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James Suckling Cavaliere della Stella d’Italia

Magnum party with 200 great big bottles to celebrate James Suckling, who has been nominated Cavaliere della Stella D’Italia for having promoted Italian wines the world over

James Suckling Cavaliere della Stella d'ItaliaBy Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

<< I am deeply honoured and touched>>  wrote James Suckling after having received the diploma of Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia from the representative of the Italian government in Hong Kong. Recognition much deserved for he who has promoted the knowledge of Italian wines all over the world and especially in Asia for thirty odd years. <<I Hope to be doing it for twenty more years with wines always better>> he said welcoming wine producers from all over Italy come to celebrate him. Among them were Antonio Rallo and Francesca Planeta from Sicily and Anna Abbona (Marchesi di Barolo) and Stefano Gagliardo from Piedmont, but the larger group was certainly from Montalcino, the land that maybe  Suckling loves most and the territory that more than any other he has contributed in promoting.

James Suckling magnum party

James Suckling magnum party

The MAGNUM PARTY took place at the Acquolina restaurant in Terranova Bracciolini, near Suckling’s Tuscan home. It has been the most choral and exclusive party of the Italian wine world, with a selection of wines worth of the host and with the possibility of tasting about 200 larger sized bottles of stellar quality. Tables among the olive trees, Australian DJ who came especially for the event and many very famous personalities from Italian wine. Read more…

Wine tours: ours beat the rest

Casato Prime Donne and Fattoria del Colle in Tuscany: here are the most captivating wine tours. Last novelty the bottle that every tourist can personalize

Great wines, unique and historical locations, multilingual and enchanting staff …. will be enriched with a small but delightful opportunity: visitors will be able to personalize bottles with a name and image of their own choice. An extraordinary opportunity, something that no other winery offers: visitors will be able to personalize bottles with their names and images however they like. A unique opportunity that allows wine lovers to create their own Brunello di Montalcino or their own Chianti Superiore DOCG to use during an important lunch or as an exclusive gift. After having stuck on the new label the staff will ensure that the bottles can travel by inserting them in special wine skins (to put in your luggage) or shipping them to your home through a courier.

Fattoria del Colle wine tours in the winery

Fattoria del Colle wine tours in the winery

Donatella Cinelli Colombini has two wineries – Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in southern Chianti that produce small series of Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino Chianti Superiore and Doc Orcia. The entire range is on sale in both wineries. The ratings by the most important specialized press are excellent and go between 88 and 97 out of one hundred. So these are boutique wineries, of small dimension but of international fame. To visit them is editing, and increases your knowledge but is also great fun.

At Fattoria del Colle there are three wine tours

30 minutes GUIDED TOUR AND BRIEF TASTING € 6 per person

For Fattoria del Colle the itinerary regards the belvedere parka round the swimming pools, the San Clemente chapel, the historic halls of the 16th century villa, the winery with its barrel ageing area, the Vinsanto loft and the Brunello infernotto. At the end an informal tasting of Chianti Superiore DOCG.

50 minutes ITINERANT TASTINGS 18 per person

wine tours at Fattoria del Colle

wine tours at Fattoria del Colle

4 tastings: IGT Toscana Bianco Sanchimento, Orcia Doc “Leone Rosso”, Orcia Doc “Cenerentola” and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG all produced in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s wineries.

The tastings take place along an itinerary next to the Chianti and Orcia vineyards to return to the 16th century San Clemente chapel and then proceeds inside the Colle Villa to the armorial hall where the second tasting takes place. The visit continues with the historic kitchen, the billiard room and the bedroom that once belonged to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Fattoria del Colle Osteria di Donatella

Fattoria del Colle Osteria di Donatella

In the winery guests enter the barrel area where the Orcia Cenerentola wine is aged and this wine is tasted here. After visiting the Vinsantaia and the Infernotto with old bottles of Brunello the tour concludes with a tasting of Brunello. The second and last tasting are accompanied with diced pecorino and local sausage.

 

120 minutes TOUR, TASTING AND TRADITIONAL LUNCH €34 per person

Guided tour of the historical halls in the sixteenth century villa (kitchen and armorial hall) the San Clemente chapel and the winery with its barrel ageing, the Brunello infernotto and the Vinsanto loft.

In the Osteria at Fattoria del Colle, in the liberty style dining room or in the veranda looking over the vineyards.

An elegant setting finely furnished. The lunch consists in 4 courses accompanied by Chianti Superiore DOCG and Rosso di Montalcino DOC served in crystal wine goblets.  The menu includes zuppa di Trequanda or pappa col pomodoro, maltagliati with duck sauce or pappardelle con sugo toscano prepared with wine, tagliata di bue chianino reared in the nearby pastures with roast potatoes and salad,  ciambellone with apples or whipped ricotta.

