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Fattoria del Colle's new photo album will surprise you

Touristy photos or real photos? The choice of a Photo album for a hotel is one of the most important. Here are those for Fattoria del Colle

Fattoria-del-Colle- Sant'angela

Fattoria-del-Colle- Sant’angela

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

About the photos of tourist destinations there are two philosophies: the classical one that requires a professional studio and more and more frequently agencies specialized in tourism communication. The photos are captivating even though very standard with models, flowers, studied lighting, furniture moved into artistic layout and well coordinated.

Then there is the school of thought I would call “social media effect” where what is homemade, true and natural is privileged. Evidently the photos must be well done, pleasant, and descriptive but the main element is the authenticity “without tricks” because they must convince the future client who will find exactly what he has seen. As if the images were those taken by a tourist with a fabulous camera and a good eye. In other

Agriturismo-Toscana-Fattoria-del-Colle-twin -room-guardia

Agriturismo-Toscana-Fattoria-del-Colle-twin -room-guardia

words the photos that one posts on Trip-advisor.

For years I have followed this principle, proud that no client has ever said << from the images on the web site we thought it would be more beautiful>> on the contrary arriving at Fattoria del Colle, the general comment was quite the opposite <<I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful>>. With the passing of the years though I began to see the other side of the medal and I asked myself <<might it be that this casual image penalizes us?>>

In fact tourism is the most virtual product of this global era. It communicates with images and sells dreams. The client buys on the basis of an emotion and of the desires created through the sight of something…. Reality is something else.

Trippa al pomodoro ingredienti

The Prince of Wales meets Brunello

On April 1st I met the Prince Charles the Prince of Wales, who charmed me off my feet. I assure you it is not an April fools, quite the contrary here I tell you all

Charles-Prince-of-Wales-and-Donatella-CinelliColombini

Charles-Prince-of-Wales-and-Donatella-CinelliColombini

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Toscana, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

We producers we called to meet at 6 pm, but the royal couple arrived two hours later. Allegra Antinori, Jacopo Biondi Santi, Leonardo Frescobaldi, Vittorio Moretti from Petra, Giuseppe Mazzacolin from Felsina, Giovanni Manetti from Fontodi …. All ready to serve bottles that were impeccably presented by the sommeliers of FIS Fondazione Italiana Sommelier duided by Franco Ricci in person. The setting was spectacular: Villa San Michele, a terrace over Florence with a facade decorated by Michelangelo. The panorama is similar to that seen from my home, where in the 14th century Giovanni Boccaccio set the scene of the “Ninfale fiesolano”, on the other hand maybe my view of Florence is better, but I do not have the exquisite elegance of the halls of this exclusive and romantic hotel. Maybe it is because of this luxury that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have chosen it for

Donatella-CinelliColombini, FrancoRicci-Sommelier-FIS-AllegraAntinori- JacopoBiondiSanti-Leonardo-Frescobaldi-VittorioMoretti-Petra-GiuseppeMazzacolin-Felsina-GiovanniManetti-Fontodi

Donatella-CinelliColombini, FrancoRicci-Sommelier-FIS-AllegraAntinori- JacopoBiondiSanti-Leonardo-Frescobaldi-VittorioMoretti-Petra-GiuseppeMazzacolin-Felsina-GiovanniManetti-Fontodi

their Italian stay.

I was expecting a somewhat sad character, someone frozen by etiquette but surprisingly Prince Charles was delightful, with a stupendously British “sense of humour” and an ability to mingle with people fruit of a life dedicated to his nation. He is an extraordinary ambassador for the United Kingdom, people love him. When I told him that my Brunello Riserva came from a winery staffed only by women he laughed thinking about how it might be cosseted but he was incredible curious about the organic regime in the vineyards <<is it difficult here for you? And how do you cure diseases?> he wanted to know.

