Fattoria Dei Barbi
One Of The Best Brunello Di Montalcino Producers
Montalcino, a small town south of Siena and in the heart of Brunello di Montalcino, in Tuscany, was once within the walls of the fortress on top of a hill. Today, this impressive stone structure accommodates a store featuring the region’s agricultural bounty (wine, cheese, olive oil, honey and sausages), and represents a point of interest to tourists. Here they can admire the beautiful landscape of Montalcino and appreciate the diffuse light that nowhere else exists.
Fattoria dei Barbi, located just a few kilometres out of the town, and is owned and managed by the Colombini family since 1790. However, the ancestors of the family owned property already in 1352 in town. In Tuscany, fattoria means a self-sufficient farm producing wheat, olive oil, cheese, wool and wine – the essentials of life then and now!
Fattoria dei Barbi farms 300 hectares of land, of which 100 are planted in vine. All vineyards enjoy southeast exposure to benefit optimally from sunshine, and consist of galestro, clay mixed with lime, and argileous soil. Summers are hot, and winters relatively mild with an adequate precipitation of 650 mm. per annum. The vineyards are planted to Brunello di Montalcino and Moscadello. Brunello goes into Brunello di Montalcino, and Moscadello into vin santo, a specialty of Tuscany.
During several visits, I have always admired the serene scenery, undulating hills, and suffuse illumination that visitors find captivating. Millions of Germans, Swiss, and Austrians come to the area for their vacations. Many wineries converted some of their buildings to guest rooms, others created efficiency units, yet others built apartments, along with tennis courts and swimming pools to cater to the demand profitably. Tuscan wineries created an industry now called agritourism and copied in many parts of the world.
Fattoria dei Barbi has six fully furnished luxury units and operates a restaurant using most of the products of the farms (See menu below).
The legendary Donna Francesca Colombini-Cinelli, owner and operator of the Fattoria is now semi-retired. Her son Stefano Cinelli-Colombini manages the complex in addition to the property he bought in Scansano region in southern Tuscany.
The Morellino di Scansano from this property is an excellent red wine of depth, with full body and smooth texture.
Fattoria dei Barbi produces 700,000 bottles annually. Their Brunello di Montalcino, -Riserva, Vigna del Firore are well made, cellar worthy fine wines that represent excellent value. Fattoria’s special wine Brusco dei Barbi is special indeed, as its recipe remains secret, but knowledgeable people suggest it to be a Chianti made by the governo technique. Regardless, Brusco dei Barbi is a fine, full-bodied wine of depth and vigour.
Rosso dei Barbi, and Chianti Birbone are also fine wines worth looking for.
Fattoria’s vin santo, generally a sweet wine, tends to be less sweet than many others, but possesses an intensity, most lack.
Grappa dei Barbi, Grappa di Brunello and Riserva complete the alcoholic beverage portfolio of the farm. The wines are exported to the U S A , Canada, China, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and New Zealand.
A trip to Tuscany without visiting the Fattoria dei Barbi to taste their wines, and enjoying a meal in the trattoria is akin to neglecting to visit the Coliseum while in Rome.
Tuscany can be reached within a couple of hours from Rome on the autostrada.
The Menu of the Fattoria dei Barbi
Salami Toscani della Norcineria dei Barbi
Bruschetta al pomodoro con aglio e olio extra virgine d’oliva
Crostini misti Senesi
Zuppa di fagioli all Montalcinese
Zuppa di funghi
Ravioli di ricotta fresca del caseifico dei Barbi
Pinci fatti a mano al sugo di carne o all oglio
Fusilli al Brunello
Papardelle al sugo di cinghiale
Polenta con funghi porcini
Piatti di portata
Scottiglia di pollo e maiale
Cinghiale alle Maremmana con polenta
Filetto di maiale al porcino
Conigli al Brunello
Grigliato mista di maiale
Bistecca alla Fiorentina
Salsiccia alla Medici
Faraona a Ghiotta
Contorni, insalate e sformati
Formaggi Pecorini del Caseifico dei Barbi
Dolci Montalcinesi freschi e secchi dal carello
Frutta di stagione
Daily special Brasato al Brunello
Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu