My friend Luca Bianchini, writer and radio presenter and successful journalist, told me he had been given an assignment, from a well known magazine, to write a series of articles describing the contents of Italian and foreign celebrities . What surprised him most was the fragility of some of these famous women, literally distressed in front of the possibility of revealing something that they felt so intimate. Bags are often places where we hide small secrets or quirks. It seems in fact that the most glamorous of characters, starlets, singers, TV personalities- those that the illustrated magazine follow step by step, are in fact most reserved about their intimate things.
In Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s handbag
We from the world of wine are tougher than singers. Maybe because, in our job, substance must always prevail over appearance. When the opposite happens the invariably the winery gets sold.
For this reason telling you what is in my bag does not embarrass me in any way but in fact amuses me and it is useful to reveal that mixture of exclusivity and simplicity that characterize all my life.
First of all the bag: handmade, leather chosen for me by an artisan that accepts my requests and changes his models. He is called Pianigiani he is from Buonconvento and he has cured me from by dependence from Céline. I was buying handbags of this brand for decades with absolute faithfulness until I discovered that the calfskin that gets scratched is of poor quality: the Céline bags are always marked, those by Pianigiani no, because he chooses the skins one by one, and sometimes especially for me. Read more…
In Italy as yet there is little habit in drinking “foreign” wines except for Champagne of which we seem to be one of the main world markets, and this regardless our excellent Spumante. This is how I discovered the wines of some of the most important Australian wineries during my holidays inMalta and then I continued drinking them back in Italy as I was made curious by their very different tastes and aromas compared to our productions.
A while ago we received from our importers and friends Caroline and Alan a wine from Penfolds as a present, without doubt one of the better known Australian wineries. Founded in 1844 by Christopher Rawson Penfold who bought his first 500 acresof good land in Magill, in Southern Australia. This is where Christopher Penfold begins planting a Vineyard using vines of French origin that he had taken with him, twenty years later his wife Mary take over, and runs it for a further 25 years practically until the end of the 1800… and in those days a winery run by a woman really was something extraordinary. Penfolds has always been a winery open to new ideas and has played a fundamental role in the creations of a typical “style “ for its nation.
It produces in fact many types of quality wines some of which can be considered milestones in the Australian winemaking as they demonstrate that wines made in the new world can last in time…Grange, a blend of Shirazand Cabernet Sauvignon, is, without doubt, the primogenitor of this generation of new wine making.
She seems fragile but she has real stamina. In the past month she has visited New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Minneapolis, 4 days home and then Hong Kong and Shanghai
Violante's Usa mission in october 2014
Violante Gardinithe CinellicolombiniJr, always has trips that begin with an adventure: to go to the US they cancelled her flight but she was able nevertheless to get to the wine tasting in Washington on time going via Brussels . To go to China her car’s clutch broke on the way to Rome. A journey with mechanical noises and lots of frights. When she got to Fiumicino she was so upset that the check in staff was so sorry for her that they gave her a super comfy seat on the plane
Her texts from abroad are hilarious, here’s one of them <<how much do you have to walk to sell wine? My feet are exhausted!…. This first week on work, running after planes, taxis and
Violante's new shoes
most of all time, has finally finished >> . Violante describes a different New York than what she has seen the last few years, more beautiful and with more positive energy. People have more faith in the future and want to spend more. <<Lots of overweight people, but less than usual. Maybe Michelle Obama’s campaign regarding exercise and eating vegetables has worked. There are less McDonald’s, where have they disappeared to?>> <<It is said that there are BIO stores everywhere, but I didn’t see any, however all that is organic is liked>>. <<The Rosso di Montalcino was fantastically successful, everyone loves it and we placed it in 2/3restaurants to be served also by the glass. Someone is surprised by its freshness, how delicate it is and sweet and pleasant, others just fall in love with it straight away. >> Violante finds time also for friends and shopping <<Tomorrow Maria will come to the city, she is a young wine producer from Puglia who is doing work experience for a few month with an importer just out of the city. She will come to NY for the weekend so we can spend some time together, fantastic!>> The result of this shopping is a pair of really funny pink shoes. For someone always dressed in black, brown and blue this has been a really revolutionary choice!
I’m currently at the Davis University in California, this is the most famous wine business training centre in the world. The university is enormous and feels almost like a small town. It is full of loads of tall buildings but bizarrely there is also a barn full of cows! -and I have spied some cheer leaders!!
Violante a Davis
The lessons are wicked!!!. On the first day we were given a list of technical words to learn so we could better understand our future lessons. It also seems to be just like in Italy where every teacher has his or her own agenda! What have we been taught about the American wine market so far? Well, Greg Ralston, a former wine importer showed us that U.S. importing of wine increased from $ 20 million in 1990 to $71 million two years ago. Not bad huh? And also the total expenditure on wine twenty years ago was $ 136 million and now it is $ 269,000,000!!!. Uahuuuu, no drop in consumption here, it’s like a gold mine!!! We then noted that the Australians, in the last ten years, have equalled the number of cases that we have sold in Italy and that the French have achieved half the turnover of Italy by selling only a third of the number of bottles. Lucky them!
Here we are outside of the formal classroom atmosphere in the local market which takes place every Wednesday from 4 to 8.30pm and every Saturday morning. It’s the time of the week when the Americans relax together either just camped out on the lawn eating food bought at the market stands or dancing to the live music.There are all kinds of people here, adults with families, young people with their friends, with everyone from the youngest children to the most elderly grandparents all having fun and dancing like crazy!!
Davis University in the summertime what a fantastic experience! Too bad that although the days are warm it is very cold at night. I have to have three blankets on my bed to keep warm. The difference between here and Montalcino is amazing.