At Casato Prime Donne there are 4 wine tours Read more…


A crest helps sell wine

What are you doing without a crest? The family coat of arms helps sell wine and business possibilities increase if there is a picture of the place of origin

Crest/helps/sell/wine/Giacomo-Conterno-Francia-Barolo

Crest-helps-sell-wine-Giacomo-Conterno-Francia-Barolo

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

Thoes who haven’t got a blazon might run to an expert and get one created for their name or their winery. In fact the charm that binds nobility and history, that mixture of mystery and richness that a coat of arms signifies, is still very strong and  so a crest helps sell wine. So this has its effect and not only on the simplest of people who think of the Prince Charming who lives in a castle with its drawbridge, but also on those with a degree and great salary. The noble coat of arms gives a bottle great prestige.

This is the surprising revelation of the second survey Spot & Web carried out with the WOA method (Web Opinion Analysis) through monitoring the most important social media networks and on a sample of 500 people between 25 and 60 years of age, analyzed by a pool of psychologists coordinated by the psychologist Serenella Salomoni.

Crest-helps-sell-wine-Ornellaia

Crest-helps-sell-wine-Ornellaia

So here is what influences the consumer: the blazon (26%), the name (22%), the image of the place of origin (17%), the label (14%) and the bottle (11%).

Without of course diminishing the value of the quality of the wine, of the appellation or of the brand, this survey has evidenced how important it is to show off the aristocracy of the producer and of the castle, villa or monumental building where the wine is produced. Here in fact is a list of the favourite labels: first of all Barolo Francia di Giacomo Conterno , in this label the blazon is on the background, in second place  Ornellaia by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia with an image of the original building and the noble crown ( respectively with 21 and 19% of votes). Follows Amarone Classico Calcarole di Guerrieri Rizzardi, and in this case too there is the coat of arms and the drawing of the estate (17% of preferences). Barolo Monprivato di Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio with a very large coloured crest. In the  Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido there is the Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta compass rose. Read more…

Wine Glasses: how to choose them and how to keep them

In wine glasses the stem breaks easily, the cup might cut your hand while you wash them and most of all the cloudiness of the crystal…What to do?

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

most -expensive-wine -glasses- in-the-world-by-john-calleija

most -expensive-wine -glasses- in-the-world-by-john-calleija

Obviously the shape of the glass is fundamental to taste wine but it is not the only element to be considered when we buy a set of glasses. I’ll not be talking about prices as there are incredible differences: from the 400.000 $ for the Champagne flutes by John Calleija’s in quartz crystal that make cheap even the 150$ for the Lalique 100 points by James Suckling to then get to the  6 € for a normal goblet at the supermarkets.

Wine-glasses-Osteria-di-Donatella-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

Wine-glasses-Osteria-di-Donatella-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

Wine glasses especially for those who use and wash them often, must remain sparkling and not be delicate. The most fragile parts are the rime and the stem. Let’s avoid very thin cups, that might be elegant to chip very easily and are like razors when drying the glasses by hand- My husband Carlo still has the scar from a Riedel cut on his hand. The stem is however the most critical part. If we want glasses that last a long time it must be quite thick. Hand blown glasses, where there is no joining between cup and stem, are the most delicate. Then there is the intermediates type, hand blown cup and industrial stem- But must glasses are made mainly machine. Read more…


Champagne and its discounts: suicide?

Maybe it is the “Prosecco effect” but there are definitely many Champagne producers offering their bottles at really incredible prices. Will the myth of the most famous bubbles in the world resist?

French bubbles

Champagne

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

If we consider that the grapes for  Champagne cost 6€ per Kg and the production costs about  9€ to which taxes must be added, it is difficult to understand how a bottle of French bubbly can be sold at 10 Euro. But it happens. We must consider that these wines cannot be sold not bottled, it must finish its time on yeasts in the production area until the  degorgement and the capping with the traditional mushroom shaped cork. So the large distribution chains buy in bottle from the  wineries. However there is a short cut:  the sales “sur latte” , when the wine is still on the yeasts and before the recapping. A system that is useful to give liquidity to wineries and get the less prestigious cuvées out even if with a great sacrifice in price. Obviously, these quantities of wine, that generally bear a label of a chain of supermarkets, are qualitatively worse, and because of their low prices, damage the  Champagne reputation.

Spumante or Champagne

Spumante or Champagne

For this  reason Toubart of the Syndicate des Vignerons, said to Wine Searcher “Champagne’s strength is that it is a beverage that is consumed on special occasions; because of its relatively high price, it has always been a rarity, to be treasured. Price dumping endangers this, it can turn Champagne in to a commodity>>

.How can we say he is wrong, in fact the price too is a message. However the idea of getting rid of shop owners and distributors fearing to end up like Cognac where 4 buyers control the entire brand, does not seem applicable. Read more…

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