Magic at Fattoria del Colle - Cinelli Colombini

English version Farm experiences

Magic at Fattoria del Colle

When my father gave me la Fattoria del Colle and I went there to live there were some welcome signs that were practically magic, as if I had been expected

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Magic-at-Fattoria-del-Colle-past

Magic-at-Fattoria-del-Colle-past

Like everywhere else this place has a long story behind it, Fattoria del Colle is full of magic and secrets.  I am still discovering them now, twenty years after my father Fausto Cinelli gave me this estate and asked me to make it flourish again.

When I arrived at Fattoria del Colle I was worried, there was a difficult financial situation and an enormous amount of investment to be done, there were no strong points upon which to lean so as to create a project with some possibility of success. Plus I was alone, my husband and daughter lived in Florence then, and the estate seemed to me to be distant from everything, cold with wild boars practically at the front door at night… basically not only was the situation worrying but I really was not pleased to live there.

Magic-at-Fattoria-del-colle-villa-today

Magic-at-Fattoria-del-colle-villa-today

But right from the beginning strange things began happening, practically saying<<welcome, we have been waiting for you for a long time>>. During the first winter, which was the most difficult one under a psychological point of view, there were so many signs, which really seemed to me to be an encouragement.   I was going to Trequanda for the presentation by Roberto Barzanti of the guide to the village by Elio Torriti and I discovered that Fattoria del Colle was where Sant’Egidio from Querciola made his hermitage. He was a saint from the XII century that I had never heard of and of whom it had seemed there were no longer any traces but…

Magic-at-Fattoria del- Colle- Enzo -and -Paolo -build -the -Brunello-hermitage

Magic-at-Fattoria del- Colle- Enzo -and -Paolo -build -the -Brunello-hermitage

A few days later, while demolishing some cement vats in the old fermentation rooms first I discovered wooden flooring and then under it, a staircase and at the bottom the hermit’s cave. I desired discovering a treasure, under the pile of rubble, but there was nothing there, the cave had in fact been transformed into a well, and the original entrance had been sealed with a wall. As this is the deepest and most secure place on the estate I now keep my oldest bottles of Brunello,  in the cave, from the 1993 vintage to the new millennium. This is my wine hermitage.

But let’s go back to the “messages from the past” my connection to Fattoria del Colle. Whilst shopping in the local COOP in Sinalunga I meet an acquaintance <<long time since I saw you last, nice to know you are living at the Fattoria….I must come and visit…did you know that it once belonged to the Count Spannocchi, a pleasure seeking guy who ruined the property because his only thoughts were on how to have fun. Women and pleasure that made him ill (syphilis?)that is why he had to always soak…. >> . Strange story I thought, remembering though that my great grandfather Livio Socini bought Fattoria del Colle in 1919 because it was a real bargain as its owners were about to go bankrupt, but only after buying did he discover that it was his own ancestors who had built it in 1592.

Strange story, but after one century after these happenings, I began to find all sorts of baths: one in the loft, with handles similar to the bath in the famous painting by David with Marat killed in the bathroom, another with wheels, one in very heavy zinc hidden under a big pile of logs where now I have created the fermentation area. I also found loads of wig stands because Spannocchi must have been suffering from sort of skin disease that had made him lose all his hair. Poor thing!

If you come to Fattoria del Colle I will show you.

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