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Grappa di Cenerentola and the fairytale has a new flavour

Cenerentola Doc Orcia is Violante Gardini’s favourite wine (Cinellicolombini Jr); she has hence created a grappa in small bottles quite apt for young princesses   


CENERENTOLA GRAPPA and shapper bag

<< I am a great romantic and the Cinderella fairytale always made me dream, also the Cenerentola wine is the one I love most, for this reason I have created a young grappa from one grape variety dressing it like a princess, elegant and trendy>> says Violante when talking about her first marketing project for 600 small but very refined bottles of Grappa di Cenerentola.

First of all the grappa:  one must remember that it comes from the distillation of the grape-skins extracted from the vats and pressed, when the fermentation is finished and the wine is racked into another container. Violante has used the Foglia Tonda skins, a local autochthonous variety o grapes from the Siena region used only for the production of the ’Orcia Doc “Cenerentola”. She has chosen the   “Distillerie Alboni Srl” for the distillation, a small artisanal workshop in Mensanello, near Colle Val d’Elsa, so quite close and where the grape skins reach still warm.   The facility uses the discontinuous system with vapour from two boilers and a still where everything is done manually and the process is very long.




<<I only had 120 litres of grappa but it was precisely for this reason, the exceptional quality  of this brandy distilled product obtained from a rare and old grape variety, Foglia Tonda, of which  Fattoria del Colle is the major producer, that I had the idea of a challenge. A new type of packaging: a very small 20 c bottle, like perfume, pace in a shiny black mini-shopper-bag, Like those we young women use to go to the beach with our friends>> Read more…

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents herself part 2

In 1998 when I left my family’s estate (one of the oldest and most prestigious producing Brunello) to create my own, that bears my name, it really seemed a “mission impossible”

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Cavaliere della Repubblica

Again like in my other troubled chellenges I had no money, in fact with debts much superior to the income and two wineries with buildings to be renovated, vineyards to be replanted, cellars to be built and more importantly no sales network.. Now we sell wine to 31 foreign nations.  I have in the meantime understood that it is necessary to listen to the vines; they are intelligent plants who ask only to be humoured without polluting the soil with pesticides. I have made mistakes in some new vineyards and in other I really have had a lot of luck, especially in the Ardita Vineyard in Montalcino which every year yields a masterpiece.My wineries  Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and  Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda – are the first in Italy with an all female staff, including the wine maker

Casato Prime Donne

The project is called Prime Donne and it too happened by chance. Here is what happened. In 1998 other than receiving the two farms I also got a small quantity of wine from my parents, future Brunello still in barrel, and I needed someone to take care of it. I called the agricultural school in Siena asking for a promising cellar master but they said there were none, but when I said if there were girl students available, they said that there were , that they were excellent students but nobody wanted them. Such a deep-rooted discrimination that made it invisible even to me. So from this episode came the idea of a winery staffed by women, a challenge.

In the same way the Bunello Prime Donne was born, it is chosen by a panel of 4 super female tasters in an era when all the tasters of all the guide were men.

Brunello Prime Donne 2008

I am also proud of my contribution helping women in the wine world, I feel that the award that I organize every year, the “Casato Prime Donne”  award, to stimulate the divulging of the Montalcino territory but more importantly to emphasize those women who open up new frontiers for women, helps bring the spotlight on some remarkable women. Among the winners we have had Samantha Cristoforetti the first Italian female astronaut who at present is in space, and many other courageous women.

Sandra Savaglio winner of the Casato Prime Donne award 2014

It is very satisfying to see their quotations in my Brunello vineyards together with works of art by Tuscan artists. Maybe all of this helps to make my wine better and better every year

I do like challenges it seems. I also have recuperated an autochthonous grape variety called Foglia Tonda, I use it for one of my most interesting wines belonging to the Orcia denomination. As was  a test transforming Fattoria del Colle into the agriturismo it is today, maintaining the traditional furnishings, maintaining the local cuisine, but also using innovation a wellness centre that no other country inn has: with Jacuzzi, sensorial shower sauna, hammam massages and couple vinotherapy. Wine inside and wine out!