Supertuscan: the multiethnic Il Drago e le 8 Colombe 2014

2014 surprises us with very pleasant wines at Fattoria del Colle, wines in a “20th century style”, elegant, complex and perfumed such as the Il Drago e le 8 Colombe

Il Drago e le 8 colombe IGT Toscana 2014

Il Drago e le 8 colombe IGT Toscana 2014

2014 was the year for organic wines. Only those, who like us, chose to grow their grapes without systemic products, brought home ripe and sound grapes. Contrary to the common certainty that “in rainy years only chemistry allows you to produce good grapes” it was in fact the grape growers who were more careful of the environment who picked the best grapes.

The 2014 vintage of “Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” is characterized by its great elegance, drinkability and pleasantness, with moderate alcohol and great harmony. The cool nights during the summer in 2014 favoured a slow ripening of the grapes and an aromatic richness superior to usual.

This wine is named “Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” because it tells of the curious situation in the first all female staff winery in Italy, but where there is also a male presence.

Cenerentola-Doc-Orcia-Fattoria-del-colle-photos-by-Leslie-Brienza

Cenerentola-Doc-Orcia-Fattoria-del-colle-photos-by-Leslie-Brienza

It is Carlo Gardini, husband to Donatella Cinelli Colombini, the owner. He too expresses his passion for fine wines by following the procedures for producing of the desert wine making, the Passito and the Vin Santo.

He is the dragon on the label while the eight doves are: Donatella, her daughter Violante, the winemaker Valérie Lavigne, the cellar master Barbara and all the wine staff at Fattoria del Colle: Debora, Alessia, Antonella and Margherita.

Il Drago e le 8 Colombe is a “Supertuscan” wine, a Tuscan wine not covered by a DOC regime. It has fewer regulations regarding blends. This is made with Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino. A variety the latter typical of the neighbouring Umbria and that in Fattoria del Colle grows perfectly. In this wine the three varieties bring different characteristics: The Sangiovese gives elegance, the Merlot pleasantness and Sagrantino gives structure.

Chianti, Toscana, Sangiovese, Barolo, Rosso

These are the 5 words most associated with Italian wines in USA. What is evident is the presence of Tuscany and Chianti

NY-Wine-Experience-Italian-wine-in USA-not -only- Chianti

NY-Wine-Experience-Italian-wine-in USA-not -only- Chianti

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, agriturismo, Fattoria del Colle

This news comes from the report by “Wine Opinions Vinitaly Survey” and has been commented on excellently by Wine Meridian. In decreasing order there is a first group of words which includes Chianti, Toscana, Sangiovese, Barolo, Rosso and Dry followed by a second list of terms, that regard mostly the sensations that come from wine: Earthy , Prosecco, Food, Fruity , Robust, Diversity .

Here is first thought on the word Chianti that demonstrates how the effort to communicate Classico, selezione, superiore …. Has only been successful with those who work in wine while the public still gets confused … like when we say Bordeaux

Houston-seminary-Brunello-USA-not-only-Brunello-and-Toscana

Houston-seminary-Brunello-USA-not-only-Brunello-and-Toscana

and put all together the Premier Cru and the vin de pays, Margaux and the les Graves.

That there is this difference between the perception of wine lover and the general public is evident from the comparison of this list and the most frequent appellations written about by the International press shown by Regione Toscana at the inauguration of the Anteprime 2017.  Brunello was on top of the list before Chianti and Chianti Classico. While in the “Wine Opinion Vinitaly Survey” the prestigious red wine form Montalcino is stationed in a very peripheral position.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Sanchimento IGT Toscana

Bank holiday, April 25th with the Orcia Wine Festival 2017

At Fattoria del Colle three days -from 22nd to 25th April- dedicated to “old waters and new wines” in an intense and long weekend of wellness and fine wines

Bank-holiday-in-agriturismo-Fattoria-del-Colle

Bank-holiday-in-agriturismo-Fattoria-del-Colle

25th of April Bank holiday: join the activities of the Orcia Wine Festival in San Quirico d’Orcia (wine tastings, dinners, spa and massages, trekking, music videos….) to those proposed in the Casato Prime Donne winery in Montalcino and in Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and you will have a spectacular program, something unrepeatable and full of emotions, suggestions, and with an unbeatable regenerating effect.

