Forum

Mandragora from the garden to Macchiavelli

The Mandragora roots are considered an aphrodisiac but they are also killers and have inspired stories and comedies. Come and see the vegetable garden at Fattoria del Colle

 

Mandragora -autumnalis -Bertol

In the big vegetable garden at Fattoria del Colle there are 80 species and 500 plants. Some of them have a story and a myth, such as Mandragora, considered an aphrodisiac and a killer

 

THE MANDRAKE COMEDY BY MACCHIAVELLI

Niccolò Macchiavelli wrote the  The Mandrake comedy in five acts, for the marriage of  Lorenzo dé Medici and Margherita de La Tour, at the beginning of the 16th century. It talks about a funny and irreverent episode that was a great success.

So, this story takes place in Florence in 1504.  The young and rich Callimaco returns from Paris to Florence

La-Mandrake-commedy-by-Macchiavelli

attracted by the fame and beauty of Lucrezia, faithful wife to and old, pompous and foolish husband, Messer Nicia.  Nicia thinks that his wife is sterile and hence he tries to find a remedy through the doctor, who convinces him to make Lucrezia drink a potion made with Mandragora, consequently  she will remain pregnant but the man who sleeps with her will die.

Obviously Nicia has no intention of dying for love and so decides to kidnap a stranger from the streets in Florence and to put him in bed with Lucrezia. So, with the help of a corrupt monk, Nicia convinces his wife to let the stranger make love to her and so the plot unfolds.

Continental, English or Tuscan breakfast?

Breakfast at Fattoria del Colle is an unforgettable experience: ciambellone, tarts, cakes all freshly baked … and then country omelettes and pears and cheese

Breakfast- Fattoria -del- Colle-Patrizia-pastry-chef

Which is the best breakfast?

There are two schools of thought regarding breakfast: there are those who say that a visitor is satisfied only if he finds that to which he is used to, so scrambled eggs and bacon, toast and the all the rest. Then there are those expert in tourism marketing who state the exact opposite, or rather that a tourist is looking for an experience and diversity, so an “international breakfast” in a Tuscan country inn disappoints him.

I’m in agreement with the latter.

However I do feel that in our traditions there can be something for breakfast to satisfy everyone. In fact the old farmers did not have sweet breakfasts but savoury ones and it is from these rich mid morning snacks that we must begin offering <<The Tuscan-international breakfast>> .

So now the farmers omelette, fresh pecorino cheese with pears, pork cold cuts like salame and finocchiata , vegetables with dip of extra virgin olive oil from Fattoria del Colle and other garden produce are an alternative to scrambled egg with bacon. Obviously one must also have on hand yoghurt, fruit juice and cornflakes … and other things that must be bought and that are more or less the same all over the world. But the highlight of our breakfast, that beats all opponents, is Patrizia, the pastry chef in the Osteria di Donatella 

The Brunello red Fiat 500

Enough of Burgundy red, now we must begin using Brunello red, which is much trendier. So here is the new two tone Fiat 500, grey and Brunello red, for those who wish to be stylish

Brunello-red- Fiat- 500

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

The Brunello colour

There is an Alfa Romeo in Brunello red and even a Brunello coloured nail gel. In India there is a Brunello red shoe factory with a photo gallery of celebrities wearing them.

So the name Brunello is used often on many types of products, and not only in Italy. But the Fiat 500 Brunello red  is a “love mark” , as we learn from Kevin Roberts from Saatchi & Saatchi , because it has a binding with the affection we all have for this small car symbol of the Italian miracle and for the Italian wine that is among the most loved the world over. A double love mark consequently!

Sergio Marchionne and Brunello

Fiat-500-Collezione

Matteo Ascheri, son to my dear friend Cristina and President of the Consorzio del Barolo, will have been most put out. I do understand his disappointment, as it would have been more probable to expect from the Turin factory a Barolo red Fiat 500! But, as quite rightly stated by WineNews the recently departed CEO Sergio Marchionne, to whom we must presumably credit this recent Fiat 500, was a great estimator of the wine from Montalcino. In fact during his participation in Benvenuto Brunello, in 2007, he confessed to have started to drink wine only after he was 40, and that he had been charmed by the wine from Montalcino.

IOsonoDonatella 2013 Brunello

IOsonoDonatella 2013 Brunello di Montalcino D.O.C.G.

