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Cenerentola Doc Orcia, a wine with a crown

2016  old style harvest that excites wines lovers and puts a crown on the Cenerentola DOC Orcia label

A vintage this 2016 to be framed: depth, complexity, and finesse, and  longevity, characteristics that only a slow ripening of the grapes can give to a wine.

The Sangiovese, main variety used in Cenerentola DOC Orcia (together with Foglia Tonda), produces grapes that are meteoropathic, so can go mad and ruin if the climate is adverse. Its skin is made up of few layers of cells so it needs the help of the sun to express itself at its best. For this reason in the high hills of Southern Toscana, where the climate is dry but cool, Sangiovese has its ideal habitat and reached levels of excellence impossible elsewhere in the world.


There were surprises regarding the harvest date too: the vines had sprouted a good 15 days earlier than usual, and everyone, including us, thought that the harvest would have been precocious one. On the contrary already when the veraison happened (changing of the colour of the grapes from green to blue) the calendar of the vegetation cycle was already aligned with the traditional one, then the ripening proceeded regularly and slowly. In 2016 for the first time in a long time, the clusters reached the time of harvest at  a snail’s pace with a mass of sugar in the berries growing slower than the poliphenolic ripening, that of the noble substances in the skins. In 2016 the first semester of the year was very rainy, the soil was hydrated in depth creating reserves for the hot months, but also disturbing the flowering to such a point that the number and dimensions of the clusters  was drastically reduced. Then a topsy-turvy summer arrived. With hot days –over 35°c- alternated by storms of great violence, and the wine producers have been really scared that the hail would arrive. Those who like us were saved from the calamity, have had one of the best harvest man can remember. Read more…

A dragon shaped QR code

The Il Drago e le 8 Colombe wine tells its story through a QR Code on the label, containing curiosities in Italian and in English

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Fattoria del Colle Toscana

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Fattoria del Colle Toscana

For someone who thinks she knows about wine communication this really is the limit:  Donatella Cinelli Colombini is one of the last to do wine storytelling on the label …. But those who drink her Drago e le 8 Colombe will be able to learn about the strange name chosen for the wine, and the strange blend, by simply scanning the QR code with their mobile phone. A way to discover the Tuscan traits not only in the glass but also through descriptions.

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe comes from Fattoria del Colle in the middle of the oldest and best preserved area of Tuscany and it brings with it aroma of ripe red fruits and the powerful and harmonious taste typical of a hilly territory where the aril is clean and the ripening of the grapes is slow. Typical food in this region grilled beef steak and pecorino cheese, both wonderfully matched with the Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Toscana.

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Violante Gardini Cinellicolombini Jr

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Violante Gardini Cinellicolombini Jr

The vineyards are cultivated following the organic regime and by hand as has been done for centuries. In the cellar there are only women. But there is also a dragon this is Carlo Gardini, husband to Donatella Cinelli Colombini the owner, he is one of the initiators of the new experimentations. A game of symbols that say that the Fattoria del Colle winery is feminine not feminist because the great wines have no gender and they are produced and consumed by those who love nature, culture and good things. Read more…

Montalcino a village of wine and wine sellers

Let’s take a peek at the wine stores and restaurants in Montalcino to see how wine tourism is changing and how the trade that welcomes it changes too

Enoteca-Pierangioli- Montalcino-Stefania

Enoteca-Pierangioli- Montalcino-Stefania

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

On one thing everyone agrees << 2017 has been a great year for tourism in the Brunello region>> . Helped by the hot climate that has urged people to leave the cities, but has put our vines through great difficulties, but it also has increases tourism in the countryside by putting in a line row and rows of fantastic beautiful days.

Lots of tourists and lots of tasting and shopping.

While talking to those who work in contact with tourists it is possible to discover some curious things.  The wine lovers who come to Montalcino desire most of all to discover Brunello and concentrate their buying sprees on this <<they are not even interested in the Rosso di Montalcino, they want only Brunello>> says Sergio Pierangioli who however admits <<your Cenerentola Doc Orcia sells well, maybe it’s because of the name, maybe because of the label, maybe because it is different …>>.

