Bibbiano is owned by the brothers Tommaso and Federico Marrocchesi Marzi. It is one of the oldest estates in the Chianti Classico belonging to the same family.
Our philosophy is based on responsibility and consistency. Responsibility for what we do for the earth, for the area and for the unique wines; consistency in following one’s vocation, respecting the nature of the territory and family traditions.
We deeply share the principles and methods of organic farming: in Bibbiano – already by the end of the 1980s – only products with low environmental impact and organic fertilisers have been used because the most important result is harmony with nature, which must be treated with particular care and caution.
The company also boasts a long-standing partnership with the University of Florence: thanks to their studies it was possible to identify land with the best soil characteristics, exposure and height difference index and currently the clones of the historical Sangiovese Grosso vines are being registered. In this way nature gives us its best.
For the production of our wines we do not use international varieties of grapes that tend to eliminate their individuality. Our farm grows Sangiovese, an autochthonous grape from Tuscany, and other strictly indigenous varieties.
Since 1948 Bibbiano has been a member of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico that brings together producers from the Chianti Classico area. From 1942 to 2004 our family worked closely with Giulio Gambelli, a great winemaker of the 1900s and a great connoisseur of Tuscan wines. Today we work with a winemaker with profound experience and knowledge: Maurizio Castelli.
We often imagined taking a trip back in time and observing Bibbiano at the start of the family adventure in 1865. Since then many things have changed and the company has been affected by the changes caused by the advent of technology and the end of an agriculture based on “sharecropping”.
Some things – however – have not changed, for example the woods, the farms, the roads and the borders of Bibbiano are the same as those of that year, and the grapevine and the olive tree, together with cereals, are the basis of our economy today just as then. Some elements of the past have survived the enormous changes that have taken place over the last century and have been passed down to us intact: this cultural and spiritual heritage makes us feel more than ever committed to the convictions that are the principles of our daily work.
Our principal values.
We respect the laws of nature.
Respect for nature and veneration for its wisdom: these are the principal values of Bibbiano. We want to produce our wines following only the laws of nature.
Respect for nature allows us to fully harness its best work.
Our land and our grapes are the best rewards for respecting nature and understanding its mechanisms.
The fierce struggle for quantity at the expense of quality is now a thing of the past.
For us the biological approach is not a business strategy but rather the unchangeable rule of our life.
In Bibbiano we believe that success can only be guaranteed by harmony with nature: the soil of our vineyards has never been treated with heavy chemicals, for decades the company has only applied organic methods and, for some years now, over 70% of our energy requirements comes from a photovoltaic system.
The family has lived on this land for over 150 years and its experience shows that “nature does not tolerate violence against it but is willing to generously reward those who treat it with profound respect”.
One of these rewards are the grape clones, unique of their kind, which we have been able to preserve from the original vines of the company thanks to the collaboration with the University of Florence. A considerable part of the work has already been carried out by nature itself, human beings must only find and preserve its best works, and in Bibbiano they know how to do this.
We enhance the genius loci of Bibbiano.
We will always make only that wine that carries all the distinctive traits of the Bibbiano area and that gives birth to love and admiration.
Bibbiano wines are the organoleptic expression of the uniqueness of the place where they are created.
The intense development of civilisation often has side effects. Probably all of us are aware that there is a global wine production that does not bring out the territorial, ampelographic and style differences.
The traditions of Bibbiano have nothing to do with this approach: we are absolutely convinced that our wine must reflect the soul of the geographical area where it was born.
Chianti Classico producers have always cultivated mostly local varieties of vines, first and foremost Sangiovese, as well as Colorino, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo and other iconic varieties of the area obtained with natural cross-breeding. Following a long evolutionary process, these vine varieties have become part of the local ecosystem since nature itself has brought them to the forefront.
Bibbiano is a territory of authenticity, where not only the centuries-old quality standards of the grapes are respected, but only local wine-making methods of Chianti Classico are used. By now the company’s winemakers have abandoned those few non-traditional practices for the area, for example having long ago renounced the ageing of the wine in wooden barrels.