IOsonoDonatella is a selection of only 1.000 bottles created by Donatella Cinelli Colombini for wine lovers who, like her, love a Brunello of great harmony and elegance.

IOsonoDonatella 2013 Brunello

The Brunello 2013 vintage started off with a low profile judged a 4 star vintage, but after the ageing in barrel has proven to be extraordinary in its complexity and finesse.  In the IOsonoDonatella this characters show in its extraordinary elegance. This is in fact an exclusive “fine wine” apt for important occasion and as a gift, this wine is produced only during the best harvests and comes entirely from the Ardita vineyard. This is a plot of Sangiovese of about two hectares where the soil gives the grapes and wines an extraordinary finesse.

 

IOsonoDonatella 2013 Brunello

The IOsonoDonatella selection was created for the first time with the Brunello 2010 when Donatella Cinelli Colombini understood that her dream of making an exceptional Brunello had come true. A project that began in 1998 when she received from her mother Francesca, Casato Prime Donne on the Montalcino hill and began to renovate the winery. An impassioned grape grower’s dream that year after year has brought Donatella to obtain awards from all over the world

New Year’s Eve in agriturismo with the magic of Brunello

New Year’s eve in the Tuscan countryside with wines tastings, guided tours, brief cookery lesson on pinci and cakes, 4 course tasting dinners with 4 wines, and many other experiences.

New Year’s Eve dinner at Fattoria del Colle

Where to go for New Year’s Eve

With friends, with family or with the love of your life, with your four legged friends…. The beginning of the New Year will be an occasion for a holiday to regenerate while in the midst of nature and traditions.
Fattoria del Colle, in the heart of the most untouched and panorama Tuscany, proposes an intense program with one or two activities per day from December 26th to January 6th. This is a way to appreciate the taste and style of simple but refined lifestyle in a land with a noble past.
Guided tours of the Brunello di Montalcino winery (Casato Prime Donne) and of the Orcia DOC one too, in some cases with itinerant tastings, out to discover anecdotes and particularities that are not well known about these fine Tuscan wines. Otherwise you can opt for an itinerary through the historic halls of the 16th century villa at Fattoria del Colle with the stories of lovers, heretics and brigands , visit the vegetable garden where the aphrodisiac mandragola,

Agriturismo-with-winery-Tuscany-New -Year’s-Eve-FattoriaDelColle

“Aglione” and Val d’Orcia saffron are cultivated together with pepper, liquorices and absinthe…. And many types of mint. There will also be brief cookery lessons to learn how to make pinci, a typical Sienese handmade pasta and how to prepare the typical Sienese Christmas cakes (ricciarelli and panforte) and discover that they are really easy to make and much tastier that than the industrial ones. And finally take part in the traditional panforte game with the ladle handle to measure the winner’s distance. In the two estate restaurants we prepare themed dinners, some of which with 4 traditional dishes matched with 4 wines.

How to transform awards and ratings into business

This is the time of year for Wine Guides and Wine Competitions, WineMeridian gives us 8 suggestions on how to transform good ratings into business: communication, events, and packaging

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

Wine Spectator Wine Advocate Brunello 2010 Riserva DonatellaCinelli Colombini

The first thing to be considered if the owner is the only one to know about the award received, this remains a private thing, pleasant,  but with little effect. Because for the scores from the big wine magazines, the awards from the great wine guides, and for wine competitions to have a beneficial effect on the businesses, this info must be shared with importers and clients. It is not enough for the score to be published on a page of Wine Spectator or in the guide or in the press releases of the awards

 

WINE SPECTATOR WINE ADVOCATE

WINE SPECTATOR WINE ADVOCATE

Here follow 8 suggestions by WineMeridian where you can go to the original text if you wish to read more.

1)You must have a blog and publish there the news illustrating it with anecdotes, photographs and videos

2) Post the news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with a jargon apt for each social media and using mostly images. Use well the hashtags and key words

3) Create some very visible elements to exhibit: plaques, signs, and pendants for the bottle necks.

