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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…

Sanchimento 2016 only 2000 bottles IGT

The 2016 5 star vintage. Limited edition of only 2000 bottles for the I.G.T. Toscana Sanchimento from Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s Fattoria del Colle

Sanchimento-2016-IGT-Toscana-bianco-Fattoria-del-Colle

Sanchimento-2016-IGT-Toscana-bianco-Fattoria-del-Colle

The small Sanchimento vineyard was planted in 1990 with Traminer grapes on the north side of the hill that goes up behind the chapel at Fattoria del Colle 404 m above sea level. The soil is deep with mostly clay and quaternion deposits.

The choice of the Traminer variety is quite unusual in Tuscany and depends on Fausto Cinelli’s preference; he was Donatella’s father, for this variety which wants cool climates and especially cold nights like those at Fattoria del Colle.

From this vineyard Donatella Cinelli Colombini produces only 2000 bottle a year of I.G.T. Toscana bianco. A small and cosseted selection that bears the name of the

Trequanda-Fattoria-del-Colle-Cappella-di-San-Clemente

Trequanda-Fattoria-del-Colle-Cappella-di-San-Clemente

chapel next to the vineyard: San Clemente I Pope in 97 a.D. in Sebastopoli. San Chimento is in fact the medieval name of the same saint.

The 2016 vintage is one of the best of the last few years thanks to its very long vegetative cycle was very long, the vines did sprout early and arrived at complete ripening in the usual dates, in   a gradual and slow manner. From this happy instance and from the cold nights in September, depends the particular richness in aroma of the Sanchimento 2016. Read more…


Is it time for High Altitude Wines?

1.200-1500 meters up, a race upwards. Once it was called heroic viticulture, now it seems that high altitude wines are the new frontier against global warming

 

High-altitude-wines -Val d'Aosta - Morgex - Cave du Vin Blanc - Nicola del Negro, wine- maker- and-sales-manager. check -"Piagne" -vineyard with Priè Blanc grapes

High-altitude-wines -Val d’Aosta – Morgex – Cave du Vin Blanc – Nicola del Negro, wine-
maker- and-sales-manager. check -“Piagne” -vineyard with Priè Blanc grapes

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Toscana, agriturismo .

Let’s start from Wine Searcher and from a very interesting article by Wink Lorch that I suggest you read, for its reflections regarding High-Altitude Wines, of which producers talk always more and more.

Altitude signifies freshness: the average temperatures are lower and so the alcohol is low and the acids increase resulting in fine and elegant wines. Also often in high altitude there is a big difference between day and night temperatures with exceptional results in the synthesis of the floral and fruit aromas.

Altitude signifies intensity: in high altitude the sunlight is stronger and with more  UV-B rays. This fills the grapes with antioxidants, the grape skin gets thicker and takes into the wine quantities of tannins, excellent anthocyanins. These increase the intensity of the fruit and the ability of the wine to age.

High-altitude-wines-Cave Mont Blanc,

High-altitude-wines-Cave Mont Blanc,

The direct testimony of those who have vineyards over 1000 meters in height on the Etna , such as Santa Maria la Nave, confirm all of this and bring the attention on the less pollution in the air and the better ventilation.

Altitude means contrast to global warming: in the traditional grape growing regions maintaining the right alcohol-acids equilibrium is getting more and more difficult because of the warmer temperatures. The high altitude vineyards can be a valid alternative. Read more…

A Chianti Superiore that lives up to its name

Chianti Superiore is produced all over the Chianti territory except in Chianti Classico. It indicates the best grape and Chianti wine selections

Chianti-Superiore-2015-Fattoria-del-Colle

Chianti-Superiore-2015-Fattoria-del-Colle

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Toscana, agriturismo, winery

2015 a year with highs and lows: our vineyards a spectacular harvest, whereas just a few miles away the hail destroyed roofs and even cars. We feel exceptionally lucky!

The great vintages of the last thirty years such as 2010 and 2015 have great similarities: rainy winter, bad weather in the spring which disturbed the flowering and reduced the number of clusters produced, hot summer with very high temperatures in July and cooler ones in August, clear sky during the harvest.

A scheme which brings to the production of great red wines. 2015 was consequently an excellent year.

At Fattoria del Colle the vineyards are on top of the hill, 404 m above sea level. The quaternary deep soils have mostly sea sands and fragments of sandstone. The older vineyards were planted in 1996; the youngest are 10 years old. They are organically grown and the training system chosen is spurred cordon

Sangiovese-For-Chianti-Superiore-Fattoria del Colle

Sangiovese-For-Chianti-Superiore-Fattoria del Colle

They are a beauty to see, because the vine are healthy, in a natural balance with the beautiful surrounding landscape, which is intact and preserved through the centuries: no factories, no intensive farming, nothing different from hundreds of years ago.

The Chianti Superiore by Donatella Cinelli Colombini is practically only Sangiovese; the addition of a few clusters of other varieties is in respect of the tradition that wants Chianti to be a mix. Its main element is consequently the gentle elegance of the Sangiovese, with that characteristic aroma of violets which characterizes this appellation. 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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