For nearly a century at the Fattoria dei Barbi in Montalcino (Siena province), we top off and re-cork our Brunello and Brunello riserva stored in our historic cellar where the library of wines stretches back to 1892. It’s also where we store our clients bottles (at no charge).
Topping off is a necessary process that allows the wines to age. As time passes, the bottles lose some of their wine. The corks lose their elasticity and their tight seal as they stop fitting the glass neck correctly. As a result, the wines need to be topped off (with the same vintage) and the corks need to be changed.
The “Topping Off Ceremony” is such an exclusive and special affair that we decided to make this event a festive occasion when we can spend the day with all of our friends who want to take part. As long as it’s 20 years old or more, you can even bring your own bottles to be topped off. You can drop them off, of course, and we’ll let you know when the process is completed. But you can also participate in the afternoon topping off ceremony, which is open to the public. Our cellar master will explain the steps:
After the wines are inspected by looking at the color, smelling the aromas, and tasting the wine itself, we top off the bottles with wine that has been stored in our cellars in ideal conditions. This is followed by the re-corking with new corks that are branded with the Barbi logo. Then a new capsule is added to the seal. Then the old cork is tied to the bottle with a red string. The wines have to be 20 years old or more to be eligible and they need to be stored in ideal conditions. We can guarantee success for wines that haven’t been stored correctly. The bottles that aren’t in good condition are returned to the owners without being topped off.
The client with the oldest bottle that weekend will be awarded a magnum of Brunello.
And older vintages will be available for sale as well: Only bottles that have been stored on the estate. They will also be available by the glass in the cellar and at the Taverna dei Barbi.
First group – 11:30 a.m., guided tour of the Brunello Museum and guided tour and tasting in the estate’s historic aging cellar. Lunch at Taverna dei Barbi. Topping off at 4:00 p.m.
Second group – Topping off at 4 p.m. followed by a guided tour and tasting in our historic aging cellar and a guided tour of the Brunello Museum. Dinner at Taverna dei Barbi.
€ 50 per person, including lunch or dinner at the Taverna dei Barbi.
€ 210 perperson (reservation required), lunch or dinner in our historic cask room (with barrels that are more than 100 years old). The menu is based entirely on dishes from Elina Colombini’s 1899 cookbook and each course will be paired with older vintage Brunello, including 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1986.