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Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Toscana 2013

The story of Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s Supertuscan dedicated to a man in the all women winery

Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Toscana 2013

Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT Toscana 2013

The wine “Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” has a strange name because it has a curious beginning. It is produced in Donatella Cinelli Colombini‘s wineries, where the staff are all women, represented by the 8 doves on the label: Donatella, her daughter Violante who together with Debora takes care of wine sales, Alessia who is in charge of the incoming, Barbara the cellar master with her helpers Antonella and Margherita, and last but not least Valérie Lavigne the wine maker. A formidable team flanked by the men and women grape growers but also by Donatella’s husband Carlo Gardini, who has created a range of sweet wines for this winery. He is the dragon in the label to emphasize a male presence in an all female winery, which is feminine not feminist. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is a “Supertuscan” a Tuscan wine not covered by a DOC regime. To begin with this type of wine included those of modern style and high quality. It was created in the 1970’s as a reaction to the rules of the appellations that limited the possibility of experimenting. Practically a rebellion against tradition, and this was sustained by the press and by America consumers. Later the Supertuscan became IGT Toscana appellation, and in some cases (such as Sassicaia) they become DOC. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is an IGT Supertuscan produced at Fattoria del Colle. Read more…

Our unbeatable Wine Tours

A perfect blend of excellent wines, art and captivating activities: these are the wine tours at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino


Wine Tour – Brunello 2010 – Donatella Cinelli Colombini

By Alice Bracciali, Fattoria del Colle

Our key words are authenticity and excellence.  Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s ancestors were already owners of Fattoria del Colle and Casato Prime Donne at the end of the 16th century; these are today open to the public for guided tastings and wine tours.

Our proposals give one the possibility of tasting wines that win International awards and the possibility of learning family history and stories together with other small wine making secrets: during the itinerant tastings in fact you will be guided to discover the most hidden corners of these two historical estates. Among the tours, some of which are very suggestive and fascinating, such as “Let’s play winemaker” and the “Wine and Music tasting”, which are absolute novelties and enrich our portfolio of activities in a curious and captivating way. Read more…

The Dragon wag his tail and the 8 Doves fly happily in 2012

5-star harvest for Il Drago e le 8 Colombe 2012 where the structure of the Sagrantino, the roundness of Merlot and the elegance of Sangiovese blend perfectly togheter.

Il Drago e le 8 colombe 2012

Il Drago e le 8 colombe IGT Toscana 2012

The most incredible harvest man can remember in 2012: the winter was dry because the massive snow falls in February left the soil dry . Warm spring very hot summer but more importantly 3 months without a drop of rain. Then a miracle occurred and the storms arrived at the beginning of September to hydrate the vines and permitted a ripening that was regular and complete. In the end the grapes were perfect for the production of great red wines. In 2012 there were other exceptions: the harvest was the scarcest in grapes that we can remember. At Fattoria del Colle we picked much less than half of what we usually pick, practically only the grapes for the best wines: Cenerentola DOC Orcia and Il Drago e le 8 Colombe.



Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is the only wine made by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, dedicated to men, and precisely to her husband Carlo Gardini – the dragon. Her two wineries are in fact a flagship for female winemaking because the staff are all women, and these are represented by the 8 doves in the name and on the label.

It is made with grapes from the vineyards, at 400 m above the sea level on the ridge that separates the Val d’Orcia from the Val di Chiana at 18 km from the Umbrian borderline. Three different grape varieties are used, vinified and aged in barrel separately, and then blended with the intent of obtaining a perfect equilibrium between the elegance of the Sangiovese, the roundness of the Merlot and the structure of the Sagrantino. This last variety comes from Umbria that is close by and at Fattoria del Colle has found a particularly favourable habitat. Read more…

The Leone Rosso 2011 by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Few small clusters of Merlot and Sangiovese for an Orcia Doc Leone Rosso wine, in the 2011 vintage, the earliest and quickest one can remember

Leone Rosso 2011 Orcia DOC Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Leone Rosso 2011 Orcia DOC Donatella Cinelli Colombini

On September 26th all of the grapes had been picked and the cellar master Barbara Magnani was involved in a very delicate fermentation process. The grapes had ripened very quickly compressing into less than two month the colouring of the grapes and the harvest. This quickening of the process was induced by the African heat wave that began halfway through August and that had dried the grapes and reduced when more the already scant amount of grapes.