A full life, which I adore, work that gives me many satisfactions and the joy of knowing that one day my daughter Violante Gardini will carry on after me.

Recent wine travels for Violante, a woman with a suitcase

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's Usa mission in october 2014

Violante Gardini the Cinellicolombini Jr, 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

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!

Read more…

Dancing among the barrels for Calici di Stelle at Fattoria del Colle

A multi-sensorial night: live music by The Pipedreamers, tastings of Cenerentola Doc Orcia and Brunello, artistic perfumery during the August 10th night


#CaliciDiStelle 2013 #Tuscany #ViolanteGardini

#CaliciDiStelle 2013 #Tuscany #ViolanteGardini

Violante Gardini celebrates the election as Presidente Toscana of the Movimento del Turismo del vino with a party open to the public for Calici di Stelle – August 10th – at Fattoria del Colle in southern Chianti.
Live music for dancing in the midst of the barrels and every half hour a pause for a wine tasting, before getting back onto the dance-floor, dedicate a few moments to a perfume, to the falling stars and to expressing wishes.
For those who wish to dine there will be a lovely buffet with 10 dishes among which a Chianina Tartar created especially for the occasion (28€).
The party at Fattoria del Colle will develp, with some extra touches the theme of Calici di Stelle 2013 in the Tuscan wineries <Wine and music stars >>.
A new rite, young, refined but in direct contact with nature and the suggestions of a night in the countryside. The music at Fattoria del Colle will begin at 10 pm to then continue until midnight when there will be a toast to the stars. Read more…

Violante Gardini is the youngest regional president of the Movimento Turismo Vino

28years old, born in Montalcino, studies regarding business economics and wine marketing, Violante Gardini – Cinellicolombini Jr-  has wine tourism in her  DNA

Violante Gardini at the head of Movimento Turismo del Vino - Toscana

Violante Gardini in the family winecellar

Violante Gardini takes into her own hands the presidency of the Movimento Turismo del Vino for Tuscany, and her first objective is  Calici di stelle. This is a wine festival that takes place on August 10th in the Città del vino and in the wineries members of MTV. Together with Violante on the board of directors of MTV Toscana are Federico Taddei, Alessandro Bindocci, Augusto Monaci, Baldino Terenzi, Emanuela Tamburini, Serena Contini Buonacossi, Alioscia Lombardini.

The Movimento Turismo del Vino was born in 1993 and has about 1000 member wineries all over Italy, the president is Daniela Mastroberardino. The principal event of this association is Cantine aperte- Wine day, a day dedicated to wine tourism which every year takes place in May. In Tuscany there are 60 member wineries, where the welcoming is particularly well-cared-for. This regions has always had leading roles at national and often international levels, in fact it is first in the   Trip Advisor wine region list for 2012.

The first project to be put into act by the newly elected Presidente Toscana di MTV Violante Gardini regards the enhancement of web communication chic is already now the first channel for divulging wine tourism inItaly.

Violante inherits from her mother Donatella Cinelli Colombini – creator of Cantine aperte – a real passion for wine tourism. She has dedicated her two degree thesis in Business Economy and in the Master OIV –International Organization of Vine and Wine- as well as a period of work experience for the National secretariat of the Movimento turismo del vino, under Chiara Lungarotti’s watchful eye.

Other than wine tourism there is another common thread which is personal and familiar and that is associationism. Since she was very young she has had important roles which have taught her spirit of service and leadership: in 2008 – 2009 she was president of the Leo Toscana (younger Lions members) at present she is on the national board of directors of Agivi Giovani Imprenditori Vitivinicoli Italiani.

So wine is consequently the central subject of her professional life and in fact Violante is Sales Manager for her mother’s wineries, Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in southern Chianti.


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