family in 1200.