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Donatella’s 2017: a rich year with a scarce harvest

With my best wishes for 2018, I am sharing some pleasant memories of 2017, that has been a really fantastic year, even though the grapes were scarce

New Year at Fattoria del Colle

New Year at Fattoria del Colle

Donatella Cinelli Colombini

2017 ,the year that has just finished, was one with fewer grape clusters but with great commercial successes. The Casato Prime Donne winery in Montalcino Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda sell wine in 37 nations and the wines from our vineyards is just about sufficient to cover all the requests. Actually for some wines like Rosso di Montalcino, Cenerentola DOC Orcia and IGT Drago e le 8 Colombe, we have sold the wines from two vintages finishing all the stock while the Brunello 2012 was rationed so we could reach Christmas. Our increase in sales shows a wonderful + 17% considering that Violante’s sales office had no Riserva to sell.

Cenerentola 2017-2018 New Year's eve at Fattoria del Colle

Cenerentola 2017-2018 New Year’s eve at Fattoria del Colle

This success is clearly also to attribute to the quality of the wines (well done the cellar girls!) and some is due to the vineyards, where a daily care of the plants – a return to old winter pruning systems and the organic regime – have permitted the production of excellent grapes even in vintages, such as the last, where the climate went a bit wild. The 2017 grape harvest was scarce especially at Fattoria del Colle where the soil is sandy and where the wild boar and deer have had a feast. After fencing off the vineyards in Montalcino next to be fenced off will be the vineyards in Trequanda.

The country inn and the restaurant went well too with a + 55% and even better the winery sales that are now a good 15% of the wine business. Read more…

Dirty glassware at the restaurant: a frequent problem

Residual soap, shoddy washings, dust …these are the most frequents problems with dirty glassware in restaurants , and the reasons why clients flee

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Agriturismo, Toscana, Fattoria del Colle

dirty-glassware-at-the restaurant

dirty-glassware-at-the restaurant

 

97% of British clients interviewed by Restaurant Show in London for a survey by the Classeq, declared that they would stop eating immediately if they discovered that they were using dirty glassware.

And the the British are not as fussy as the Japanese! Yet the idea of drinking out of dirty glasses blocks them, and how can one criticize them! The problem is more widespread than one thinks in the Cask beer report it says that one out of three glasses, among those where beer is served, is dirty, and that however 40% of them have defects (opaqueness, ruined rims etc)

dirty-gassware-at-the-restaurant

dirty-gassware-at-the-restaurant

Soap residue , or those of other chemical products left on glasses also by the glass makers can ruin the aroma and the taste of beer and wine.

Sommeliers have often underlined the necessity of “fresh” glasses to be able to offer an excellent experience to clients, and complain that this aspect is often underestimated because of bad washing equipment. To the hygienic problem the other problem is often added, smell from the detergents or of food in the case of dishwashers used for dishes, cutlery as well as for glasses.

Going back to hygiene, it is quite surprising to read the list of “the germiest things in a restaurant” taken from an  ABC News report divulged by Huffington Post Usa and then by the blog  cantello.it . Read more…

IOsonoDONATELLA Brunello 2012

IOsonoDonatella 2012 Brunello

IOsonoDonatella 2012 Brunello

IOsonoDONATELLA  Brunello 2012 second edition, only 600 bottles, of the most exclusive and important wine by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

<< I have always dreamt of producing a perfectly harmonic wine like this>> says Donatella Cinelli Colombini presenting us with the Brunello 2012 to which she has wanted to give her name IOsonoDONATELLA >>a unique wine with silky tannins and an inebriating aroma of small ripe red berries. A potent wine that will last for decades, but also very pleasant for those who decide to drink it today>>.

Only 600 bottles made exclusively in the best vintages.IOsonoDONATELLA is a masterpiece, something rare and exclusive, where the Tuscan wine producer has included her dreams and her history.

IOsonoDonatella Brunello di Montalcino 2012

IOsonoDonatella Brunello di Montalcino 2012

It is made on the northern slope of Montalcino, from the grapes of a small vineyard called Ardita, in a splendid sunny area. Here in the Casato Prime Donne winery it has aged for nearly three years in 5-7 hl oak casks, these are handmade by 4 French artisan workshops. The barrels containing this Brunello have red ceramic hearts on them so that everybody, especially the cellar staff, cosset them and so that there is no mixing with wine from the other barrels. Before going into bottle the wine stayed six months in a bare concrete egg shaped vat to oxygenate and get even more velvety. A small touch of elegance but also a return to the past and to old Tuscan traditions going back at least 500 years. Read more…

The flûte glass: for or against?

I am among those who hate  flûte glasses and also coupe shake ones that fill cabinets taking up loads of space. But many still insist in using them

champagne-bollicine-5-550x328-300x179By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

 

Many of us have the coupe shake wine glasses, maybe we have inherited them or we have them as they were a wedding gift received from our mothers or grandmothers. But they have remained in our cabinets unused for decades. <<The size of  Madame de Pompadour’s bosom>> the experts used to say, emphasizing the beauty of  Luis XV of France’s lover  and the fantastic story behind  Champagne, that this extraordinary glass should exalt.

This is also the opinion of Marco Cenedese ambassador for Mumm who underlines, how in the coupe,

chateau-Baccarat-

chateau-Baccarat-

the amber liquid reaches the tip of the tongue before the bubbles thus resulting delicate and full , while in the  flûte  it gets a drier and more determined character. The tapered wine glass that gets its name from a flute, in French flûte, is the most used Champagne glass but also the most contested. In a recent article in The Drinks Business the CEO for Krug, Maggie Henriquez, made this comparison <<..it is like going to a concert with ear plugs>> . However, in most French bars dedicated to these legendary bubbles, the so called champagneries, they use the typical glasses, ampoule shaped, that look like a flute with a wide and round base. So the  flûte has a vast number of estimators. I do not feel that it is able to exalt a fizzy wine, but however together with the cold temperature it can hide the defects in lower quality bottles. Read more…

TripAdvisor instructions

150 million visitors per month, TripAdvisor is certainly the largest travel site in the world and now it supplies maps and itineraries too

TripAdvisor-Fattoria-del-Colle

TripAdvisor-Fattoria-del-Colle

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fattoria del Colle, agriturismo, Toscana

 

TripAdvisor was created in 2000 by  Stephen Kaufer. At that time Kaufer was planning a trip to Mexico and was having difficulty in finding hotels. Today he has assets for 260 million dollars and he is among the men who have changed the world. Exactly, as his invention, based on the where anybody can register and write their opinion about a hotel, a restaurant or a museum, has changed how people travel allowing tourists to become more active and allowing for more “democratic” reviews.

The novelty, announced at the IFA fair in Berlin, is the alliance between TomTom and Tripadvisor, to create personalized itineraries that unite maps from the GPS navigation device with reviews from the most famous travel platform . It is called “TomTom Road Trips” and allows one to book hotels and restaurants inside a made to fit itinerary. For those who do not have GPS an Android or iOS Smartphone will do fine.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

Today  TripAdvisor has an enormous importance for all activities and the 4,2 million restaurants present on the website can use it as a marketing instrument. For this reason it is the same managers of the portal to reveal the most important things to do.

First of all reply to the reviews, accepting criticism as advice and thanking for the compliments. The client that receives attention is gratified and tends to increase his involvement with the restaurant.

Second thing, the images. These influence a lot the clients decision and so there must be many and they must be beautiful. Those who have at least 11-20 charming photos of the restaurant and its dishes get double the interactions compared to those who have none. Read more…

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