New Arrivals from Colombaia

Colombaia is not just a vineyard but an entire ecosystem of grapes, animals, vegetables, fruit and nuts all living in symbiosis with, and feeding into each other. The vines sit around the 16th century farmhouse, 220 metres up on the Colle di Val d’Elsa, on clay soil, rich in entire fossils and just 60km from the sea.

The microclimate here is very special, sea breeze in the late afternoon gives freshness to the soil, as well as the wine, leaving a deep, salty, mineral influence on the palate. Each year, the vinification adapts in respect to the vintage. However, some things are constant: spontaneous fermentation using indigenous yeasts, no fining, no filtration and no additives. Other than, occasionally, a tiny amount of sulphur at bottling. Each year, Helena and Dante adapt their labels to suit the changing weather – creating synthesis through visualising each vintage as it’s own unique colour.

At Colombaia there is the perfect formula of new and old vines. The two vineyards are vinified separately resulting in Vigna Vecchia from 50-year-old vines and Vigna Nuova from 15-year-old vines. Working their vineyard as a big garden, whilst utilising biodynamic practices allows them to follow the rhythms of nature, helping the vine to reach the mineral elements of the soil and through sunlight, the essence and freshness of the grape. Helena and Dante stay as connected in the cellar, only bottling and releasing wines when they are ready. Often letting them evolve for many years in barrel and then further in bottle before allowing any to reach our shelves. These established cuvée are made every year, vintage permitting, alongside a scattering of one-off, limited edition wines allowing Helena and Dante’s flexible and fun nature to shine through. These are bottled symbolically in a Burgundian bottle, signifying the experimentation with more traditionally French winemaking techniques.

Helena and Dante never had ambitious plans to make exceptional or fine wines, the intention was to make honest wine from the beautiful grapes that nature offers them. However, the name Colombaia is now recognised around the world. Originating from the name of the family home, and the dovecot that lives in stone at the top of the house, with the very same typographic design that labels their wine decorating the side of the building itself.

Working alone most of the time they are able to manage the small amount of land they have which allows them to sustain the good life they live at Colombaia. Continuing a tradition of winemaking dating back generations and revisited by Dante’s father in the 1970s, when he produced wine under the same moniker, albeit with a more industrial approach to production.

Since arriving at Colombaia in 2000 Dante and Helena have established themselves firmly as producers of some of the most delicate, beautifully thoughtful and expressive wines in the region.