Profile of Badia a Passignano Winery
The enticing blend of history, culture and gastronomy you’ll find at Badia a Passignano is a perfect example of why Tuscany endures as a favorite destination for food and wine connoisseurs. This Antinori-owned winery, a rolling estate tucked into the heart of Chianti Classico, is as well loved for its fascinating historical setting as for its luscious Chianti Classico Riserva di Badia a Passignano wine.
The 215-hectare estate encircles a beautiful ancient abbey still owned by the Vallombrosian monks. Although the year of its founding is unclear – some historians claim the year 395, while others push it back to 891 – there is no doubt that the abbey played a vital role in Tuscan winemaking throughout the last millennium. Even in ancient times the Vallombrosians were known for their scholarship and winemaking expertise; the order reached a pinnacle of power in the middle ages, when it owned nearly a quarter of Tuscany. Although Badia a Passignano was sacked and burned in the 12th and 13th centuries, it was later rebuilt and by the 1500s had gained fame for being a centre of science and learning. Galileo Galilei taught mathematics here in 1587, and the monks were great students of literature and music, amassing impressive libraries that still exist today. For centuries, it was this progressive monastic community that cultivated the land and cared for the vineyards. A fascinating link to the area’s long wine-making history came with the 1983 discovery of a thousand-year-old vine near the estate.
Today as in ages past, the wine made here is aged in the vast cellars that run beneath the abbey. Bought in 1987 by the esteemed Antinori winemaking family (now in its 26th generation of vitners), the estate produces a single wine: Chianti Classico Riserva di Badia a Passignano.
As part of an exclusive wine touring vacation with Cellar Tours, we can organize a visit to the Abbey, a VIP tasting of the top Antinori wines and a gourmet lunch at the Osteria di Passignano restaurant, run by Tuscan chef Marcello Crini.
Recent Awards: 2003 Vintage - "Cinque Grappoli” Award (given 2006), 2001 Vintage – Decanter World Wine Award Golden Medal (given 2006)