There are many initiatives and special experiences that you can live a Coltibuono (https://www.cittameridiane.it/en/badia-a-coltibuono-a-room-with-a-view/), related to wine and tasting, but also to food and cooking classes, visits and discovering the Tuscan territory.
Wine tasting in the cellar, cooking lessons and visits to discover the region
We have been involved in the exciting experience of learning to prepare Tuscan schiacciata with the recipe of a Florentine doc like the chef Benedetta Vitali, founder of the restaurant Cibrèo with Fabio Picchi in 1979 and Zibibbo in 1999. Author of several cookbooks, in Italy and the United States, Benedetta took the place of Lorenza de Medici, the mother of Emanuela, Paolo and Roberto Stucchi Prinetti today dealing company in its entirety. In 1980, Ms. Lorenza founded the cooking school of Badia a Coltibuono, one of the first in Italy and began to write and publish cookbooks in English and German. Her reputation grew a lot with the serial of 14 episodes produced for the US television channel P.B.S. entitled “The de ‘Medici Kitchen”.
Going back to our course, it was really fun to try to make tortellini, stretching the dough and filling them one by one, and then prepare the veal with tuna sauce and tiramisu with instructions given strictly in the English language by the friendly Benedetta. In fact, our fellow students in large and cozy kitchen in Coltibuono were two Americans from Dallas genuinely in love with Italian cuisine. And it was delicious, pleasant and international experience to dinner together at the elegantly set table where in the meantime also Emanuela reached us and where dishes prepared by us were served.
The morning was dedicated to the visit to the vineyard and winery. Badia a Coltibuono is the first, among the great leaders of the Chianti, to have implemented the philosophy of environmental sustainability, putting into practice the principles of organic production since 2000. Giandomenico Zedde, the Sales Director of Sardinian origin now transplanted in Tuscany, has spoken of it so enthusiastic and knowledgeable, showing the vineyards that run along the sides of the hills of Monti in Chianti.
The production of 56 hectares planted is mostly Sangiovese, but there are also indigenous varieties such as Montebello, Canaiolo and Ciliegiolo. In addition to the Chianti Classico, Badia a Coltibuono produces the “Super Tuscan” Sangioveto and Vin Santo of Chianti, for a total of about 400,000 bottles a year.
Taking us between the rows Giandomenico explained that maintaining the health of the vines, the starting point of organic production, is based on grassing controlled that increase the organic matter of the soil, holding back erosion and make the most disease-resistant plants. According to tradition, the plants are supported with local chestnut poles and fertilized with strictly organic products, while wild boar and deer are kept away from the clusters that await the harvest of low-voltage electrical wires. Our tour continued toward the cellar, a modern “Renaissance” fortress, designed by Piero Sartogo and Natalie Grenon, who wanted to build a path suitable for the “sweet” wine grapes just harvested, using the principle of gravity.
The winery has advanced technology to produce a high quality wine, but simply and with the greatest possible efficiency, Giandomenico stressed while showing us tanks and other spaces accurate and studied outside and inside.
And to hand down in time the taste and the typical wine for fermentation using only natural yeasts; the wine is aged in oak casks and barrels in the cellars of Coltibuono, made by monks in the thirteenth century.
The quality of these wines lies in the balance, continued Zedde, which in turn owes to the terroir that makes this area the promised land of the vine. At this point we look around: the Mediterranean light of this clear and warm day makes a perfect painted the panorama with the vigorous nature, sometimes bitter, but full of perfumes, which embraces the vineyards from which they emerge isolated farmhouses and churches. Then our eyes meet and we say in unison: what to want more out of life? Sleeping among great wines, breathing atmospheres rich of history, walking in the Renaissance garden, in the dense forest around the abbey, and between the rows of vines to live a unique experience in a place that will always remain in our hearts and will make indelible these Tuscan holiday in our Chianti view room.