4) Label, rosette, sticker to be added to the packaging of the wine. In China these types of elements are greatly liked. During wine fairs one often sees the local importers sticking colourful stickers on the bottles

voucher-presto-IMPS

The end of a myth: it is business that makes a terroir

In Burgundy in 15th century, Port and Chianti in the 18th century and Champagne in the next hundred years, it has been the commercial success to give vineyards their value

 

Terroir-gallo-nero-symbol -Chianti-Classico

Terroir-gallo-nero-symbol -Chianti-Classico

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Chianti superiore

Obviously politics, connections and other circumstances have had an important role but it is always wine business that generates richness that increases the value of the terroir and attracts investors.A prosaic explanation that might be true but certainly less charming than the idea that it is the quality of a wine that crates the myth and the value of a specific territory.This is the extreme synthesis what is said in the report by Giulia Meloni and Johan Swinnen published by Wine Economics, titled Trade and terroir: the political economy of the world’s first geographical indications.We can concentrate on the analysis of the Chianti region. After the Roman era where the eternal city was the centre of wine commerce, there came the medieval period where vineyards and wine commerce were abandoned. In the 15th century Florence and Siena held the main wine markets.

This corresponded to investments made in creating vineyards, building villas, carrying out of research and introductions of salaries for those who worked in making wines. The exporting of Tuscan wines takes off when the English-French war creates serious problems for the Bordeaux wineries and so the English traders begin to seek alternatives to the Chiaretto.

Terroir-origin-of-th-value-Chianti-Classico-Castello-di-Brolio-tomb-Bettino-Ricasoli

Terroir-origin-of-the-value-Chianti-Classico-Castello-di-Brolio-tomb-Bettino-Ricasoli

So the Grand Duke Cosimo III in 1698 cancels the ban on the exporting of wine and the impact is rapid: from 300 Hl exported in 1675 to 13.000 Hl when the ban was removed. The noble Florentine families– Antinori, Frescobaldi, da Verrazzano, Ricasoli .. got rich with their wines and understood the opportunity to protect their businesses. Under their pressure the Grand Duke III emitted another two notices in 1716 that delimited the production areas and the sale of Chianti, Pomino, Carmignano and Valdarno superiore. 

Cristina Cippitelli will be our first Master Sommelier

Cristina Cippitelli: the love for the soil comes from her grandparents in Gaeta but she has learned to taste in  Boston and Toronto and now she has won a  Master Sommelier scholarship

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello

Cristina-Cippitelli-will -be-the-first-Italian -Master-Sommelir-

Cristina-Cippitelli-will -be-the-first-Italian -Master-Sommelier-

And I am not referring to the Alma-AIS institute title that a few years ago created reaction of indignation but I am talking of the Court of Master Sommeliers a fellowship born in 1969 that includes 240 members in USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Germany, Holland and France. These are the top of the sommelerie: tasters, journalists, opinion  makers, wine educators… these are competent professionals, of great talent and who have an enormous influence on the market.

Their president is the great Gerard Basset who is also a Master of Wine. But the Master Sommeliers are now rivals, for prestige and influence of the very powerful MWs, in fact in some cases they are even more powerful.

There is not one Italian among either the Masters of Wine or the  Master Sommeliers.

Cristina-Cippitelli-and-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

Cristina-Cippitelli-and-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

A sign of provincialism that also surfaces in International competitions: when ther are Italians on the podium they work abroad , just like  Paolo Basso. Also the young women who might become the first Italian Master Sommelier lives in Canada. Her name is Cristina Cippitelli, and she came to visit me at Fattoria del Colle , from Toronto where she works at the Air Canada Center while she is studying for the  Wset diploma and for the Advanced Certificate for the Master Sommelier.

She is a lovely person and has a great story that I will tell you.

Do we need many different wine glasses,or is one sole glass best?

wine-glasses-Jancis-Robinson

wine-glasses-Jancis-Robinson

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

One glass for all wines. This is not a new idea; in 2012 I took part in the Chateau Baccarat presentation, this was created by the most famous crystal ware producers in the world, with a story of polished crystals 250 years long, especially wine glasses. A revolutionary glass with a long stem to sustain the cup that has a practically flat base that widens and then goes straight up to a narrow mouth so as to concentrate the aromas in a funnel. Last year I heard about another project for wine glasses that are just as revolutionary, in Portopiccolo during the Donne del Vino national meeting; è has been created by Luca Bini for Italesse, three years of trials.

wine-glasses-Jancis-Robinson

wine-glasses-Jancis-Robinson

A very feminine glass that is also very versatile, but most of all able to emphasize any wine even though it was thought out for sparkling wines.