To know and get to know the secrets regarding fine wines is fun…come and see!

Fattoria del Colle is a small hamlet surrounding a villa and a chapel from the 16th century. An authentic location where most of the furniture, in the rooms and apartments is antique. Restaurant, wellness area,

wellness-and-wine-toastingin-the-jacuzzi-at-Fattoria-del-Colle

wellness-and-wine-toasting -in-the-jacuzzi-at-Fattoria-del-Colle

parks, winery cookery school and trekking trails are a frame for the experiences dedicated to food , local cuisine (brief lessons and themed dinners), to the tastings organized so as to create sensations, such as the itinerant wine tasting, and the game, Playing winemaker where everyone produced the Supertuscan wine of their dreams.

I Montalcino, in the Casato Prime Donne there will be another surprise: a tour of the winery with a Wine and music itinerant tasting created by Igor Vazzaz the sommelier musician and in the new fermentation hall the showing of the video “The dove’s flight”. The programme of the wine tastings for the bank holiday included also a guided tasting of 5 vintages of Brunello, from the just born vintage 2016 to the great Riserva.

In theme with the title “Old waters and modern wines” the wellness area at Fattoria del Colle proposes a bath in the Jacuzzi with panoramic view, with a glass of wine, vinotherapy in the special juniper tub and massages that make the most of the rejuvenating virtues of grapes.

Vinitaly's story, where we too have a part

50 years of Vintaly told in a book. People, events, where I, like other producers have participated. A surprising story

Vinitaly 2016 and Donne del vino

Vinitaly 2016 and Donne del vino

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini Toscana, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne winery

Did you know that Vintaly was born in Siena? It was called “Mostra mercato dei vini tipici” and took place in the Fortezza Medicea in Siena since 1933. It was the first step towards the appellations approved in 1963 and created three years later.

The wines were presented in a gazebo that every region built separately as if it were a small expo. The event lasted one month and attracted more than 100,000 visitors.

In 1967 Verona takes on the project of creating a wine event inside the Agricultural Fair space. This was already being organized since 1898. The creative genius is Angelo Betti, a volcanic man, from Emilia Romagna who launches the “Giornate del vino italiano” two days of meetings in the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in front of the Arena.

Sting-at-Opera-Wine-Vinitaly

Sting-at-Opera-Wine-Vinitaly

The name Vinitaly comes in 1971 with the move to empty buildings outside the historical centre. It is only mid-seventies that the mayor of Verona initiates the construction of the pavilions used today. These are the number 8 and 9 still used today, very small and simple compared to the present day sizes. Vinitaly used to take place at the beginning of December and had more than 500 exhibitors. The change of date to April happens in 1980 when the event used to last 8 days.

British Fizz: Her Majesty's Spumate

While the English producers are still looking for a name of their bubbly the Americans have already named it horribly: British Fizz

British-Fizz-Nyetimber

British-Fizz-Nyetimber

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Chianti Superiore, Agriturismo, Fattoria del Colle

British Fizz …..  sounds awful and make you think of fizzy hair. Then there are the FIZZ drinks, blended with lemon and soda. We all know Gin Fizz

So after thinking about this for a long time the sparkling wine producers could have chosen a name to give dignity to the bottle instead of a name used previously for the effervescence of soda.

Mamma mia, and to think that the English bubbles are very expensive.  Fizz what?

Not very convincing, in fact I would say the opposite of any marketing logic, it the way that the term has been chosen. This story is told in a nice article on The Drinks Business. It seems that it all started with the wine list at the Jones Wood pub in New York, this was photographed and posted on Twitter on the 5th of January. The list itemized 6 British Fizz followed by 11 Champagne and sparkling wines among which a Lambrusco. After this incident Bob Lindo chairman of the British association of producers UKVA declare to want to register the name FIZZ so that it becomes the name of the English appellation of sparkling wines produced with the metodo classico. In fact the project is fuller one as there would be then 3 English DOP regions:

British Fizz
British Sparkling
Wine from Great Britain. 

