Looking for an ancient, uniquely Romanesque venue for Chianti wine tasting? Look no further than Badia a Coltibuono. The 11th-century monastery with its lush botanical garden is famed for its history and romantic atmosphere.
The Badia a Coltibuono estate translates to Abbey of the Good Harvest. It was founded by Vallombrosan monks in the 11th century. Over the centuries, the monks aquired hundreds of acres of land, but when the monastery was secularized in 1810, the government seized all the holdings and auctioned them off. The Stucchi Prinetti family has owned the estate since 1846 keeping its history and innovation to create one of Chianti Classico's best wines.
Guests of Badia a Coltibuono have the opportunity to stay in one of their charming B&B rooms or apartments, learn the secrets to local Tuscan cooking in the cooking school, participate in one of the many cellar and wine tasting tours, or my personal favorite, dine in the original stables (albeit refurbished) where the atmosphere is refined but welcoming.
Badia a Coltibuono is located about 42 miles south of Florence near Gaiole in Chianti. Prepare for lots of twists and turns in the road before reaching your destination! Time your visit for a guided tour (and tasting, if you choose) and a lunch or dinner in the restaurant where you may select one of their delicious wine-pairing menus. Word of warning: allow plenty of time to "sober up" for that twist-y and wind-y return drive! :)
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