The roots of the Colombini family in Tuscany go back to 1592, and their tradition of excellence in winemaking began in 1790 with the founding of the Fattoria dei Barbi. It was in the 1960’s that Francesca Cinelli Colombini made a name for herself as the stalwart leader of Barbi’s top notch production, and when the next generation came into the spotlight her son Stefano took over the family estate while daughter Donatella branched off to create the neighbouring Azienda del Casato. Donatella is a major force in the world of quality Italian wine and has spurred important advances in enotourism. With 50 hectares total, 13 of which are dedicated to viticulture, Donatella creates a classic Brunello as well as a Riserva and a Rosso di Montalcino; she also runs the Azienda del Colle at Trequanda, where she produces Chianti Classico Superiore, Orcia, Vin Santo, and a Super Tuscan. Her most innovative creation, though, is Casato’s Brunello ‘Prime Donne,’ a wine designed by an all-female team of respected wine experts who based their decisions on instinct and organoleptic observations. Donatella, who is grooming her daughter Violante as heir to the business, appointed Valérie Lavigne as winemaker in 2010 thus completing the first all female team at an Italian winery.