British-Fizz-Gusbourne

British-Fizz-Gusbourne

The Duchess of Cornwall, president of the UKVA commented Bob Lindo’s issue with a regal and British line <<new name needs to be found to better describe English sparkling wine>> suggesting a better and more representative name. A few days later however while the controversies were all over the press, the previous names seemed much more suitable than FIZZ. Particularly the term “Britagne” combining Britannia and Champagne.

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Easter in agriturismo with family and dogs

Easter in agriturismo with family and dogs

Spring in the heart and in nature, Easter is the first bank holiday to spend enjoying family, food and fine wines

Easter-agriturismo-in-Tuscany-Fattoria-del-Colle-spring-Felix-in the-swimming pool-park.

Easter-agriturismo-in-Tuscany-Fattoria-del-Colle-spring-Felix-in the-swimming pool-park.

Where better than in Tuscany, in the most beautiful countryside in the world? A land where the harmony of immense panoramas has a beneficial effect and is in fact called  “landscape therapy”, where there are places of great spirituality such as the Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey (12 km) and Assisi that is an hour away.

To these places that sanctify the Easter there is an addition of fun proposals for gluttons connected to the Brunello and Orcia Doc wineries belonging to Donatella Cinelli Colombini, themed dinners and a cookery lesson also apt for kids, guided tours and wellness.

There is time for the sacred and profane in a large and traditional place like Fattoria del Colle. A place that has in authenticity its major attraction. To stay in one of the farmhouses,now for agriturismo,  transformed into rooms, apartments or villas, where part of the furniture is antique, gives the sensation of living in a home that once belonged to our Tuscan grandparents. The freedom felt is due to the large open spaces that are uncontaminated (the vines are organically grown) where you can sit out in the sun, and allow the kids and dogs to run around, is just what is needed to get over the city stress.

Easter-Fattoria-del-Colle – Agriturismo-Tuscany

Tradition and authenticity at all levels: the housewives teach adults and kids how to make pinci, the typical Sienese handmade pasta. The tour of Casato Prime Donne winery in Montalcino takes place with an itinerant tasting that combines music and fine wines, history and modern folklore. A mixture that can charm event the most expert of wine lovers and amuse the children. The Brunello tasted has received International prizes but our way of telling you about them is fascinating like a novel.

Traminer inverno 2013

To produce fine wines you must be single

Long hours, especially at harvest time, stress and hard work are the disadvantages for lady wine makers but there can also be problems with partners for both genders

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, agriturismo, Toscana, Fattoria del Colle

Wine-makers-women-Eileen-Crane

Wine-makers-women-Eileen-Crane

An article on Wine Searcher regarding sexism makes clear the problematic of conciliating careers and professional ambitions with a normal life as a couple. The problem exists for both men and women wine makers but the latter to face enormous difficulties.

Certainly 30 years ago it was worse: suppliers gave “girly” calendars, and any women who progressed in this career got comment such as  <<she must have gone to bed with the boss>> but still today women’s wages are less than their male colleagues. <<There is a boy’s club feel in many wineries, and hiring women changes that>> says Eileen Crane with reference to those exclusively male contexts where one talks of football or about women together with the malolactic fermentation or autochthonous yeasts.

Passito 2011 IGT nella scatola in legno

Wine and horses

Wine and horses, a magical combination: Incisa della Rocchetta, Sassicaia and the horse called Ribot, Gianfranco Fino, Es and Bruno the horse that works in his vineyards

Wine-and-horses- Mario-Incisa-della-Rocchetta-Ribot

Wine-and-horses- Mario-Incisa-della-Rocchetta-Ribot

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, agriturismo in Toscana, Fattoria del Colle

Wine and horses together create a certain charm. The most famous are Marchesi Incisa della Rocchetta who, other than  Sassicaia are also owners of Ribot  “The best horse of the century” as the International press labelled him after his victory at Ascot in front of 100.000 spectators , all left speechless  because of his powerfulness . Still today visitors of the famous Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri see the thoroughbreds race on the turf racing track in the midst of the vineyards. As it is possible to see Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta avidly reading his horseracing magazines.

