The 10 best jobs in wine

Wine critic, wine shop owner, brand manager, journalist, wine educator, organizer of events, wine maker, and buyer: these are the 10 best jobs in wine

Paolo-Basso-world champion-sommelier-atl Casato Prime Donne

Paolo-Basso-world champion-sommelier-atl Casato Prime Donne

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

Many start working in wine by changing a passion into a profession but everybody ought to know that before the shiny world of parties, elegant clothes, travels and starred meals, there really is a lot of hard work.

The Drinks Business has tried to list the 10 best wine professions, here I summarize just a few notes, but the article is great fun and I suggest you read it. As you will note among the 10 top professions “wine producer”does not appear, those who grow grapes and transform them into wine to sell it. Maybe this is the hardest job, but in my opinion, the best.

10 best jobs in wine-Viviana-Vecchione-buyer

10 best jobs in wine-Viviana-Vecchione-buyer

BUYER spends most of his time in front of the computer, checking stocks and sales, marketing plans and emails. But he does travel and gets to know wine regions and gets to taste a lot too. The best thing about this job is the possibility to get to know many wine areas and many producers.

WINE MAKER – WINERY DIRECTOR hard job but also fascinating and is always different because every harvest is a new story. To be successful you need to travel and work in other nations.

EVENT ORGANIZER apt only for those who can handle  stress well. This alternates a preparatory job made up of meetings and contacts with some moments where you run night and day.

WINE EDUCATOR this is a new profession that is growing fast, you need to be competent but also have a great ability in communication, and one must be engaging Read more…

The most expensive whiskey in the world

These are two  bottles of The Macallan Scotch Whiskey from 1929 sold in Dubai for 1,2 million dollars, these are the most expensive whiskeys in the world

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Whisky più caro

Whisky più caro

These have been sold by the Le Clos wine store in the  Dubai airport, a store that sells wine excellence from all over the world to a public of travelers but most of all of millionaires. I remember that my daughter stopped in this famous wine store on a trip to Asia and was surprised by the number of bottles with stellar prices but also by the presence of the manager, there in persona, at 3 am. Evidently it is during the changes for travelers going to China or India when the collectors stop at Le Clos for some shopping of rare bottles. << We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 10 year anniversary with another world-record sale>> said the Le Clos manager  Iain Delaney to Forbes underlining the fact that this wine store intends becoming world leader in luxury wine sales.

immagine whisky più caro And in fact it is here that that a collector has bought 2 bottles of Whisky from The Macallan dated 1926 at the modest price of 600.000€ each. A price never paid before that makes these whiskeys the most expensive in the world.  In fact these are not just any bottles. The liquid contained was distilled in 1926 and aged for 60 years in barrels used previously for sherry before being bottles in 1986. The labels too are something rare: one was designed by Sir Peter Blake very well known for his collaboration with  The Beatles and one by the Italian artist Valerio Adami. In all only 40 bottles were produced of which 12 + 12 packaged with the labels signed by the two artists.  The Macallan put them on sale for 27.000 Dollari each after which the bottles disappeared surely in collectors safes, until 2007 when one of them was auctioned at Christie’s at 75.000$.

about-le-closThe famous The Macallan distillery, founded in 1824, is a sort of icon for all of Scotland. Its 14 copper stills have been reproduced on the 10 pound notes by the Bank of Scotland. But it is in auctions that the single malt produced from barley from the 158 hectares surrounding the distillery that The Macallan demonstrates all of its strength and charm: from them comes the most expensive single bottle auctioned in Hong Kong in 2014 for 628.000 Dollars and theirs is the single barrel contained whiskey 50 years old sold in London, in march 2018, for  7.000.000$ equal to about 35.000$ for each of the 200 bottles that will come out of it.

In a few weeks time another two bottles of  The Macallan 1926, same series as those sold in Dubai will be sold at an auction in Hong Kong by Bonhams and they appear in the catalogue with an estimated prices that goes from $460.000 and $573.000 but surely they will be sold at more  and consequently will break every existing record.

Bordeaux 2017 vintage, limited but good

The Bordeaux 2017 vintage reserves some surprises to the wineries: limited grapes, excellent ratings but maybe a decrease in prices

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

For Bordeaux 2017 the  en-primeur sales, 9-12 April, show an avalanche of excellent ratings regarding the main Bordeaux chateaux. But after a serious decrease in production because of the frost last year, the 2017 harvest is requested at lower prices by the great  négociants who buy wines from the harvest from wineries to put them on the market in 3 or more years time.

I have just been to Bordeaux and I have seen the vineyards just pruned. The vines that were damaged by the frost were well evident and I am sure that they will produce scarce grapes in 2018 too. A situation that worries greatly the wineries where the cellars contain less barriques than usual.

At Millésima, where I went to present my wines that have just been inserted in their portfolio, I met the CEO Fabrice Bernard. He is one of the BIG buyers at the  en-primeur auctions because Millésima is famous worldwide for having in its catalogue bottles from the greatest Bordeaux chateaux, that have been held in only two cellars:

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

the one of origin and his. Bernard’s words have a certain value in the market and he declared to Wine Searcher “I’m expecting prices to come down by 20 to 25 percent” .

The decrease in price reflects the French system of handling the petite vendange – the less perfect vintages. They decrease the price while we, in Brunello, decrease the quantity. In Tuscany we increase the production of  Rosso di Montalcino and leave only the best to the flagship wine. The result is a greater fluctuation in volumes of Brunello but a better consistency in the price and maybe even in the quality. Read more…

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.

Foglia-tonda-donatella-cinelli-colombini-225x300

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 life of a wine producer: Donatella and her time

Donatella’s race with time, wine producer, wine blogger, president of various associations with an ambition to enjoy the wonderful territory where she lives

Donatella- University- of Pisa-teaching -wine-tourism

Donatella- University- of Pisa-teaching -wine-tourism

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fattoria del Colle – Trequanda, Casato Prime Donne, Montalcino

The worst day is Monday, and the most frenetic periods are those before and after trips abroad. Very long days with one interruption after another.

The arrival of internet has worsened the situation multiplying contacts and making holidays practically eclipse. I receive around 80 emails a day and I send off about 30. I have a very small portable computer that goes everywhere with me a, so I reply to the post even when I am away and have one wine tasting after the other and one appointment after the other. In fact when I am on the other side of the world some people seek my attention like a child pining for its mother and they write to me constantly, and in the end I reply quite curtly. After I am sorry and it takes me days to get the rapport back to normal, but I hate it when people deprive me of time when I want to think , sleep, and do things….. making me feel trapped.

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-Malta

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-Malta

This is how my holidays on my beloved isle of Gozo get reduced to three hours a day, because there is a problem, that to be solved from there takes lots of time. It is practically impossible because in the countryside there is no tradition in making appointments. Cellar staff, grape pickers, sales and tourism staff all come into my office and demand immediate attention, especially my lovely husband and volcanic daughter Violante. Read more…

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