Enoteca-BD-Bruno Dalmazio-Montalcino

Enoteca-BD-Bruno Dalmazio-Montalcino

There is though another sort of wine lover that wants to taste and most of all buy excellent bottles from the most famous Italian appellations and so has stores ship them home bottles of Barolo, Amarone, Aglianico … <<they do not have the time to visit all of the famous wine regions but they want to buy these wines because in Brazil or Canada they would cost much much more>> they explain in the BD Bruno Dalmazio wine store. Read more…

Millionaire chefs, here are Italy’s richest

The millionaire Italian chefs are the Carea brothers form the Da Vittorio restaurant with 15.461.86515 € followed by  Alajmo and by Cannavacciuolo

Massimo Bottura e Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Italia a tavola award

Massimo Bottura e Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Italia a tavola award

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


The list of golden hobs, the richest Italian chefs , published by Dissapore and by Corriere della Sera, subsequently commented by Cronache di gusto, leaves us speechless for the volume of business that rotates around these prized chefs, the most famous the most seen on tv. Enormous amounts of money. Her is the list proposed by Corriere della Sera

Carea Family Ristorante Da Vittorio in Brusaporto 15.461.865

Carea da Vittorio family

Carea da Vittorio family

Alajmo Brothers 11.256.635€

Antonio Carnavacciuolo 5.381.566€

Massimo Bottura dell’Osteria Francescana 4.896.627€

Niko Romito 3.742.001 €

Carlo Gracco 3.530.712 €

Enrico Bartolini 2.771.041 €

Moreno Cedroni 2.612.028

Joseph Bastianich 2.115.645 €

Gualtiero Marchesi 2.113.800 €

All very good, all working in spectacular kitchens, but also with accessory activities that are very remunerative: TV programs, cooking classes, presentations, publicity… Very diverse activities that often include vineyards, or food productions labeled with their own brand or even real international empires. The Bastianich family for example. The US magazine Celebritynetworth has done some research into  Master Chef’s judge and estimates his International business as around  250 million Dollars. Much more than his mother, the very clever Lidia Bastianich, and Istria refugee who started with a New York restaurant Felidia and the created around 20 different activities, TV programs, recipe books, and even foodstuffs with her own brand, and of course the participation in Eataly USA. She is the best known, most esteemed and loved chef in America.



All over the world TV acts as a multiplicator for chefs’ earnings at this point. To have a television program gives more glamour to ones restaurant and attracts sponsors and gets invitations to events, where there will be a check waiting. A situation which as recently brought to a rough exchange of opinions between  Arrigo Cipriani from Harry’s Bar and Joe Bastianich , where the former accusing the best chefs of staying in front of the  cameras more than in front of the hob and the latter replying with words that were practically offensive.

It is undeniable that the TV is the door to success for Italian kitchens just as and maybe more than abroad.

The list of golden chefs at an International level is a few years old and should probably

Antonino Cannavacciuolo

Antonino Cannavacciuolo

be corrected, with an increase, but still the amounts make your head spin.

The richest chef is Alan Wong, with Japanese and Hawaiian origin, his activity is of 1,1 billion Dollars. Following are two Brits: the wonderful and handsome Jamie Oliver who has  29 restaurants to whom the Sunday Times gives a value of 400 million dollars. Then Gordon Ramsay, he who cooked for William and Kate’s wedding banquet. Those calculating his business talk of about business for 45 million and  175 million in patrimony.

I will close with the list of the richest Italian chefs published by Dissapore and calculated in a different way on the 2015 data. The amounts do not match, but the names are still the same

— Cannavacciuolo consulting di Antonino Cannavacciuolo: 152.443 euro

— La Marchesiana di Gualtiero Marchesi 159.288

— Interland dei fratelli Alajmo: 221.011

— Franceschetta di Massimo Bottura: 474.951

— Abnormal di Alessandro Borghese: 700.635

— Orsone srl di Joseph Bastianich: 845.644

— Niko Romito formazione e consulenza di Niko Romito: 959.102

— Cracco Investimenti di Carlo Cracco: 1.229.674

— Bastianich Estate di Joseph Bastianich: 1.270.001

— Marchesi Milano srl di Gualtiero Marchesi: 1.954.512

— Cedroni di Moreno Cedroni: 2.612.028

— Enrico Bartolini srl Unipersonale di Enrico Bartolini: 2.771041 euro

— R.R. srl – Spazio di Niko Romito: 2.782.899 euro

— Francescana srl di Massimo Bottura: 4.421.676 euro (dato 2014)

