Badia a Coltibuonowhere Chianti was born
The Stucchi Prinetti family at Badia a Coltibuono are to be considered among the pioneers of Chianti, having invested in the estate as early as 1846, when the Florentine banker Michele Giuntini, ancestor of the current owners, purchased the beautiful Romanesque structure and surrounding farmland. From that year, Badia a Coltibuono flourished again thanks to numerous interventions through the generations of the family. It was inherited in the 1930s by Maria Luisa Stucchi Giuntini, and was managed, transformed and passed unscathed through the Second World War. Her son Piero Stucchi Prinetti joined his mother in the 1950s and later, thanks to his vision, energy and managerial skills, began the transformation into a modern company. It was he who was among the first to start bottling and selling, on the national and international market, the estate's best Chianti Classico vintages, which until then had been kept in the abbey's ancient cellars as a family reserve. Piero Stucchi Prinetti was the first to realise the potential of another traditional product of the area: extra virgin olive oil. During the 1980s and 1990s, three of his four sons took over the running of the company.
Family mission in Chianti
Badia a Coltibuono has been linked to the Giuntini/Stucchi-Prinetti family since 1846.
As many as six generations have succeeded one another in the ownership, always with passion and respect for their roots and extraordinary history. A strong and heartfelt commitment not only for the Abbey itself but, in a broader sense, for the entire beautiful Chianti region that surrounds it, with its people, traditions and places: a form of active and sensitive participation in conservation, understood in the most respectful and modern sense.
In this place where, a thousand years ago, monks developed sustainable methods of cultivating the land, the Stucchi family today continues its commitment to organic farming, with the aim of keeping the land healthy and usable for future generations.
The extensive work to maintain the forests is planned with this in mind: here, too, biodiversity is a heritage to be preserved. Together with the paths and white roads that cross them; a fragile heritage, but of fundamental importance for the Chianti landscape. They are not simply paths, but true pilgrimage routes, important transport arteries since Etruscan, Roman and mediaeval times, dotted with small, precious monuments, hermitages, chapels... Routes that allow us to contemplate a landscape that is characterised by an irreproducible relationship, woven over the centuries, between beauty, history and culture
Badia a Coltibuonowhere Chianti was born
A case more unique than rare Badia a Coltibuono still preserves its original structure: in 1051 the monk Giovanni Gualberto received the church of San Lorenzo a Coltibuono as a gift from powerful local feudal lords with the order to build an annexed residence for the clergy and a hospice for pilgrims. A community of Benedictine monks took up residence there, which immediately enjoyed high esteem thanks to its reforming and polemical spirit with regard to the rampant corruption of the clergy, and soon assumed a pre-eminent religious, political, social and economic role.
Already in the first decades, numerous spontaneous donations of large properties by the aristocracy and modest plots of land by poor peasants, who sought shelter and protection in a turbulent historical epoch, ensued. Badia a Coltibuono thus attained a remarkable ownership structure that, remarkably enough, was never again dispersed or divided up in the centuries to follow.
The Vallombrosian monks, attentive scholars and sensitive to the valorisation of the resources offered by nature, gave new impetus to the cultivation of the land, in particular vines and olives, already practised in this area by the Etruscans and Romans since 300 BC. They were also responsible for the introduction of silver fir and chestnut cultivation; tree species still present in the woods surrounding the abbey. Alongside their agricultural activities, they devoted themselves to studies, hospitality and even the care of the sick.
The name they chose was from the Latin of the time: Badia a Cultusboni, meaning good worship, good culture, good agriculture and good harvest. In its archives, the name Chianti appears for the first time in history in a document from the end of the 12th century.
Today Badia a Coltibuono, with all its lands and activities, is a place that conveys the value and prestige of what has been formed, transformed and preserved by the work of men and women, mostly unknown, over a series of generations through the centuries.