The fine old wine scene of Tuscany is one of ancestral vineyards, crumbling country estates, and recognisable family names which you can slap on the front of your wine bottles, in order to boost your sales and drum up intrigue. However, it’s also the home of Italy’s rebel spirit when it comes to viticulture: of Super Tuscans, rule-breakers and instinct followers.
Bibi Graetz fits squarely into this latter camp, and his meteoric rise in fame, popularity and ability to inspire awe among his fellow vintners has fascinated the wine world since his debut in 2000. Eccentric, daring, and very much a cult figure of Tuscany, he’s a trailblazer who has had a significant impact on his region’s winemaking identity.
Graetz has no formal training, no family estate, no ancestral background in winemaking, and yet has the kind of finely-tuned senses and openness to risk-taking, which often lays the foundation for seriously great wines. His lack of a family estate has been a boon to Graetz rather than a hindrance; it allowed him to seek out the best old vines around Tuscany to use in his elegant, envelope-pushing wines, and gave him the freedom to make the kinds of wines he would most like to drink.
Unlike his fellow Tuscan rebels, Graetz uses only indigenous grape varietals, grown using organic farming methods. He believes (and his acolytes wholeheartedly agree) that this is the way to achieve that ultimate level of expression, and those deep, rich layers of flavour and aroma that set his wines apart from his peers.
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