With my best wishes for 2018, I am sharing some pleasant memories of 2017, that has been a really fantastic year, even though the grapes were scarce
Donatella Cinelli Colombini
2017 ,the year that has just finished, was one with fewer grape clusters but with great commercial successes. The Casato Prime Donne winery in Montalcino Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda sell wine in 37 nations and the wines from our vineyards is just about sufficient to cover all the requests. Actually for some wines like Rosso di Montalcino, Cenerentola DOC Orcia and IGT Drago e le 8 Colombe, we have sold the wines from two vintages finishing all the stock while the Brunello 2012 was rationed so we could reach Christmas. Our increase in sales shows a wonderful + 17% considering that Violante’s sales office had no Riserva to sell.
This success is clearly also to attribute to the quality of the wines (well done the cellar girls!) and some is due to the vineyards, where a daily care of the plants – a return to old winter pruning systems and the organic regime – have permitted the production of excellent grapes even in vintages, such as the last, where the climate went a bit wild. The 2017 grape harvest was scarce especially at Fattoria del Colle where the soil is sandy and where the wild boar and deer have had a feast. After fencing off the vineyards in Montalcino next to be fenced off will be the vineyards in Trequanda.
The country inn and the restaurant went well too with a + 55% and even better the winery sales that are now a good 15% of the wine business.
The Toscana Lovers shops have maintained the same results as last year (here a small disappointment) and we are getting ready to open, as well as those in Bagno Vignoni and Siena, a new one in Cortona. The new store will open at Easter, and is in the main square.
At Fattoria del Colle we are getting ready to renovate the old barn where we will launch a bistro. There will also be a tourist garden and a tortoise garden while the inside the villa the halls will be made more apt for welcoming visitors.
I am very happy with the activities done with the Donne del Vino association where the team worked really well together.
For the consorzio of the DOC Orcia it has been an enthusing year where we have added to other events the press tour for USA journalists and a seminar for Tuscan wine critics.
Violante has reached the objective of 100 members for the Movimento del turismo del vino della Toscana and has launched a new web site that can indicate to wine lovers the closet wineries with their favourite characteristics. Great results lots of satisfaction although hard work and lots of made and unmade suitcases.
Three pleasant memories out of them all: taking part in the Sélections Mondiales des Vins Canada as a judge, dinner in Zuhai in China when just one client asked me for 400 bottles of my most prestigious exclusive and expensive wine (700 bottles in all), the Brunello IOsonoDonatella. And, thirdly, my entrance into the world of banking (Comitato di Reggenza della Banca d’Italia and Fondazione MPS) where, for the first time ever I entered a safe full of millions of banknotes…… and that did impress me!