On our recent trip to Europe we visited dozens of wineries and vineyards. None were more impressive than the afternoon we spent at Colombaia. Away from the populous subregions Tuscany is know for, this little farm operates in a truly humble and understated way. We were taken a back by the immense quality of the wines Dante and Helena have produced as well as their welcoming nature. Below is a little about the story of Colombaia and what makes this tiny farm so special.
The Colombaia farm in Colle Val d‘Elsa in the hamlet of Mensanello, has been in Dante Lomazzi’s family for several generations. The vineyard was planted in 1970 and after a promising career outside of winemaking Dante decided to return to his family farm with his wife Helena in 1999. They immediately got stuck into converting the farm to organic viticulture and from there certified in biodynamics in 2003. The idea was to treat this very special 4ha plot like a big garden, with fruit trees, vegetable gardens and flowers surrounding the vines. The now 45+ year old vineyards are planted to Tuscany’s native grapes of Sangiovese, Colorino, Malvasia Nera and Canaiolo. They also planted a small additional hectare to denser plantings of Sangiovese 10 years ago, which is maturing into a beautiful site in which they make their Neuva cuvee.
They have a simple cellar, set up to use the flow of gravity and to not need mechanical pumps. Grapes are hand picked and only have to travel about 50 metres to the cellar. Fermentation takes place predominantly in concrete and undergoes the traditional “a capello sommerso” (submerged cap) for fermentation. Wines are aged in Slavonian oak for extended periods of time and many cuvees have several bottling dates. The idea behind this to show how the wines age during different vintage conditions. Sulphur is only used in warmer vintages and very sparingly if at all.
The wines from Colombaia reflect the very special farm they are from. They age beautifully and are an absolute joy to drink from the electric Ancestral through to the almost 10 year old cuvees of sangiovese. We are delighted to share these rare and special wines with you and show off the amazing work of this dedicated couple.