2016 old style harvest that excites wines lovers and puts a crown on the Cenerentola DOC Orcia label
A vintage this 2016 to be framed: depth, complexity, and finesse, and longevity, characteristics that only a slow ripening of the grapes can give to a wine.
The Sangiovese, main variety used in Cenerentola DOC Orcia (together with Foglia Tonda), produces grapes that are meteoropathic, so can go mad and ruin if the climate is adverse. Its skin is made up of few layers of cells so it needs the help of the sun to express itself at its best. For this reason in the high hills of Southern Toscana, where the climate is dry but cool, Sangiovese has its ideal habitat and reached levels of excellence impossible elsewhere in the world.
There were surprises regarding the harvest date too: the vines had sprouted a good 15 days earlier than usual, and everyone, including us, thought that the harvest would have been precocious one. On the contrary already when the veraison happened (changing of the colour of the grapes from green to blue) the calendar of the vegetation cycle was already aligned with the traditional one, then the ripening proceeded regularly and slowly. In 2016 for the first time in a long time, the clusters reached the time of harvest at a snail’s pace with a mass of sugar in the berries growing slower than the poliphenolic ripening, that of the noble substances in the skins. In 2016 the first semester of the year was very rainy, the soil was hydrated in depth creating reserves for the hot months, but also disturbing the flowering to such a point that the number and dimensions of the clusters was drastically reduced. Then a topsy-turvy summer arrived. With hot days –over 35°c- alternated by storms of great violence, and the wine producers have been really scared that the hail would arrive. Those who like us were saved from the calamity, have had one of the best harvest man can remember. Read more…
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
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.
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…
Leone Rosso Doc Orcia a wine that gives pleasure and tells the story of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s heretic ancestors who built Fattoria del Colle
The rampant lion is engraved at the entrances at Fattoria del Colle , on the ceilings, and on the majolica blazons it is an evident presence and symbol of the long history of this place. It is the emblem of the Socini, or Soccini family, Donatella ancestors who built Fattoria del Colle in 1592. The Socini was a Sienese family of jurists and thinkers, that were rich and prestigious until, Lelio (1525-1562) and Fausto (1539-1604) Socino became important characters in the protestant reform and most of all very much opponents of the dogma of trinity. Still today their names are written in every book on philosophy, but by the church they were considered heretics and so they were forced to escape abroad and brought their family to ruin. In 1919 Donatella’s great-grandfather Livio Socini bought Fattoria del Colle back, quite by chance. Donatella got the estate fro her dad Fausto Cinelli in 1998 and has dedicated to the Socini family the wine she has produced there, “Leone Rosso” DOC Orcia.
THE DOC ORCIA WINE REGION
The appellation ORCIA was born in the year 2000 in Southern Tuscany, in a vast hilly region that reaches as far as the Crete Senesi going towards Monte Amiata. An area that includes 12 villages, where once the spring frosts damaged the vines one year out of three, and consequently discouraging wine production. Since the beginning of climate changes these frosts have practically disappeared, the last one was in 1997, while the cool climate with practically cold summer nights helps the production of high quality grapes because the ripening is generally slow and regular while the acidic content of the grapes and of the wines is a particular characteristic of the DOC Orcia appellation and a guarantee of longevity. Read more…
The monumental tree at Fattoria del Colle is called quercia Italia and is about 160 years old. Its trunk and its branches frame a breathtaking panorama
Quercia Italia Fattoria del colle vineyards in autumn
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
It was born around 1860 when Tuscany voted the plebiscite for the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy. This is why it is called Quercia Italia. The Tuscans voted on March 11th and 12th 1860, with 366.571 favourable votes, about 96% of the voting population. To be noted that becoming part of Italy meant that women lost their right to vote, whereas whilst part of the Grand duchy they could since 1849. Our oak tree consequently remembers an important moment of local history. It is in front of Villa Archi in one of the spots where the panorama is unforgettable. A glimpse of something that seems to come out of a 14th century fresco. This view stretches from Monte Amiata on the right to Siena on the opposite side and in the middle the soft hills of the Crete Senesi and of the Val d’Orcia. No factories, no overpasses, everything seems miraculously intact, only that at sunset the electric lights come on!
The quercia Italia has an enormous trunk. At 130 cm from the ground its circumference is of 4, 20 meters and a little above its heavy branches begin. However it is so well proportioned that it does not reveal its grandiosity straight away. Its canopy is also large but not very large maybe because the very sandy soil has beneath it a Layer of compact clay that stops the roots to go very deep. For this reason in the hot and very dry summer in 2017 lots of oak trees in the woods surrounding Fattoria del Colle became yellow as if they were about to die. Read more…
Spirituality, nature, guided tours in the winery, tastings of fine wines, brief cookery lessons, and some gluttonous sins for Easter at Fattoria del Colle
Easter-Fattoria del Colle- Agriturismo – Tuscany
Those who like to spend Easter with their family, with friends and with their four legged friends, will find at Fattoria del Colle in the most panoramic and unaltered Tuscany, their perfect location. The right mix of noble traditions and countryside informality, internationally acclaimed fine wines and homemade traditional dishes
In the program one finds also the guided tour with tasting at the Brunello winery Casato Prime Donne and at Fattoria del Colle , where there are also 4 historic halls in the 16th century villa, and stories, very romantic ones, from the history of the estate.
Easter- Vinotherapy-Fattoria del Colle
Two appointments not to be missed are: vertical tasting of 5 Brunello from 1999 to 2013 and a brief cookery lesson to learn how to make “pinci” a homemade pasta and to prepare a Springtime quick and delicious: ricotta montata.
A special place in the program is held by the lunches and dinners, thse introduce the Tuscan civilization; Baccalà alla fratina from Trequanda for good Friday, then Peposo degli artigiani della terracotta , that legend attributes this invention to Filippo Brunelleschi creator of the dome of Duomo di Firenze. The prince of the table is the Chianina steak, this white giant breed lives free on the hills around the estate, but has a long history that goes back to Roman times. Read more…