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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…

Rosso di Montalcino 2016  with exceptional finesse and complexity

In 2016 the long vegetative cycle and an extremely slow ripening gave us a Rosso di Montalcino that opens up in the mouth with a velvety, and young fullness.

Rosso-di-Montalcino-2016-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

Rosso-di-Montalcino-2016-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

The success obtained by the last vintages of Rosso di Montalcino by Donatella Cinelli Colombini has surpassed all of our expectations. Other than being very well accepted by the market, there have been some excellent ratings from Wine Spectator (91/100) and Decanter (17,5/20) and the Gold medal from the Merano Wine Festival.

The 2016 vintage intends outdoing these fantastic results thanks to its characteristics of finesse and complexity. It is a young wine, but important and very elegant, with silky tannins that are able to hide the wine’s powerfulness. It is perfectly matched with tasty fist courses, meats and most of all aged cheeses.

During the 2016 harvest the clusters arriving were small, with small and perfect berries.Cesta rossa Vendemmia 2016 Montalcino For the first time after many years, in 2016 the grape ripening was so slow, thanks to the cool nights and the sunny days during the month of September. In fact the grape skin ripening (poliphenolic) was ready before the pulp ripening (regarding acids and alcohol) and this has permitted the production of wines with a moderate alcohol content but with an extraordinary richness in colour and taste. The diurnal temperature variation in September is also responsible for the particular aroma of this wine..

TYPE: dry red.

Tinaia Casato Prime DonnePRODUCTION AREA: Toscana, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne.

VINTAGE CHARACTERISTICS: Mild and very rainy winter. The buds arrived soon. In Spring the rain disturbed the flowering and so reduced the dimension and the number of clusters. The summer was hot but interrupted by rains storms. September had cool nights and sunny days which favoured a regular ripening.

GRAPE TYPE : 100% Sangiovese .

GRAPE HARVEST:  The grapes were handpicked and chosen in the vineyard . In less than half an hour the clusters reached the cellar where they were de-stemmed and underwent a second selection on sorting tables.

VINIFICATION: in truncated cone shaped bare cement vats that are open on top, with a Rosso 16 wine stopplunger and temperature controlled to the finesse of the wine. The years used in fermentation are indigenous chosen in Casato Prime Donne by Enobiotech.

BARREL AGEING: 6-12 months in French 5-7 hectolitre tonneaux.

QUANTITY PRODUCED: 35,000 bottles.

COLOUR: intense and brilliant ruby red.

AROMA:  ripe red berries with hints of spices coming from the oak used for ageing.

TASTE: fine, harmonious, satisfying,  with tannins well balanced with the richness in fruit. Pleasantly long lasting

MATCHING DISHES: very versatile, well matched with  food rich in taste that is not fatty, such as tasty first courses, meat, cold cuts and cheeses.

WAY OF SERVING: serve at room temperature (16-18°C), use wide tulip shaped crystal wine goblets.

HOME STORAGE: al of the Montalcino wines are long lasting but the Rosso di Montalcino is destined to be consumed young.  Keep the bottles lying down in a cool (16°C) and dark place and drink within 4 years from the harvest.


Excellent ratings for Brunello from Robert Parker – Wine Advocate

Brunello Prime Donne 2013 – 95,  Brunello Riserva 2012 – 93, Brunello 2013 – 92, Brunello 2012 Io sono Donatella 91 from Monica Larner – Robert Parker-Wine Advocate

Ratings Wine Advocate 18By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Casato Prime Donne

Monica I love you!

It is easy for a wine producer to love a wine critic who appreciates their wine. But it is even easier to love a wine critic who appreciates the wine and sees mirrored in it the producer’s personality. For this reason I really adore Monica Larner the Italian reviewer for Robert Parker Jr- Wine Advocate .When she wrote <<….because of her steadfast dedication to all things Tuscan and wine-related, she is one of the figures I admire most in today’s world of vino italiano>>  I nearly fainted.

Monica-Larner-and-Robert-Parker

Monica-Larner-and-Robert-Parker

Monica was born into a family connected to wine and cinema. Her father Steven Larner, of whom she writes with great love, has been director of photography for very successful films and TV productions, while her brother is wine maker in the family estate in the Ballard Canyon, in Santa Barbara, California and has passed the last few months living the nightmare of the California wildfires.

Monica has had on-hand experience regarding grape growing, including the pruning process. She has in other words a past as a pure journalist with collaborations with La Repubblica, International Herald Tribune and Corriere della Sera, but at the same time a real “grape grower”. In 2003 she began working for Wine Enthusiast and judging Italian wines and getting famous for her great nose able to discover emerging wines from regions such as Etna. Read more…

Women of Wine Festival and the Festa delle Donne del Vino

Debra Meiburg queen of wine in China and her event Women of Wine Festival connect with the Festa delle Donne del Vino that now becomes an international network.

Women of Wine Festival

Women of Wine Festival (WOW)

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Debra Meiburg is one of the best known experts in the world: she is the first Master of Wine in Asia and is a member of the Education Committee of the famous British Institute.  She is 7th among the most influential women in wine in the world according to Global Ranking, her TV show shown in Chinese taxis has 70 million viewers per month, and she is also wine consultant for Cathay Pacific airlines.

In 2008 she created the in Hong Kong a society called Meiburg Wine Media MWM with the scope of divulging wine culture in Asia. It is a real sort off “wine hub” the works in an immense scenario: from New Delhi to Tokyo, from Beijing to Jakarta.

Women of Wine Festival (WOW) Debra Meiburg and other influencers

Women of Wine Festival (WOW) Debra Meiburg and other influencers

It is for professionals of this market and for wine lovers but it is a point of reference for all press member of this sector, because, other than the traditional forming activities it offers innovative and stimulating services that allow buyers to explore emerging wines and new trends. A never ending job this, including wine competitions, wine tastings, festivals, workshops, where wineries meet buyers, banding actions and conferences that take abroad a better insight of the Chinese market and help wineries from all over the world to sell in Asia. Read more…


Corks and wine oxidation

Maybe corks are more magical than we thought, and as they change in time they preserve the wine. UC Davis University will study them for 100 years

Cork - Fattoria del Colle infernotto-

Cork – Fattoria del Colle infernotto-

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

<<An experiment that maybe will last more than life on earth>>commented  W. Blake Gray while talking to Wine searcher about the study going on in the major US agriculture university, the awesome UC Davis from where the majority of great American winemakers come out from.

To carry our an experiment that lasts 100 years is in fact something very difficult to understand in our society based on rapidity and now. It actually quite reminds one of the empiricism of the 18 hundreds, but that might be why it is well suited to a type of closure, that in the XVIII century, was perfected: the closure for glass wine bottles .The experiment starts from a mystery: why the oxygen that penetrates through the cork, one milligram per year, does not oxidize the wine?

cork-and-old bottles

cork-and-old bottles

We might think that it is the sulphur dioxide that gets inserted in the bottle (generally 20-25 milligrams per litre) that protects the wine, but it is in fact the oxygen that uses it up during 5-6 years, and so 10 years and more later there is nothing left to defend the nectar, as explained by professor Andy Waterhouse author of this intrepid research project regarding cork closures and wine oxidation. Read more…

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