Stefano Cinelli Colombini
At the present
Still today, at Fattoria dei Barbi, Stefano Cinelli Colombini follows, as his mother Francesca did before him, the enlightened directions of his grandfather Giovanni, “farmer, winemaker, cellarman/pig farmer, butcher/lawyer” (this was the strict order of titles that his business card reeled off), managing and innovating the estate with the same devotion to tradition and taste for modernity, disenchanted wit and spirit of initiative, tenacity, and infinite love for his land.
Stefano was born on October 26th 1956 in Florence, which can be a bit of a challenge considering that he belongs to an old patrician family from Siena, the historical enemy town of Florence. Stefano has a Law degree but, instead of becoming a lawyer, choose to work in the family properties. So since 1981 he had to learn not only about wine and vineyards, but also of grains, woods, how to manage the estate rented apartments, mill, pigs and sheep, olive groves, butchery and dairy, the estate restaurant.
Since 1985 Stefano is in charge of the sales of Fattoria dei Barbi; he increased the number of foreign countries where the wines are exported, by now more thirtyfive. He has also increased the production of wine, from 300.000 bottles to 700.000.
From 1981 to 1999 he directed the estate of Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda (near Siena), a small village which belongs to his paternal family since the Middle Age, creating a tourist facility with the capacity of 110 beds. There he also restored the historical Villa, the many houses and the Chianti vineyards. Now this property has been inherited by his sister Donatella.
In 1997 Stefano purchased the Farm of Aquilaia in Scansano, an estate of one hundred hectares of which 28 of vineyards. He created there a cellar, replanted the vineyards and restored the houses overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is only few kilometres away.
From 1980 till today Stefano has been part many times of the boards of the Consortiums of Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano.
He is a fellow of the National Accademy of the Wine and Vineyards and also of the Georgofili, the oldest and most prestigious agriculture academy of the world. He followed the development of his estate vineyards increasing the surface from twenty-two hectares in 1981 to the present one hundred and ten.
In 2001 he was the first to experiment in Europe the cold maceration using CO2 for the red grapes, together with the University of Pisa.
Since 2000, together with the University of Bologna, he has been developing four Sangiovese clones from Poggitoia, the oldest vineyard in Montalcino. These clones will be among the very few developed from a Montalcino Sangiovese. He was the coordinator of an European project between the Universities of Siena, Coimbra and Malmö for the “Electronic Nose” to discover the different grapes present in a wine.
Between 1997 and 2004 he has developed the Museo della Comunità di Montalcino e del Brunello, a 1.000 square meters building hosting a no-profit institution which aim is to widely communicate the great history of the Brunello and the highly cultural background that made it possible. He founded and directed the monthly newspaper “Gazzettino e Storie del Brunello e di Montalcino”, which was printed from 2000 to 2008.
In 2008 he coordinated a movement for the typicality of Brunello, in order to keep the 100% Sangiovese in the wine, which obtained the 85% of votes among the Consorzio del Brunello Assembly.
In 2014 he formulated together with Pisa University a protocol of wine production without added sulphites, which has been patented.
From 2015 he is the Brunello di Montalcino representative inside Federdoc (National Federation of DOC and DOCG wines) and he is also Vice President of the Consorzio del Brunello.
In 2016 has been one of the founder of AVITO, the association of Tuscan Consortium.
In 2016 Stefano also published “Appunti per una storia di Montalcino e del Brunello”, a short history of the town of Montalcino and of its Brunello, from the origin to now.
In 2019 he has been nominated Vice President of the Rural District of Montalcino and has published “Brunello, ritratti a memoria. Storia, protagonisti e luoghi del mito” a book about the history of Montalcino, the important players of Brunello and the territory landmarks.
Stefano great passions are classical music, history and hiking in his countryside, if possible with his young son Giovanni.