We respect family values.
We make wine in the same way our ancestors did in the nineteenth century, as did Pier Tommaso Marzi alongside an eminent winemaker, a great Tuscan: Giulio Gambelli.
Family traditions, handed down from father to son, have ensured that Bibbiano wine has become a cultural heritage.
Human values make it possible to build successful promotional campaigns, but very often many only pay lip service to traditions: well-known brands have long since been acquired by multinationals, while modern technologies are now part of the production process. The history of Bibbiano is not part of this scenario.
The family has owned the business since 21st March 1865. It is one of the oldest properties of the Sienese Chianti Classico, managed in their long history by the same family line: there are not many families in the area that can match this record.
The wine traditions of Bibbiano have been handed down from generation to generation. Respect for their ancestors, so typical of Italians, and deep love for their children have made it possible to obtain the most important result: today in Bibbiano wine is produced as it was many decades ago.
Tommaso and Federico Marrocchesi Marzi are in effect direct heirs of Pier Tommaso Marzi who experimented with different wine making technologies in collaboration with Giulio Gambelli. Bibbiano wine could be called, without any exaggeration, a cultural heritage to be preserved. And this is one of the tasks of the current generation.
love for the land
Bibbiano is located in the historic area of Chianti, in the municipality of Castellina in Chianti, and overlooks Val d’Elsa in the direction of the castle of Monteriggioni, in an area where vine cultivation has Etruscan and later Latin origins.
On the edge of this immense natural and human heritage, since 1865 our family has continued the cultivation of vineyards and olive trees with passion, making it alive, modern and up-to-date thanks to an entrepreneurial tradition that has been handed down from father to son, and which has now reached the fifth generation, in the persons of Tommaso and Federico Marrocchesi Marzi.
Surrounded by vast olive groves of more than three thousand plants, the vineyards of Bibbiano extend over a total area of about 30 hectares between 270 and 310 metres above sea level, set on hill slopes that enjoy an enviable exposure and an excellent microclimate, characterised by clay deposits of the Pliocene age that are rich in limestone.
The vineyards are made up of red Sangiovese Grosso and Sangiovese grapes, Canaiolo, Malvasia Nera, Ciliegiolo and Colorino vines, as well as Trebbiano, Grechetto and Malvasia del Chianti vines, on the two slopes that characterise Bibbiano and mark its different organoleptic characteristics.
Our aim is to produce high quality wines, by virtue of a firm choice to exalt the genius loci of Bibbiano, namely the soul of the distinctive geography and the human heritage of the place, generating balanced, elegant wines with distinctive, and sometimes even powerful, personalities with very clear textures.
With a careful selection of the grapes during the harvest, which is still done by hand, and separate vinification of the individual crus of the different slopes, every year we give natural expression to our land and its distinctive features, to its ampelographic and viticultural resources, respecting our desires for a balance between modernity, tradition and the history of this place.
Tommaso Marrocchesi Marzi
Born in 1966, classical studies and a degree in economics and business, international management experience, he has been responsible for management of the company since 2000.
He is a board member of the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico for the 2012-2021 mandates, a position already held from 2006 to 2009, and holds the offices of president of the Distretto Rurale del Chianti and vice president of the Fondazione per la Tutela del Territorio del Chianti Classico that put forward the nomination of the region for UNESCO Heritage.
Together with his brother Federico, he represents the fifth generation of family ownership.
Federico Marrocchesi Marzi
Born in 1969, a degree and a master’s degree in economics and business, Federico is the youngest of the brothers and has been involved in the management of the company since 2005.
castello de Bibiune, cum ecclesia, cum casis, viteis.
First we have to talk a little about grapes, without which Bibbiano would be just another Tuscan place name.
The Sangiovese grape is a legend of the Italian wine tradition.
