Cristina Cippitelli: the love for the soil comes from her grandparents in Gaeta but she has learned to taste in Boston and Toronto and now she has won a Master Sommelier scholarship
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello
Cristina-Cippitelli-will -be-the-first-Italian -Master-Sommelier-
And I am not referring to the Alma-AIS institute title that a few years ago created reaction of indignation but I am talking of the Court of Master Sommeliers a fellowship born in 1969 that includes 240 members in USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Holland and France. These are the top of the sommelerie: tasters, journalists, opinion makers, wine educators… these are competent professionals, of great talent and who have an enormous influence on the market.
Their president is the great Gerard Basset who is also a Master of Wine. But the Master Sommeliers are now rivals, for prestige and influence of the very powerful MWs, in fact in some cases they are even more powerful.
There is not one Italian among either the Masters of Wine or the Master Sommeliers.
A sign of provincialism that also surfaces in International competitions: when ther are Italians on the podium they work abroad , just like Paolo Basso. Also the young women who might become the first Italian Master Sommelier lives in Canada. Her name is Cristina Cippitelli, and she came to visit me at Fattoria del Colle , from Toronto where she works at the Air Canada Center while she is studying for the Wset diploma and for the Advanced Certificate for the Master Sommelier.
She is a lovely person and has a great story that I will tell you. Read more…
Summer nights in the countryside, lights, glow worms, outdoor meals. New lighting for summer dinners at the Fattoria del Colle restaurant
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
For those who come from abroad it is a must: in Italy one must bring light cloche, flip flops and dine under the stars. Millionaires and tourists-on-the-road alike, everyone has the same romantic dream. Obviously their necessities differ: from costly and exclusive events where film producers and starred chefs create unique and private experiences…to glamour events where lights and music create the right atmosphere for famous and less famous people, but everyone is anxious to be seen and photographed by some gossip magazine.
And so on until we get to the locations apt for a vaster public: the Sicilian ”baglio”, the “masseria” in Puglia, the medieval hamlet in Tuscany … and not to mention the classical terraces overlooking the sea and the tables in the squares of the historical towns and villages with views of artistic monuments .
The open air dinner is part of a trip to Italy just like a visit to the Coliseum or like a true pizza. It is up to us to transform them into magical moments and the lighting has a very important role
FATTORIA DEL COLLE BY NIGHT
At Fattoria del Colle we have tried to put a little originality to our nights and we hope to offer special experiences for outdoor dinners. Read more…
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…
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
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
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…
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
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 …>>.
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…