The rampant lion with a sphere in his right paw is the blazon belonging to Claudio Socini who, in 1592 built Fattoria del Colle. The emblem of this Sienese family can be seen on the entrance portal and also in the hall of coat of arms  in the villa, in the Chapel and in the Trequanda parish church above the Ascension painted by Antonio Bazzi called Sodoma.

In truth the Socini family lost Fattoria dl Colle just after having built it because of the “free thinker” ideas of 5 of its members, closer to the protestants rather than to the Pope. It was mostly the writings by Lelio (1525-1562) and Fausto (1539-1604) against the trinity that caused the excommunication and the confiscation of their properties. Fattoria del Colle was then, by chance, bought back by their descendent Livio Socini in 1919.

To these ancestor Donatella Cinelli Colombini has dedicated the wine Leone Rosso which is produced with the grapes from Fattoria del Colle.

Type: dry red.

Production area: Toscana, Trequanda, Fattoria del Colle

Vintage characteristics: very rainy winter and spring. From mid August a torrid period with day and night temperatures between 35-40°C. Ripening very accelerated and harvest time anticipated and rapid because of the reduced amount of grapes.

Grape type: Sangiovese 60%, Merlot 40%. Read more…

Donatella’s red Il Drago wags its tail

After the success obtained by “Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” 2007, now the best vintage of the century is about to go on sale, 2010, and Donatella Cinelli Colombini expects a result with a bang

Written by Donatella Cinelli Colombini



The 2010 harvest launches a new phase for the young estate belonging to Donatella. The vineyards become the protagonists and all the staff works for them trying to emphasize the specificity of the land and the climate. As if nature were to direct a melody and the grape growers together with the cellar staff were to play it without ever trying to change it to their own liking. Never any concessions to the fashion to the market …..never. It is nature that composes the music. Obviously there is the need for a great conductor and this is just what Valérie Lavigne is. A woman with extraordinary sensibility and an immense passion for Italian grape varieties. In the “Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” IGT she has used Sagrantino (together with Sangiovese and Merlot), this is the king of varieties in Umbria, a region which is only 18 km from Fattoria del Colle. The Sagrantino grown on the Tuscan side of the Val di Chiana has more “gentle “character still though maintaining the richness in extracts which distinguish it.
The 2010 harvest is the best that man can remember. The perfect harvest.
Could Donatella’s new style wines have a better launching? Everyone hopes in even better results than those obtained with the previous vintage, the 2007, which was chosen by the British Columbia monopoly and has obtained great results from the press and in its extraordinary sales.

Type: dry red.
Production area: Tuscany, Trequanda, Fattoria del Colle,



Classification: IGT Toscana Rosso.
Vintage characteristics: very rainy winter and spring. Thanks to the abundance of water stored underground the vines resisted well the very hot month of July and the hot month of August. The colouring of the grapes was a long process because of the lack of hydro-.stress which usually starts of the process. The last phase of the vegetative cycle was on the other hand very rapid and the harvest which was foreseen for October, took place in September. The acidity stayed high regardless of the proceeding ripeness, with a high component of malic acid. At the moment of the harvest the grape seeds were totally lignified.
Grape variety: Sangiovese (the same clone used for the Brunello) 60%, Merlot 20%, Sagrantino 20%.
Grape harvest: The best grapes came from the more adult vines with deep roots.
Vinification: in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, with pumping-overs concentrated between the 3rd and 6th day.
Ageing: 18 months in French oak tonneaux.
Colour: dark ruby red.
Aroma: fine full, complex with net perfumes of ripe small red fruits.
Taste: full, harmonious, intense, persistent, well balanced tannins. The particular spicy

Merlot-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-shows a grape

Merlot-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-shows a grape

note comes from the Sagrantino, the softness from the Merlot and the elegance form the Sangiovese. The alcohol content balances a solid acid and polyphenolic structure with a very pleasant and powerful effect.
Matching dishes: Extremely versatile, well matched with Chinese, Indian Russian dishes…. as long as tasty and with little fat.
Way of serving: This is a wine for great occasions. Serve at room temperature (18-20°C) in clear crystal balloon shaped wine goblets.
Home ageing: apt for 25 years ageing and more. Keep the bottles lying down in a dark and cool place. Have the corks changed in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s winery around the year 2024.

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