It looks a bit like the ugly duckling of Andersen’s fairy tale: even with a very ancient history, only in the last fifty years has it fully demonstrated its true potential and conquered the world, and in particular the hearts of true connoisseurs and lovers of Tuscan wines and the Chianti Classico.
The origin of the Sangiovese is lost in the twilight of history. The cultivation of this grapevine had Etruscan origins and then, through the Romans, the tradition passed to the inhabitants of Tuscany. The name itself seems to come from Sanguis Jovis and translates into Blood of Jupiter. Today it is difficult to say whether it is true or not, but undoubtedly it is an ancient variety with its roots in Tuscany.
Antiquity is not a defect but something to be proud of.
The Chianti region is the heart of Tuscany, the heart of Italy, which harks back to the first human settlements, then the Etruscans and the ancient Romans. To possess these lands, which constitute a unique natural and cultural area, noble families and powerful states fought each other. But long before the political struggles began in Tuscany, they began to cultivate grapes and make wine here.
It is believed that the name Chianti has Etruscan origins, which means it is no less than two thousand years old, while the name Bibbiano shows late-Roman roots and dates back to 200 AD, so it is 1800 years old. Also in this period the first topographical map of Rome was made, the capital of the Roman Empire, although at an early stage of its crisis.
The first reliable mention of Bibbiano dates back to the 11th century. It is a deed on parchment, dated 1089 and attesting that Donna Mingarda di Morando gave Giovanni di Benzo the “curte” and the “castello de Bibiune, cum ecclesia, cum casis, (…) viteis (…)”, namely the company and the castle of Bibbiano with the church, the farms and the vineyards.
Historians claim that the real development of wineries in the Chianti area, between Florence and Siena, began in the 12th century. But the first document, in which our company is mentioned and which is carefully preserved in the abbey of Passignano, clearly confirms that the roots of the tradition date back to even more ancient times.
The Bibbiano farm remains one of the oldest in the Chianti region, saddling its owners with a serious ethical responsibility. Which makes us proud not only of the centuries-old history but also of the deep roots of our wine. Not many in the Chianti Classico (but in general, also in Tuscany, in Italy and in all Europe) can affirm that right here, in this unique area, uninterruptedly, without changing varieties, wine has been produced for almost two thousand years.
Monks are good at managing the farm but only when they treat it as their own creature and not merely as a source of immediate income.
The turbulent sixteenth century, which shocked the European world, left its mark on the farm’s history. In 1498 Bibbiano is included in the land register of the Decima Repubblicana under the ownership of Matteo di Piero di Francesco Squarcialupi. Four farms are mentioned here “chon casa da lavoratore, chon terre lavorative, vignate, ulivate, boschate e sode”, namely farms, lands, vineyards, olive groves, forests and meadows. The Squarcialupi, who had important properties, were very powerful and their properties extended from Casentino to Val d’Elsa. But a rich family of the late Renaissance had to think not only of the growth of its own assets but also of higher objectives: the salvation of their souls. It was for this reason that in 1500, according to the will of the late Matteo Squarcialupi, the Bibbiano farms passed to the Catholic and Florentine hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Thanks to this generous gesture, the Hospital was able to finance itself for its work of caring for the sick, while the donor – with this pious act – could aspire to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Hospital received the Bibbiano property gratefully and handled it caringly for more than 250 years, preserving the wine-making traditions of the business. It was also good fortune for Bibbiano: in those times belonging to the Church allowed you to stay out of political perturbations, avoiding the intrusions of the violent and, at times, bloody rivalry between the two powerful cities of Florence and Siena. Who knows how the methods of cultivating grapes would have changed, and if it would have been the same company, if Matteo Squarcialupi had transferred his property not to the Hospital but to his direct heirs.
A very detailed description of Bibbiano and its nearby small farm, called Bibbianuzzo, is found in the Campioni dei Beni di Santa Maria Nuova of 1564. These Campioni made up the inventory of the property owned by the Hospital. The description contains a precise representation of all the lands and their produce, from the grapevine to the olive tree, from the seeds to the fruit plants and the livestock, including chickens and rabbits.
