Wine of the Week: Coltibuono's Cetamura Chianti

Chianti that calls out for a slice of pizza

Wine of the Week: Coltibuono's Cetamura Chianti

Badia a Coltibuono's Roberto Stucchi is a charming man who proselytizes for organic farming. As of the year 2000, he converted all of his family's vineyards so they could produce wines certified as fully organic. He also believes that the grapes deserve the gentle treatment of handpicking, not the pulling and vibrating that come with mechanical harvesting. The rest of the family believes Stucchi made the right decision. Though the organic wines cost more to produce, organic growing assures the land is protected for future generations. Plus, the public loves the product enough that the Stucchi family found itself in the pleasant position of customers' demand outstripping the vineyard's supply.

So the family started another brand, simply called Coltibuono, to make wines from grapes bought from other growers in Tuscany. The Stucchi family has been involved in the Italian wine business for six generations, so they had a pretty good idea of where they could find neighbors who grew high-quality grapes. The result is one of Italy's great bargains, Coltibuono's Cetamura Chianti ($12), a wine made for early consumption and just crying out for a slice of good pizza or almost anything that comes with a tart tomato sauce. Like any young Sangiovese, the Cetamura has brilliant acidity. Unlike most, the Stucchi family sticks with a traditional recipe of mostly Sangiovese, but with a nice amount of Canaiolo grapes to soften the wine and make it a bit fruitier.

For those lucky enough to travel to Tuscany, the family's estate also produces one of Italy's best organic olive oils, and they even have a Michelin-recommended restaurant. In fact, Roberto's mother, Lorenza de'Medici, created a cooking school at Badia a Coltibuono, and it was there that she produced more than a dozen bestselling cookbooks, all the while holding court at the family restaurant. Even if you can't visit, the generosity of Cetamura will serve as an excellent calling card.

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