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Grape harvest and racking between Brunello, Orcia and Chianti

A short break at the end of the summer, or a weekend in autumn for a full immersion in the wines Brunello, Orcia and Chianti: September 1st-2nd and October 5-7th

Brunello Harvest and racking

Brunello Harvest and racking

This proposal during harvest and racking is for wine lovers who want to see how the wines are born but also for lovers of the countryside and of its harmonium landscapes, of its traditional cuisine, of a simple but elegant style of life

Donatella Cinelli Colombini proposes two experiences: the first should coincide with the white grape harvest and to the moment of first tastes of the red grapes. The second on the other hand should be when the Sangiovese grapes for Brunello and the clusters for Doc Orcia and Chianti Superiore reach the cellar. To see how these famous wines which get International consent are born, is an exciting experience that allows one to come into contact with nature and allows you to share the producer’s passion.

September 1st-2nd, two days one night pull of experiences that enrich with knowledge and emotions.

Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

Arrive on Saturday afternoon, tour the vineyards and learn about the technique of tasting grapes that allows grape growers to evaluate the ripening and to foresee the date of the harvest. Hoping in favourable weather and the cellar decisions, you should be able to take part in the phases of picking and preserving the Traminer grapes for the Passito. Then a tour of the winery with a tasting of 3 Brunello and then a 4 course dinner matched with four wines from Fattoria del Colle. Next morning transfer to Montalcino with own car to the winery Casato Prime Donne where our brave wine lovers with have a guided tour of the cellar and then a very technical tasting of Brunello from the barrel to understand the different charring and ages of the barrels, then they will taste the preview of the Brunello Riserva 2013 and then the Riserva 2012 to finally taste a Brunello of at least 10 years. Before leaving a nice walk around the vineyards will give new experiences in tasting the grapes and will make the drive back safer. Read more…

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 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…

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