Avant-Garde Winemaker Purchases Historic Hotel Villa Aurora in Fiesole
Napa, CA – Friday February 22, 2019 –Entrepreneur and Tuscan winemaker Bibi Graetz, today announced the purchase of Hotel Villa Aurora and adjacent Blu Bar in the heart of Fiesole, Italy. The converted hotel will house the production and aging of Graetz’s most prestigious Super Tuscan releases – Testamatta and Coloré, and feature a boutique hotel, tasting room and Bibi’s family home. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Graetz was thrilled with the acquisition:
“Fiesole is the place where my wine dream – this is where my wine career was born. It was a natural decision to look for a place within the city. I’m very attached to this city and owe a lot to it. When I learned that this beautiful property in the main square had been put up for sale, I could not believe it and I immediately saw the new home for Testamatta and Coloré. How could I not fall in love with this historic and beautiful building?”
“I felt that the time had come to start a new adventure and to take the flight from our family’s estate in Vincigliata as I no longer had the opportunity to grow and to develop. I wanted to keep the balance between work and daily life while staying close to my family. It seemed impossible to me to find anything that would exceed Vincigliata’s charm – with Villa Aurora, I succeeded!” Graetz said.
Considered an icon of Piazza Mino square, Hotel Villa Aurora will house the winery for Testamatta and Colore. Once complete, the winery and the center of Fiesole will be a unique expression of Tuscan enological excellence, and located minutes from the Florence city center.
Internationally acclaimed TiarStudio’s founder and architect, Federico Florena, are leading the ambitious renovation project. Graetz will move his current production from the family’s countryside estate in Vincigliata to his new location immediately, and the new property is scheduled to be fully functional by Spring 2020.
Bibi Graetz is represented nationally by Folio Fine Wine Partners.
About Bibi Graetz:
Since releasing his first wines in 2000, Bibi Graetz has quickly become one of Italy’s most iconic winemakers. Producing wines at his family Estate, Castello di Vincigliata located in Fiesole overlooking Florence, Graetz is best known for his Testamatta (crazy head) rosso – a 100% Sangiovese blended from old vineyards he acquired around Tuscany and newer vines from his property. An arts graduate of Academia dell’Arte in Firenze, Graetz began making wine in the late 1990s after facing the decision to either allow old contracts from vineyard surrounding his home at the Castello de Vincigliata to expire or make use of them. He then set about producing wines exclusively made from traditional varieties of Sangiovese, Colorino and Canaiolo. In 2002 Graetz expanded his focus to producing white wines on Giglio, an island located off the Tuscan coast utilizing the indigenous varieties of Ansonica and Vermentino. Today, Graetz farms a total of 80 hectares of owned and leased vineyards producing IGT wines under the Casamatta, Bugia, Soffocone di Vincigliata and Testamatta labels. The winery produces close to 500,000 bottles a year, 60,000 of which is Testamatta and 12,000 bottles of Coloré. 80% of the portfolio is exported directly to more than 170 countries, while 20% of sales in Italy are destined exclusively for the local market.
About Folio Fine Wine Partners:
Folio Fine Wine Partners was founded in 2004 by Michael Mondavi and his wife, Isabel, with their children, Dina and Rob Jr. Folio is an importer, fine wine agency and producer of quality wines from the world’s premiere and emerging wine regions, providing sales, marketing and public relations services to wine brands from California, Italy, Spain, France, Argentina, and Austria. Wines from California include Animo, Dutton-Goldfield, Emblem, Hangtime, Isabel Mondavi, M by Michael Mondavi, Oberon and Spellbound. From Italy are the wines of Bibi Graetz, Bruno Giacosa, Coppo, Donnafugata, Ricasoli 1141 and Villa Sandi. The Spanish portfolio includes Condado de Haza, El Vínculo Dehesa la Granja, Tinto Pesquera, Fillaboa, Palacios Remondo and Vall Llach. From Argentina are the wines of BenMarco, Crios, Nosotros and Susana Balbo Signature, with Andre Brunel and Charles Heidsieck (France), Quinta do Crasto (Portugal) andand Laurenz V (Austria) completing the portfolio.