Bibi Graetz: Where Tuscan Heritage and Innovation Converge

Bibi Graetz: Where Tuscan Heritage and Innovation Converge.

On the hills of Tuscany, overlooking Florence, the Bibi Graetz Winery stands as a beacon of excellence in the world of fine Italian wines. Founded by the visionary winemaker Bibi Graetz, this winery represents a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation, showcasing a deep reverence for Tuscan heritage while pushing the boundaries of winemaking artistry.

Innovating Tradition: Crafting Wines with a Sense of Place

Bibi Graetz Winery’s commitment to tradition and innovation is at the heart of its success. Bibi’s profound respect for Tuscan winemaking heritage is palpable in his dedication to working with indigenous grape varietals and implementing sustainable viticulture practices that nurture the land. His vineyards flourish as living ecosystems, thriving in biodiversity and enriching the soil. The stars in his show? Sangiovese, Colorino, Canaiolo and Ansonica, grapes of Tuscany’s present as well as past.

What sets Bibi Graetz apart is his boldness in experimenting with unconventional techniques while still upholding the essence of tradition. He seamlessly merges ancient winemaking methods with modern innovation, resulting in a portfolio of wines that are not just authentic but distinctly captivating, appealing to wine enthusiasts of all levels.

Bibi’s old vine vineyards on the hills surrounding Florence.

A Journey from Canvas to Vineyard: Bibi Graetz’s Transformation

Born into a family of artists, Bibi Graetz initially pursued traditional art, studying at Florence’s renowned Accademia della Bella Arti. However, destiny had other plans for him, leading him to fall head over heels in love with winemaking. He took on the family estate in Vincigliata and, more recently, acquired the historic Villa Aurora in the charming village of Fiesole, overlooking Florence. It’s within these picturesque settings that Graetz has cultivated his cult wines, Testamatta and Colore, as he passionately pursues the art of winemaking.

One of the most distinctive features of Bibi Graetz wines is the artistic labels that adorn their bottles. Bibi himself creates these labels, infusing each one with his artistic flair. The labels serve as a visual representation of the wine’s personality and story, reinforcing the connection between art and wine that defines the winery’s identity.

Bibi Graetz’s unwavering dedication to his craft has propelled him to the forefront of Italian winemaking. His wines, particularly the iconic Testamatta and Colore, have graced tables around the world and earned accolades for their elegance, complexity, and remarkable sense of place. With each vintage, Bibi Graetz Winery continues to mesmerize the senses, etching an indelible mark on the global wine scene.

The Cellar at the Bibi Graetz Winery.

The Bibi Graetz Story through their Wines

The winery’s portfolio is a harmonious symphony of wines, each telling a different story of Tuscany’s terroir. From rich and expressive reds like Testamatta, Colore, and Soffocone, to elegant whites such as Testamatta and Colore Bianco, Bibi Graetz Winery crafts wines that capture the essence of the land and the passion of the winemaker. We recently reviewed two of Bibi’s best-known wines that shows the essence of Bibi Graetz, Testamatta and Colore.

Testamatta: A Symphony of Sangiovese

Testamatta, a pure Sangiovese masterpiece, is the essence of Tuscan winemaking. It marries the rich heritage of this indigenous grape varietal with modern winemaking techniques, resulting in a wine that embodies tradition and innovation in perfect harmony.

The Sangiovese grapes for Testamatta are sourced from six vineyards scattered throughout Tuscany. These vineyards, from the hillsides of Florence to the heart of the Chianti Classico area, contribute to the wine’s multifaceted character. Notably, Bibi Graetz owns one of Tuscany’s largest collections of old vines, known for their well-developed root systems that yield grapes with increased natural concentration.

In the 2020 vintage, Graetz introduced grapes from a new high-elevation vineyard in Olmo, north of Florence, to counteract rising temperatures and retain freshness. This addition enhances Testamatta’s freshness and finesse.

The winemaking process resembles a painter’s canvas, with each hectare divided into parcels, vinified separately, and then meticulously blended into the desired masterpiece. The result is a wine classified as Toscana Rosso Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), entirely made of Sangiovese, and a true representation of Bibi Graetz’s artistic origin.

Earlier we reviewed the 2021 Testamatta and awarded it with a 96-point DWA score. You can read the full review for this wine here.

Colore: A Burst of Energy and Elegance

Bibi Graetz’s Colore is a dazzling gem that captivates the senses with its remarkable energy and liveliness. It stands as a testament to Graetz’s artistry, where tradition converges with innovation, resulting in a wine that exudes a unique sense of place.

Colore is a representation of the synergy between the vineyards and the winemaker’s vision. It begins with carefully selected grapes that reflect the diverse terroirs of Tuscany. The winemaking process is meticulous, ensuring that the inherent qualities of the fruit are preserved.

This wine is a statement of Bibi Graetz’s commitment to balancing power and grace. Its fine tannins provide structure and texture, embracing the vibrant fruit notes. The interplay between these elements showcases Graetz’s mastery in crafting a wine that is both dynamic and refined.

From the initial aroma to the lingering finish, Colore tells a story of vineyards kissed by the Tuscan sun and nurtured with care. It is a wine that captures the essence of its origin and the artistry of its maker, leaving a lasting impression that lingers in the memory long after the last sip. In Colore, the tradition of Tuscan winemaking meets the innovation of contemporary craftsmanship, resulting in a wine that is undeniably a masterpiece.

Earlier we reviewed the 2021 Colore and awarded it with a 98-point DWA score. You can read the full review for this wine here.

The most recent vintage of Colore, 2021, as rated by us.

Legacy and Beyond

Bibi Graetz’s Winery stands as a living legacy, a manifestation of one man’s artistic vision and his unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Bibi continues to captivate the senses, telling a story of Tuscany’s past, present, and future, all within the confines of a glass. 

Vineyards on the Island Giglio for Bibi’s white wines.

Bibi’s love for Tuscany’s indigenous grapes, with their origins both inland and on the island of Giglio, are a blessing for Tuscan heritage. Through his wines they continue to shine and tell their stories to present and future generations.

On Friday the 20th of October we will host a live edition of our Talk Show Cellar Talks on our Instagram channel, together with Bibi. In a personal introduction Bibi will tell you all about his amazing story. For more information on the interview (which is free to attent) click here.

This article is written as part of our project ‘Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses’ by our own Niels Aarts, picture credits Bibi Graetz. To read more about this project and Bibi Graetz click here.