The monks were really good farmers. The cabreo, which today is kept in the Florence State Archive, also includes a schematic ground plan of the two estates. A similar but more up-to-date description dates back to 1607 and is contained in the document called the Visita Generale dei Beni dell’Ospedale. With this document the Hospital re-inventoried its assets giving a precise description of the agricultural practices, the products, the heads of cattle, the sharecroppers and their families. In the meantime the company was operating in a stable and solid manner, always maintaining a high quality wine made with the Sangiovese. As often happens, with stability come to mind the ideas conditioned by the newest trends and administrators allow themselves to be swept along recklessly.
The New Times arrived with their cult of immediate money that prevailed over traditions. The Hospital decided to “enter the new waters” and take a path that should have brought greater profits. It is not known who it was in the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova that decided to change everything, and when, but the fact is that the Hospital no longer found it convenient to manage the properties directly and proceeded to rent them, receiving the payment of an annuity. This type of contract was called “allivellamento” and was common throughout the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. It was a real privatisation given that, after a certain period of years, the tenant (usually a neighbouring landowner) could redeem the property with the payment of a residual sum, as if it were a lease.
In this way, the desire to take everything immediately won the day and Bibbiano began to be seen mainly as a mere source of income.
Bibbiano was leased from 1767 to 1780, which does not seem a long period from an historical point of view, but the consequences were serious: incomes fell, the Hospital had to sell the farms and the succession of owners began. From 1780 to 1833 they belonged to the Landi family, of which the first was Iacobo. In July 1833 his son Michele Landi sold the property of Bibbiano to Don Tommaso di Bartolomeo of the Corsini princes who did not intend to deal with the development of the properties because he was devoting himself fully to his diplomatic career and to the affairs of state. It was he who was the official representative of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany at the famous Congress of Vienna in 1815, and he died occupying the office of Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy. Finally, in March 1865 another Don Tommaso Corsini, the son of Neri, sold Bibbiano to the brothers Casimiro, a lawyer, and Pietro Marzi, an engineer, ancestors of the current owners. And then there was a little bit of hope that the Bibbiano wine-making traditions might be recuperated, since the brothers considered the farm not so much a simple profitable asset but rather a family estate and cultural heritage.
Our family at the helm of the company. A family of responsible and passionate owners during the period of the world wars.
The new era in the life of Bibbiano began with joy accompanied by the passionate and thoughtful activity of the new owners who gradually, but in fewer than 50 years, before the end of the First World War, got the farms and the business back in shape and carried out an expansion. In 1880, Antonio Marzi, son of Pietro, added the property of Gagliano with the other estates of Gaglianuzzo and Padule to the property of Bibbiano. Fortunately, the storms of the First World War did not affect Bibbiano and the Marzi family. In the meantime, new grapevines were planted, the olive groves were expanded and new structures were built. Bibbiano wine was sold throughout Italy and was successful in other European countries. In 1919 the family decided to build the main villa. As Antonio Marzi wrote, “human happiness consists precisely in restoring traditions, conserving them with care and handing them down to future generations. And no other momentary pleasure is comparable to this”.
Unfortunately the peace concluded in 1918 resulted, as the French marshal Foch said, not in peace but a twenty-year truce. The new world war this time spared neither the heart of Italy, nor Tuscany, nor the Chianti region. In the summer of 1944, during the passage of the war front, there was a small unit of German paratroopers in Bibbiano, whose resistance to the advance of the French and New Zealand troops considerably damaged the business. Only by a miracle, and also thanks to the efforts of the farmers, were the stocks and the vineyards saved, even if almost all the buildings were seriously damaged, as well as other important structures such as the aqueduct. In just a single summer the company was in a worse condition than it was in the nineteenth century when the Casimiro and Petro Marzi brothers bought it. But it was possible to save the heart, the essence of Bibbiano: its grapevines and its land. This gave strength to Pier Tommaso Marzi, son and heir of Antonio: the difficulties of the post-war period, the lack of the necessary resources did not discourage him in his plans to rebuild and give new life to Bibbiano.
