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Vote for the best image of Val d’Orcia, the five finalists are now online!

Brunello and Orcia people and land “ is the theme of this prize. The Casato Prime Donne Award dedicates as usual a section to photography and to the best snap of the Val d’Orcia, a wonderful countryside that Unesco has made world heritage site in 2004.

The 5 finalist photos have been chosen by the award’s jury made up of Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri ad Daniela Viglione.

Until September 4th it will be possible to access the voting box so as to choose the winner. It is sufficient to click on the button here below, look at the 5 images and choose your favourite; this can be done only once.


Casato Prime Donne Award - Photographic Contest

Casato Prime Donne Award – Photographic Contest

The Casato Prime Donne Award has reached this year its 18th edition. It emphasizes the best work by journalists and photographers regarding the wine  territories in south of Siena and every year chooses a “Prima Donna”,  a woman who during the year stands out because of her way of life or in her work so as to become an example to women and not only. The list of past winners includes extraordinary women such as Samantha Cristoforetti the astronaut, Ilaria Capua the scientist, Sandra Savaglio,  Giuseppina Maria Nicolini Mayor of Lampedusa. At Casato Prime Donne each of them has left a quotation that has been inscribed on a travertine block and put next pieces of contemporary art by young Tuscan artists. The Auteur trail winds its way through the Brunello vineyards and around the winery and during the past few years has become a meditation itinerary as well as an example of land art.

The winning photograph will also remain forever exhibited inside the Ilda Bartoloni Hall- she was the journalist to whom we owe the format of this award – together with the 17 other winning images of previous editions. A spectacular panorama of the Brunello and Orcia wine territories as seen by the greatest landscape photographers, who have all been struck by the image a lady grape picker or an ethereal sunrise amidst the fog, or by a vineyard in autumn, or by a solitary cypress tree alone on a hill. A thousand  fascinating aspects of these territories in the southern part of Tuscany where the wonderful Brunello and Orcia wines are made and that present us every day with this show of a harmonious meeting between nature and man, who with respect has modelled it.

For more information
Casato Prime Donne – Antonella Marconi -+39 0577 849421 casato@cinellicolombini.it
Fattoria del Colle – Alessia Bianchi – +39 0577 662108 pr@cinellicolombini.it

Last days to participate in the Casato Prime Donne Award 2016

An award that wishes to thank  those who divulge the territory and open new horizons for women. An award born in Montalcino in the first winery in Italy with an all female staff

Casato Prime Donne award winners and jury

Premio Casato Prime Donne vincitori e giuria

There are still a few day left to be able to take part in the Casato Prime Donne 2016 award with photographs , articles, and TV and radio material regarding the wonderful Montalcino territory and Brunello, published between June 15th  2015 and June 1st 2016. Before the 16th of June your entries must reach the Award Secretariat  (Casato Prime Donne 53024 Montalcino SI- casato@cinellicolombini.it).

Art, landscapes…. But most of all people from a land made famous by the excellence of its wines. As a prize there are bottles of prestigious wine as well as money (respectively 1.000 and 1.500 €) and the possibility of spending a week in an agritursimo apartment in

Francesco Caso photo Casato Prime Donne Award 2015

Francesco Caso photo Casato Prime Donne Award 2015

this enchanted countryside.

The winners of the journalistic sections are chosen by the jury made up of Francesca Colombini Cinelli, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri e Daniela Viglione. The list of past winners is full of wonderful names from Italian and International wine journalism: the last edition saw as protagonists Anna Di Martino, Daniele Cernilli , Ian D’Agata,  Costanza Calabrese, Gaia Pianigiani and Walter Speller.

The photographic section on the other hand is awarded tank to a virtual jury who votes online the 5 finalist images. The chosen one sis then exhibited in a permanent way in the Sala Ilda Bartoloni in the Casato Prime Donne winery.

Giusi Nicolini winner of Casato Prime Donne Award 2015

Giusi Nicolini winner of Casato Prime Donne Award 2015

Great emphasis is put on a woman who is chosen for her ethics and courage , chosen among those who most have had an impact on the evolution of the female profile. In the past years we have awarded

2000 – Francesca San Vitale – writer

2001 – Paola Capriolo – writer

2002 – Marta Morazzoni – writer


2003 – Carla Fracci – leading ballerina

2004 – Kerry Kennedy – human rights activist

2005 – Cabrinian Missionary sisters

2006 – Volunteer workers of the Telefono Rosa Association

2007 – Frances Mayes- writer

2008 – Josefa Idem – Olympic athlete

2009 – Ilaria Capua – virologist

2010 – Samantha Cristoforetti – astronaut

2011 – Carla Fendi – Stylist and cultural patron

2012 – Maria Carmela Lanzetta – Mayor of Monasterace

2013 – Linda Laura Sabbadini Director of the ISTAT Department of Social and Environmental Statistics

2014 – Sandra Savaglio – astrophysicist

2015 – Giuseppina Maria Nicolini- Mayor of Lampedusa

For the rules click on the link : http://bit.ly/1XoXwdJ

The Casato Prime Donne award given to the “Mayor of migrants”

The 2015 winners are Giusi Nicolini Mayor of Lampedusa, Costanza Calabrese from the TG5, Walter Speller from jancisrobinson.com, and Gaia Pianigiani from the New York Times



On September 13th in Montalcino the 17th edition of the Casato Prime Donne Award celebrates its winners proposing, as usual, a woman who emerges from the rest and is able to be of example: Giuseppina Maria Nicolini mayor of the most southern municipality in Italy – Lampedusa e Linosa – where immigrants searching for refuge first reach our shores.

