Fattoria dei Barbi is among a prestigious group of estates that has played an integral part in writing the history of Italian wine. In fact, the estate is one of only five in Montalcino that have continuously operated for over 100 years. The Colombini family, one of region’s most influential families, founded the estate in 1790. The family has owned land in Montalcino since 1352, first building the “Poggio alle Mura” estate (now Castello Banfi), then “Argiano”, and finally they began assembling “Fattoria dei Barbi” in 1790, where they have produced wine ever since. The estate is currently owned and managed by the 20th generation heir, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, who carries on constantly seeking innovation through research and the application of new techniques.
Barbi’s “Blue Label” Brunello is the heart of the estate’s production and its flagship bottling. The family has been producing Brunello from this vineyard since 1892. The current label was designed by Vittorio Zani, an artist from Siena, where it was first used for the Brunello 1957 vintage.
Terroir: Sourced from the estate’s 41 hectares (100 acres) in the southeast area of Montalcino. Vineyards are planted at 5,200 plants per hectare with yields of 1.3kg per vine. Two types of soils prevail; gravel and clay soils produce wines with power, while more sandy soils heighten aromatics.
Vinification: Manual harvest occurs at the end of September followed by a pre-fermentation cold maceration (“cold-soak”), which consists of cooling the grapes at a temperature of 3°-5°C (37 – 41°F) in an anaerobic environment (under a CO2¶blanket) to protect the must from oxidation. This non-alcoholic, aqueous extraction results in an increased color intensity and stability, softer astringency and tannins and more body and aromatics. After 48 hours, the temperature is raised to 27°- 28°C and alcoholic fermentation begins, lasting 16 -17 days. After racking and malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged in small-to-medium size oak barrels (225L – 15 hl) for the first months, followed by two years in larger 30HL Slavonian oak casks. The wine rests in bottle for
four months before release.