Wine -and-horses-Bruno-Gianfranco-Fino-vineyards

Wine -and-horses-Bruno-Gianfranco-Fino-vineyards

But this is not the only case of a thoroughbreds with many victories owned by wine producers, or of horses with wine names: Sangiovese, Merlot, Negramaro, Gutturnio without forgetting champions such as Bricco Uccellone. The tenuta Braida belonging to the late Giacomo Bologna has a long story of wine and horses. Luciana Rota, in a delightful article in “Il Sommelier” had fun looking for virtuous assonances.

Tignanello and Ornellaia are also names of horses that in the Eighties were victorious racers.

Among the families of wine producers that also rear racehorses there is also the Rocca Family who have this passion since 1880. They are Shiraz Roc and the  three year old United Roc that is reaping successes. Other families who rear horses and make wines are the  Pacelli’s with   Laura and Carla in the Cosenza hills.

Most expensive cocktails in the world

Is it worth spending 37.500€ for just one glass? Evidently there are those willing to pay, and these are the three most expensive cocktails in the world

Most -expensive-cocktails-in-the-world-Tokyo-Diamonds-are-Forever-Martini

Most -expensive-cocktails-in-the-world-Tokyo-Diamonds-are-Forever-Martini

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini agriturismo, Toscana, Fattoria del Colle

The Drinks Business never ceases to surprise with articles that are really curious. This time it lists the most expensive cocktails in the world. The price depends upon the ingredients, that in certain cases are the crème de le crème, but the bill really is extortionate. This article talks about ten of them but I will mention just three, with the astronomic prices inviting you though to read the original article, which is full of irony.I thought that the first in the list was already very expensive, an original  Mai Tai costing 1.120 Euro proposed by Merchant Hotel in Belfast (five star hotel where in May a double room costs about 300€ per night).

RubyRose-TheWhiteBarnInn

RubyRose-TheWhiteBarnInn

Expensive but all in all affordable if we consider that it contains Nephew Rum that costs 29.000 € per bottle and was used in the original recipe in 1944.This s the first mentioned in the list, but let’s see the three that make you faint when you get the bill. The focal point id luxury and exclusivity, the price is worth the stars that shine around the scene.

11.200 € The Winston from Club 23 in Melbourne need two days preparation and gets its name from the famous British statesman. In this case too one of the ingredients costs a lot: 1858 Croizet cognac, which costs 147.500 € per bottle.

Felix , a golden retriever looking for friends

Felix is his name but he really is happy, at Fattoria del Colle he welcomes guests. He loves other dogs and children; he is greedy and loves cuddles and playing

Felix-piccolo

Felix-goldenRetriever-FattoriaDelColle

Donatella Cinelli Colombini, agriturismo, Fattoria del Colle restaurant

It is wonderful when the Japanese tourists arrive with their uncertain English asking  <<where is Felix?>>. Felix, the golden retriever at Fattoria del Colle is just so famous. All of the visitors photograph him, cuddle him, and send messages. He is a celebrity.

Visitors’ dogs are well accepted at Fattoria del Colle also because Felix adores them. He loves playing and he literally allows them to jump up on him. The only problem is with those on a lead, but as soon as they are set free they begin having fun together.

Felix-with-CinelliColombini-family

Felix-with-CinelliColombini-family

During the season he disappears for whole days with his new friends and returns so tired he practically is sleeping on his feet. There are then those dogs he likes so much that he cannot be without, Felix sits out of their apartment where the family is staying and bark up until they open the door.

Felix  is a golden retriever born on November 24th 2010 in the Antica Etruria di Asciano kennel where he was named Valerio, name also on his pedigree together with those of his parents, grandparents, and their titles won in Italian and foreign competitions. Famiglia-3-200x300He arrived at Fattoria del Colle when he was two months old straight after the death of my beloved collie Black. I used to cry while driving and couldn’t sleep at night and I was able to get over the nostalgia for my previous dog only thanks to the arrival of the yellow puppy. When he was small he was soft and fluffy but also smelly, as he had the habit of stinky flatulence, where everyone had to race away.

