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
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…
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…
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 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…
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
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.
In Donatella Cinelli Colombini vineyards the clusters are scarce and it will have to be further diminished with the “green harvest” so as to help the thirsty vines
Fattoria-del-Colle-inspection in the vineyards-Valérie-Lavigne
To be sure this grape harvest with be anticipated and scarce! What is still to be seen in the level of quality which will depend on the rain foreseen for the end of August. The vines are thirsty. Especially where there is more soil skeletal and a better position. So the change in climate is completely turning over the classification of best vineyards and in 2012 the best grapes will come from the vines planted in soil which is rich in clay and with less exposition to the sun.
For Donatella Cinelli Colombini this means a small revolution. So at Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino more expectations from the “vignone” – the only old vineyard on the farm – and in the Sant’ Antonio Vineyard while the new splendid vineyards of Sangiovese on the hill begin to show the first
traces of stress through lack of rain. At Fattoria del Colle the Foglia Tonda variety is in serious difficulty and some of the grapes have already been removed to help the vines resist the drought. Much better for the Sangiovese and even better for the Sagrantino, which seems indifferent to all climatic problems. The hydro-stress is more accentuated at Fattoria del Colle than in the Brunello area, especially in the “poggione” vineyard.
The colour changing of the grapes ( from green to blue ) will determine how many and which clusters to remove with the green harvesting. The green grapes are cut. There are few clusters but to help the grapes in the extreme climatic conditions registered in 2012 it will be necessary to diminish some more.
<<Nature always gives back what it has taken away >> says the proverb, so if there is a reduction in quantity then there should be relative increase in quality, and as there is a foreseen lessening in quantity of about 20% with respect to the norm, then this year the quality should be extraordinarily high. Let’s hope so!