Stefano Cinelli Colombini: A short biography


Stefano was born on October 26, 1956 in Florence. It’s not what you would expect from the scion of patrician family from Siena, the historic rival of Florence. He has a law degree but chose to work for the family business instead of working as a lawyer. In 1981, he began to learn not only about wine and grape growing, but also about wheat, forestry, management of the Fattoria dei Barbi’s rental apartments, milling, pigs, sheep, olive groves, curing meats, dairy farming, and the estate’s restaurant.

In 1985, he took over as sales manager for the winery. He increased the number of foreign countries where the wines are exported – now totaling more than 35. He also increased wine production, from 300,000 bottles to 700,000. From 1981 to 1999, he managed the Fattoria del Colle estate in Trequanda (near Siena), a small village that has belonged to his father’s family since the Middle Ages. In the process, he created a tourist facility with 110 beds. He also restored the hamlet’s historical villa, its many houses, and its vineyards, where grapes are grown for the production of Chianti. Today, this property is owned by his sister Donatella.

In 1997 Stefano purchased the Aquilaia farm in Scansano, an estate covering 100 hectares, including 28 planted to vine. He created a cellar, replanted the vineyards and restored the houses overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, which lies only few kilometers away.

From 1980 until the present, Stefano has been an active board member in the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano growers associations.

He is also a fellow of the National Academy of the Wine and Vineyards and the Georgofili, the oldest and most prestigious agriculture academy in the world.

He oversaw the development of his estate’s vineyards, increasing the surface from 22 hectares in 1981 to the present 110. In 2001, he partnered with the University of Pisa to become the first European winemaker to experiment with cold maceration using CO2 for the red grapes. In 2000, together with the University of Bologna, he began to develop four Sangiovese clones from Poggitoia, the oldest vineyard in Montalcino. These clones will be included in a highly select blend of clones to create a Montalcino Sangiovese.

He was the coordinator of a European project organized by the Universities of Siena, Coimbra, and Malmö to create an “electronic nose” that can reveal the different grape varieties present in a wine.

Between 1997 and 2004 he developed the Museo della Comunità di Montalcino e del Brunello, a 1,000-square-meter space that hosts a non-profit institution. Its aim is to raise awareness of the great history of Brunello and the highly cultural background that made it possible. He founded and served as editor-in-chief of the monthly journal “Gazzettino e Storie del Brunello e di Montalcino,” which was printed from 2000 to 2008. In 2016 Stefano published “Appunti per una storia di Montalcino e del Brunello,” a short history of Montalcino and its wines, from its origins until the present.

Stefano is a passionate lover of classical music, history, and jogging in the Tuscan countryside, ideally accompanied by his young son Giovanni.

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