Massages and wine tastings: novelties for a weekend away

Tuscany, Brunello tastings, Chianti and Orcia. Massages and bathing in the Jacuzzi with panorama, candlelit dinners with historical dishes[caption id="attachment_11923" align="alignleft" width="300"] wellness-massages-and-fine-wines-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana[/caption]A new proposal for a weekend dedicated to wellness and fine wines at Fattoria del Colle. Massages and wine tastings: are you looking for a romantic weekend with pleasant regenerating things to do? Here is a proposal created for you: away from traffic, in contact with nature, fine wines and old traditions, with a wellness area for your exclusive use …. You can set off from home in jean and little else because you will always be in relaxing situations, either in designer clothes or with your track suit that is the magic of the Tuscan countryside.You must bring only one thing: the person you love.[caption id="attachment_11922" align="alignright" width="300"] Massages-and-wine-tastings-Fattoria-del-Colle-Sala-restaurant[/caption]Fattoria del Colle is a small hamlet with villas, chapel,...

Giovanni Negri scrittore

Most expensive wines in the world

Tequila costing 3,5 million dollars and Cognac costing 2 million. These are the most expensive wines ever sold, covered in platinum and diamonds

most-expensive-wines-in-the-world-Tequila Ley 925

most-expensive-wines-in-the-world-Tequila Ley 925

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello

A list of prices that make your head spin, where every single drop of liquid is worth thousands of dollars. Here are the most expensive wines in the world, those that have been paid astronomic prices

10) 25.000 Dollars Rhum Legacy by Angostura limited edition produced for the 50th anniversary of the Trinidad & Tobago independence

9) 117.000 Dollars Château d’Yquem from 1811, this is the most expensive bottle of white wine in the world white . It was bought by the wine expert and private collector  Christian Vanneque from the l’Antique Wine Company in London who had carried out a carful investigation regarding the authenticity of the bottle.

Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne

Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne

8) 168.000 Dollars Ampoule from Penfolds a wine making masterpiece in handmade glass and wooden masterpieces made created by Nick Mount, Hendrik Forster, Andrew Bartlett and Ray Lake. Only 12 bottles containing Cabernet Sauvignon produced in a Vineyard planted in 1888.

New barrels for the Brunello 2016

February, the new barrels enter the winery and become the cribs for the future Brunello. Here explained the reasons for certain choices

Botti-vecchie-che-escono-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

Old-barrels-going-out-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, winery, Tuscan agriturismo

February is the month where traditionally the future Brunello begins its barrel ageing. There are those who begin sooner, as suggested by the late Professor Yves Glories, the winemaker who taught the whole world how to interpret the polyphenolic ripening of the grapes. We were at the Bordeaux 2University,P1100916-300x225 where he used to teach, at the end of January 2001, and I gave him a tasting of my most recent harvest, and was thorough told off because I had not yet but it into barrel.

The Montalcino tradition is that of putting wine into the wooden casks when it has finished the malolactic fermentation and the first decanting. For this reason consultant wine makers like our Valerie Lavigne, visit their wineries and taste the entire new production together with the internal wine technician, in our case Barbara Magnani.

It is a very careful and slow examination of every vat. Chemical analysis, vineyard maps, grape harvest diaries…but most of all the actual tasting, all of this conducts to the final decision regarding the destiny of every mass of wine.

Up until 50 years ago, Barbara’s office was the Fattoria del Colle office. It is a small room

new-barrels-Adour-toasting

new-barrels-Adour-toasting

at the entrance of the 16th century villa, and from which the wine aroma reaches the offices above. Barbara and Valerie sit one in front of the other each with their laptop in front of them. Both love technology, so no written sheets with tasting notes, all is digital.

                                               

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