So now there is a right-about-turn with respect to the usual proposal of a glass for each and every wine, bubbles, young reds, aged reds, wines for meditation …  that fill our cupboards. Great wine taster and high end designers have worked on these new “millevini” wine glasses, . These are not low profile choices and the extortionate price of the Chateau Baccarat proves this.

Wine and bell peppers, a spicy union

I got the idea from Daniele Cernilli and his sweet and round bell peppers stuffed with tuna and matched with Vermentino Maremma DOC.  A desire for something different

 

wine-and-bell-peppers-Habanero

wine-and-bell-peppers-Habanero

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini Fattoria del Colle agriturismo with restaurant

 

All about matching wine and bell peppers

NAME AND HISTORY

Let’s start by saying that this vegetable comes from the Americas, probably Peru. It was brought to Europe during Christopher Columbus’s second transoceanic journey in 1493. The scientific name is “Capsicum” that comes from the Latin word “capsa” which meant box.  In America they called it chilli or xilli and still today maintains the name while the word pepper, used over here, depends on its similarity to pepper

Once arrived in Europe, the cultivation of bell peppers spread rapidly especially in the warmer climates around the Mediterranea

wine-and-bell-peppers-Capsicum-Malaysia

wine-and-bell-peppers-Capsicum-Malaysia

.CULTIVATION

This grows on a perennial plant with a short life, and is picked in June –July and September. To cultivate them the seeds must be planted in February and to increase their hotness, when the fruit has formed, one must reduce the watering, and doing so only when the leaves are droopy. The difference between red and green bell peppers, of the same species, depends only upon the level of ripening, the green ones are unripe.

tappi di sughero da vino

The most expensive whiskey in the world

These are two  bottles of The Macallan Scotch Whiskey from 1929 sold in Dubai for 1,2 million dollars, these are the most expensive whiskeys in the world By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne [caption id="attachment_12484" align="alignright" width="275"] Whisky più caro[/caption] These have been sold by the Le Clos wine store in...

Bordeaux 2017 vintage, limited but good

The Bordeaux 2017 vintage reserves some surprises to the wineries: limited grapes, excellent ratings but maybe a decrease in prices

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

Bordeaux 2017 vintage Chateau Margaux

For Bordeaux 2017 the  en-primeur sales, 9-12 April, show an avalanche of excellent ratings regarding the main Bordeaux chateaux. But after a serious decrease in production because of the frost last year, the 2017 harvest is requested at lower prices by the great  négociants who buy wines from the harvest from wineries to put them on the market in 3 or more years time.

I have just been to Bordeaux and I have seen the vineyards just pruned. The vines that were damaged by the frost were well evident and I am sure that they will produce scarce grapes in 2018 too. A situation that worries greatly the wineries where the cellars contain less barriques than usual.

At Millésima, where I went to present my wines that have just been inserted in their portfolio, I met the CEO Fabrice Bernard. He is one of the BIG buyers at the  en-primeur auctions because Millésima is famous worldwide for having in its catalogue bottles from the greatest Bordeaux chateaux, that have been held in only two cellars:

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

Millésima-Bordeaux-prestigious wine store

the one of origin and his. Bernard’s words have a certain value in the market and he declared to Wine Searcher “I’m expecting prices to come down by 20 to 25 percent” .

The decrease in price reflects the French system of handling the petite vendange – the less perfect vintages. They decrease the price while we, in Brunello, decrease the quantity. In Tuscany we increase the production of  Rosso di Montalcino and leave only the best to the flagship wine. The result is a greater fluctuation in volumes of Brunello but a better consistency in the price and maybe even in the quality.

Colorado-megozio-cannabis

Wine for dogs, with some ethical doubts

Wine, beer, tea for cats and dogs. Drinks for animals are on the up, rigorously without alcohol. For those who want to drink in the company of their pets

Wine for dogs

Wine for dogs

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, agriturismo pet friendly, Fattoria del Colle

As all pet lovers know cats and dogs cannot drink alcohol, if they do there are great risks for their health. However they adore biscuits, snack etc that pet shops sell in small extremely expensive packets. So, I making the most of the fact that pet owners go mad and buy whatever is liked by their pests the American company Apollo Peak has created a section called Pet Beverage with white , red and sparkling wines. The products have fun names such as mosCato charDOGnay …and include also special tasting glasses for our four legged friends.

