Barbara was first introduced to winemaking 40 years ago when her parents, Swiss couple Brigitte and Bruno Widmer, visited Chianti and became enchanted with the Italian way of life. They purchased a holiday house in the Tuscan countryside — which included 17 acres of grapevines on the estate — marking the family’s first foray into viticulture and winemaking. Barbara initially pursued a degree in architecture as a way to combine her love for painting and design. But just two years into the program, Barbara took a break to visit her family’s Tuscan estate. It was here that she found her true calling.
“When I participated in my first harvest, I finally realized that I was meant to be a winemaker,” she explained. “Being involved in the entire process — from growing the grapes to vinifying the wine, from making the label to seeing your creation in a boutique wine shop — winemaking is where all of my artistic passions come together.”
After years of dedicated viticulture study, Barbara took the reins as winemaker in Brancaia in 1998. Today, she directs Brancaia’s three Tuscan estates, carrying on her family’s tradition of growing the highest quality grapes and crafting exceptional, terroir-driven wines from Tuscany.
“My goal is that we will keep making unique wines at Brancaia, with a strong commitment to nature and quality,” says Barbara. “And, of course I have the dream that one of my two children or one of my brothers’ children will develop an interest in winemaking and continue our family’s legacy.”