Giusi Nicolini is from Lampedusa, dedicated environment protector she has proven courage and civil commitment in running the rescue service for those escaping from the African coast. To her we assign the Casato Prime Donne award that comes from the world of agriculture, a sector which has proven to be particularly apt for integration and has given work to 322,000 migrants.

Costanza Calabrese TG5

Costanza Calabrese TG5

As well as the mayor another 4 awards given to those who divulge Montalcino and its Brunello around the world. Costanza Calabrese became chief editor of the TG5 when only 30 years old and is today one of the main journalists of the Mediaset news. Gaia Pianigiani,  New York Times journalist and pioneer of a “responsive”

Gaia Pianigiani New York Times

Gaia Pianigiani New York Times

journalism who dialogues with the readers, she comes the Chianti region. Walter Speller went t from being a sommelier in an Italian restaurant in Berlin to famous wine writer for www.jancisrobinson.com has become now practically an Italian wine ambassador in the UK. Finally a photograph that best represents the Brunello and Orcia territories chosen by a popular jury that is visiting online. We will know the winner on August 31st. Read more…

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents herself part 2

In 1998 when I left my family’s estate (one of the oldest and most prestigious producing Brunello) to create my own, that bears my name, it really seemed a “mission impossible”

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Cavaliere della Repubblica

Again like in my other troubled chellenges I had no money, in fact with debts much superior to the income and two wineries with buildings to be renovated, vineyards to be replanted, cellars to be built and more importantly no sales network.. Now we sell wine to 31 foreign nations.  I have in the meantime understood that it is necessary to listen to the vines; they are intelligent plants who ask only to be humoured without polluting the soil with pesticides. I have made mistakes in some new vineyards and in other I really have had a lot of luck, especially in the Ardita Vineyard in Montalcino which every year yields a masterpiece.My wineries  Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and  Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda – are the first in Italy with an all female staff, including the wine maker

Casato Prime Donne

The project is called Prime Donne and it too happened by chance. Here is what happened. In 1998 other than receiving the two farms I also got a small quantity of wine from my parents, future Brunello still in barrel, and I needed someone to take care of it. I called the agricultural school in Siena asking for a promising cellar master but they said there were none, but when I said if there were girl students available, they said that there were , that they were excellent students but nobody wanted them. Such a deep-rooted discrimination that made it invisible even to me. So from this episode came the idea of a winery staffed by women, a challenge.

In the same way the Bunello Prime Donne was born, it is chosen by a panel of 4 super female tasters in an era when all the tasters of all the guide were men.

Brunello Prime Donne 2008

I am also proud of my contribution helping women in the wine world, I feel that the award that I organize every year, the “Casato Prime Donne”  award, to stimulate the divulging of the Montalcino territory but more importantly to emphasize those women who open up new frontiers for women, helps bring the spotlight on some remarkable women. Among the winners we have had Samantha Cristoforetti the first Italian female astronaut who at present is in space, and many other courageous women.

Sandra Savaglio winner of the Casato Prime Donne award 2014

It is very satisfying to see their quotations in my Brunello vineyards together with works of art by Tuscan artists. Maybe all of this helps to make my wine better and better every year

I do like challenges it seems. I also have recuperated an autochthonous grape variety called Foglia Tonda, I use it for one of my most interesting wines belonging to the Orcia denomination. As was  a test transforming Fattoria del Colle into the agriturismo it is today, maintaining the traditional furnishings, maintaining the local cuisine, but also using innovation a wellness centre that no other country inn has: with Jacuzzi, sensorial shower sauna, hammam massages and couple vinotherapy. Wine inside and wine out!


A full life, which I adore, work that gives me many satisfactions and the joy of knowing that one day my daughter Violante Gardini will carry on after me.

Sangiovese weekend at Fattoria del Colle

Weekend in Tuscany for wine lovers to discover the king of Tuscan red wines including an exceptional vertical tasting of Brunello, from the barrel to a few cellared bottles

Sangiovese cluster 2012 Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Donatella Cinelli Colombini will personally welcome you, before the tour of her two wineries in Montalcino and in Chianti begins. The conclusion is a full immersion experience in Sangiovese having a bath in wine to regenerate your skin with the extraordinary virtues of the wines from Montalcino

For a minimum of 4 people                         €284.00 per person

Included in the programme:

2 nights’ stay in a double room with bathroom
2 buffet breakfast with homemade cakes and jams, fresh vegetables with olive oil dip, cold cuts and cheeses
2 traditional dinners (wines not included)
Tours, tastings, vinotherapy and meetings as indicated above
The price does not include transfers

Read more…

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