Wine-for-dogs-Apollo-Peak

Wine-for-dogs-Apollo-Peak

What is most incredible is the success, products that someone like me dog lover and wine producer, would never ever buy. This is what their message more or less says: you come home tired and you want a cuddle and glass of wine, why not share this pleasure with your cat? Ok, only that the so called wine for cats and dogs made with fruit juices and organic aromatic herbs (among which cat grass), contained in an 8 oz bottle, costs around 10 dollars. Sometimes more than the wine in the owner’s glass.

Women of Wine Festival and the Festa delle Donne del Vino

Debra Meiburg queen of wine in China and her event Women of Wine Festival connect with the Festa delle Donne del Vino that now becomes an international network.

Women of Wine Festival

Women of Wine Festival (WOW)

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Debra Meiburg is one of the best known experts in the world: she is the first Master of Wine in Asia and is a member of the Education Committee of the famous British Institute.  She is 7th among the most influential women in wine in the world according to Global Ranking, her TV show shown in Chinese taxis has 70 million viewers per month, and she is also wine consultant for Cathay Pacific airlines.

In 2008 she created the in Hong Kong a society called Meiburg Wine Media MWM with the scope of divulging wine culture in Asia. It is a real sort off “wine hub” the works in an immense scenario: from New Delhi to Tokyo, from Beijing to Jakarta.

Women of Wine Festival (WOW) Debra Meiburg and other influencers

Women of Wine Festival (WOW) Debra Meiburg and other influencers

It is for professionals of this market and for wine lovers but it is a point of reference for all press member of this sector, because, other than the traditional forming activities it offers innovative and stimulating services that allow buyers to explore emerging wines and new trends. A never ending job this, including wine competitions, wine tastings, festivals, workshops, where wineries meet buyers, banding actions and conferences that take abroad a better insight of the Chinese market and help wineries from all over the world to sell in Asia.

Sacred and profane Easter at Fattoria del Colle

Spirituality, nature, guided tours in the winery, tastings of fine wines, brief cookery lessons, and some gluttonous sins for Easter at Fattoria del Colle

Easter-Fattoria del Colle- Agriturismo - Tuscany

Easter-Fattoria del Colle- Agriturismo – Tuscany

Those who like to spend Easter with their family, with friends and with their four legged friends, will find at Fattoria del Colle in the most panoramic and unaltered Tuscany, their perfect location. The right mix of noble traditions and countryside informality, internationally acclaimed fine wines and homemade traditional dishes

In the program one finds also the guided tour with tasting at the Brunello winery Casato Prime Donne and at Fattoria del Colle , where there are also 4 historic halls in the 16th century villa, and stories, very romantic ones, from the history of the estate.

Easter- Vinoterapy

Easter- Vinotherapy-Fattoria del Colle

Two appointments not to be missed are: vertical tasting of 5 Brunello from  1999 to 2013 and a brief cookery lesson to learn how to make “pinci” a homemade pasta and to prepare a Springtime quick and delicious:  ricotta montata.

A special place in the program is held by the lunches and dinners, thse introduce the Tuscan civilization; Baccalà alla fratina from Trequanda for good Friday, then Peposo degli artigiani della terracotta , that legend attributes this invention to Filippo Brunelleschi creator of the dome of  Duomo di Firenze. The prince of the table is the Chianina steak, this white giant breed lives free on the hills around the estate, but has a long history that goes back to Roman times.

Questo sito utilizza i cookie per migliorare la tua esperienza di navigazione. Per capire quali cookie ed in che modo vengono utilizzati, consulta la nostra pagina della Privacy. Accetta i cookie cliccando sul pulsante 'Accetta'. In qualsiasi momento dalla pagina relativa potrai rivedere e cambiare il tuo consenso. MAGGIORI INFORMAZIONI

Questo sito utilizza i cookie per fornire la migliore esperienza di navigazione possibile. Continuando a utilizzare questo sito senza modificare le impostazioni dei cookie o cliccando su "Accetta" permetti il loro utilizzo.

Chiudi