— Ca.Pri srl di Antonino Cannavacciuolo: 5.229.123 euro

— Alajmo spa dei Fratelli Alajmo: 11.035.624

— Da Vittorio srl della Famiglia Cerea: 15.461.865

Richness and poverty in front of Moet et Chandon

How long must you work to be able to buy a bottle of Champagne? In Italy you need the equivalent of three hours of work but in Nepal a month’s salary is not enough

Success-Glamour_fixed_310x310By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Doc Orcia, Fattoria del Colle

The image of a world divided between rich and poor is evident even in the quantity of work that is needed to buy a luxury product such as  Moët & Chandon: in nations that are more economically developed it is affordable by the a vast majority of the middle class and in places like  Kenya, Ghana or India practically nobody can afford it.

The analysis of the work to be done to become owners of a bottle of these noble French bubbles arrives from JWE Journal of Wine Economics, a periodical magazine that, together with very interesting studies regarding the cost of production (in the last number they were talking about the incidence costs of barriques), solicits the wine world with research of socio- economic character and regarding scenario..

It is like the case of the list that I saw on the web, together with the index of the last taj-mahal-India-number. It lists 71 nations for which the average salary has been compared with the price of a bottle of Champagne Moët & Chandon. So we see that in Luxemburg Switzerland and New York an hour’s work is enough.  In Italy about three hours work and the percentage increases to more than a day in Poland, Argentina, and Croatia, to reach a week of labour in the Philippines or in Ukraine. In these nations buying French bubbles become an impossible dream as salaries are below the level or survival like in Kenya where 15 days would be necessary, in Ghana 16.

So if in a first moment this type of survey makes you laugh, the comparison between a luxury product such as Champagne and the cost of labour, brings one to reflect on more profound things such as considering wine and the enormous difference that separates consumption in various parts of the world. What is amazing is the distance between the two Asian- India and China – in the land of the Maharaja nearly a month’s work is necessary to buy a bottle of Champagne and in the land of the dragon it requires only two days. Both nations were very poor and are now characterized by large social differences but in India poverty is obviously more widespread while in China salaries and consumption are both evolving rapidly.

Here is the list from Cronache di gusto

  • Luxemburg – 0,11
  • Switzerland – 0,12
  • USA, New York – 0,17
  • Holland – 0,20
  • Germany – 0,21
  • USA, California – 0,22
  • Norway – 0,23
  • Australia – 0,23
  • USA, Texas – 0,25
  • Singapore – 0,27
  • France – 0,27
  • Denmark – 0,27
  • Hong Kong – 0,28
  • UK – 0,29
  • Ireland – 0,29
  • Belgium- 0,30
  • Austria – 0,31
  • Sweden – 0,32
  • Japan – 0,33
  • Spain – 0,33
  • Island – 0,36
  • New Zealand – 0,37
  • Italy – 0,38
  • Canada – 0,41
  • Finland – 0,44
  • Cayman Islands – 0,47
  • Portugal – 0,53
  • Israel – 0,56
  • Malta – 0,64
  • Check Republic – 0,66
  • South Korea – 0,70
  • Slovenia – 0,72
  • Taiwan – 0,78
  • Greece – 0,80
  • Estonia – 0,80
  • Lithuania – 0,89
  • Slovacchia – 0,98
  • Poland – 1,13
  • Argentina – 1,13
  • Bahamas – 1,19
  • Hungary – 1,28
  • Barbados – 1,29
  • Croatia – 1,42
  • Thailand – 1,45
  • Trinidad & Tobago – 1,45
  • Malaysia – 1,60
  • Russia – 1,64
  • Romania – 1,66
  • Mexico – 1,70
  • China – 1,71
  • Chile – 1,76
  • Bulgaria – 2,10
  • Uruguay – 2,11
  • Costa Rica – 2,29
  • South Africa – 2,69
  • Macedonia – 3,39
  • Brazil – 3,45
  • Serbia – 3,53
  • Peru – 5,41
  • Philippines – 6,25
  • Ukraine – 6,82
  • Ecuador – 7,28
  • Indonesia – 7,97
  • Nigeria – 8,27
  • Vietnam – 9,85
  • Moldavia – 11,71
  • Kenya – 15,41
  • Ghana – 16,65
  • India – 21,31
  • Nepal – 32,39
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