Chianti Classico, San Gimignano and some Super Tuscans
By Michèle Shah
This Guide was last updated on 30 March 2010
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Address: Località Badia a Coltibuono,
53013 Gaiole in Chianti (SI)
Tel: 0577 749031 Fax: 0577 744839
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 43:29:51N (43.49752) Longitude: 11:27:6E (11.45157)
Badia a Coltibuono (which means Abbey of the Good Harvest) was founded by the Vallombrosan Benedictine order of monks in 1051, who planted the first vineyards in the Upper Chianti area. Its age-old tradition of winemaking is now carried on in a modern family enterprise and under its current owners, the Stucchi-Prinetti family, Coltibuono has converted its vineyards to organic farming, producing classic Sangiovese wines. Look out for their top 100% Sangiovese labelled under Sangioveto as well as good Chianti Classico wines, Coltus Boni and Chianti Classico Riserva, Selzione RS. Badia a Coltibuono was one of the first Chianti estates to open its doors to travellers and visitors. The visit includes the 16th century frescoed refectory, its cloister, the ancient vaulted ageing cellars and magnificent gardens. As well as a restaurant, Badia a Coltibuouno also offers eight charming guest bedrooms each with its own décor and style reflecting the elegance of the surroundings. Guests can arrange to attend the cooking school ( 1 day, 3 days, 5 days) in an idyllic setting in which to learn the secrets of authentic regional Italian cuisine handed down by the famous author and cookbook writer Lorenza de Medici who founded the school over 20 years ago (see website).
Useful information: Visits with a tasting are organised on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00 by appointment only from April to October. Cost €12. Groups accepted up to 20/40 people. Languages spoken: English, German, Spanish. The ancient monastery is also open in the afternoons April to October with guided tours available on the hour, no reservation needed. Cost €5 - children free. The restaurant is open every day from March to October. Closed Mondays the rest of the year. Completely closed 5 January – 5 March.
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