The new beginning and the support of the great Tuscan winemaker Giulio Gambelli.
In 1948 the business joined the Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico, which brings together local producers. Between 1950 and 1970 Pier Tommaso Marzi and his son-in-law Alfredo Marrocchesi, an engineer, began, with the help of Giulio Gambelli, a profound restructuring that concluded with the construction of a large wine cellar, the planting of 20 hectares of specialised vineyard, over 10 hectares of olive groves, as well as the total modernisation of the equipment. Pier Tommaso and Alfredo were responsible for the management of the process, but not only: they spent a lot of time together with the workers checking everything, there were many late nights designing the construction projects and, in parallel, they talked with Giulio Gambelli about the new systems, the ageing methods, the style and the wine bouquet, they maintained the relationship with the University of Florence, exchanged impressions and experiences with friends who owned other Chianti Classico wineries. In practice, this twenty years saw the laying of the solid foundations of Bibbiano’s current prosperity.
The business is currently run by the fifth generation of the family. Having excellent professional training and international management experience, Tommaso and Federico seek to respect the balance between modernity and the age-old wine-making traditions without in any way damaging the authenticity of Bibbiano wine and the way it is produced. If you come to visit the farm in autumn after harvesting, you could easily meet them while they oversee the upkeep of the vineyards.
A monument of Italian oenology, who was – and will be remembered – not only as a true professional, but above all as an important witness of the twentieth century wine sector, where the historical testimony, which has rendered over sixty-six vintages, are his style and his wines.
Wines made with passion and professionalism: these are the two key words that have marked Giulio Gambelli’s relationship with Chianti Classico. A passion he had as a boy and a professionalism that has grown over the years, giving life to elegant and sober wines, a natural expression of our territory and therefore deeply Tuscan like those who make them. At the age of fourteen the young Giulio Gambelli began to frequent the Enopolio of Poggibonsi, the town where he was born, where he had the chance to develop his palate under the guidance of the director of the institute, Tancredi Biondi Santi.
Giulio Gambelli used his fine senses to understand the character of the wine, its quality and its development. Therefore, Tuscan winemakers quickly understood the potential of the young taster and requested his collaboration. Above all, Pier Tommaso Marzi, who introduced him to Bibbiano in November 1942, and together they handled the renewal of the vineyards and the wine cellar from the early 1950s until the first bottling – with its own label – of the 1969 harvest under the aegis of Alfredo Marrocchesi, father of the current owners.
And then many other important collaborations with famous wineries, many awards from the sector institutions and press, harvest after harvest until thanks to his merits – and without the academic title of winemaker – the world of wine gave him the title of “master taster”.
Recently, Editore Veronelli dedicated an attentive and sensitive biography to him, written by his friend the journalist Carlo Macchi, followed by a second edition of the Editore Giunti Slow Food.
Giulio Gambelli, the last master of the Sangiovese, died in his native Poggibonsi on 3rd January 2012.
The experience of a wine tasting among the vineyards from which the wines originated, in the presence of the owners, the tasting of historical vintages, with the accompaniment of genuine and traditional local food, rigorously homemade and served in the main villa or in the wine cellar, are some of the emotional episodes that our business can offer and that will remain forever etched in the memory of those who experienced them.
For reservations contact: +39 123456789
Whether in a large stone farmhouse, or in the annex of the main villa or in the Carolingian farm, the oldest on our estate, our farmhouse hospitality enjoys splendid views over the vineyards of the property, swimming pools located in sunny outdoor spaces, spacious and bright interiors, furnished with period furniture, guaranteeing our guests a high level of privacy and comfort.
For reservations see www.posarellivillas.it.