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Violante Gardini Cinelli Colombini President of AGIVI

November 29th 2019 AGIVI the association of young Italian wine producers elected Violante Gardini national president for the next three years.
She takes the place of Federico Terenzi and will have at her side, as vice-presidents Martina Varvaglione and Enrico Gobino. The AGIVI board is also composed by Emanuela Tamburini, Nicola Guidi, Silvia Franco, Matteo Magnabosco, Vittoria Rocca, Ernesto Rocca, Anna Maria Surricchio, Giulia Goretti.


35 years old from Tuscany Violante Gardini is the commercial manager of the wine estates of her mother Donatella Cinelli Colombini (casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda) a degree in Business Economics at the University of Florence and a Master OIV in Paris that led to a visit to all the wine-growing regions and the main wine markets of the world.
In the professional and human history of Violante associationism has always played an important role: in 2008– 2009 she was  the Tuscan president of Leo (young Lions) in June 2013 she was elected Tuscan President of Wine Tourism Movement, bringing her region to be the most numerous in Italy. She is Vice-President AGIVI from 2016 and now has decided to devote all her free time to this association renouncing any other office.

“I believe very much in teamwork” said Violante after the  election that happened unanimously by acclamation at Mondodelvino -Wine Experience of Priocca, “and I intend to apply in AGIVI that method of deciding and working in a group that in previous experiences allowed me to increase members and organize important initiatives”.

Do not trust the taste, among the senses is the most maneuverable

Sight is the strongest sense, then hearing. They are able to alter the taste and change the choices: Lafitte effect, listening to Mozart you‘ll choose more expensive wines

Di Donatella Cinelli 


Vincenzo Russo professor of neuromarketing at IULM in Milan, publishes on the economic weekly of Gambero Rosso “Trebicchieri” science pills extremely useful to those who sell wine but also to those who buy it because they reveal how not everything is as it appears.


In our brain cells assigned to the sight are approximately 50% while those assigned to the taste only 1%. As a consequence the taste is a less “strong” sense than the others and suffers the influence of sight, hearing and tact.
That is why the same drink coloured in red is perceived sweeter by up to 10%.


Not only does sight alter gustatory perception, but also hearing and touch.


Charles Spence the professor of gastrophysics at the University of Oxford did taste the same wine listening to sweet sounds at high frequency and touching a placemat of white plush then repeated the tasting listening to sharp sounds at low frequency and touching sandpaper.
The first wine was judged much but much better. Likewise, hearing the sound of the corkscrew creates a quality expectation that makes the wine look better because the cork is unknowingly associated with the finest bottles.
With smells the question is even more complicated. They are not perceived as such but filtered by the memory like the madeleines of Marcel Proust. The aromas make a long journey in the brain, pass from the olfactory bulb and then from the olfactory cortex where they are recognized on the basis of previous experiences. Only at the end the information reaches the frontal orbit cortex, becomes conscious and takes a name. This is why the judgment on aromas is not objective and very evocative.


Pleasant music promotes the release of the dopamine hormone that activates the limbic system of the brain (as during sexual intercourse) and this creates a feeling of pleasure. Adrian North of the University of Leicester discovered “l’effect Chateau La

fite”: by spreading Mozart’s music in a luxury restaurant the collection increased dramatically because the customers were in tune with the refined image of themselves created by the music and consequently ordered the most expensive things.

Without getting to the point of creating artificial situations maybe tasting your own wine listening to a music of Brahms, Chopin or Schubert could be a good idea.

Albiera Antinori, Priscilla Incisa and Cinzia Merli in Bolgheri

Pink triumvirate  for the Consortium of Bolgheri with Albiera Antinori (Guado al  Tasso) president and vice-presidents Priscilla Incisa della  Rocchetta and Cinzia Merli


Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Finally women gained leadersh

ip of a major wine Consortium! In Bolgheri Albiera Antinori President will be joined by vicepresidents Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta and Cinzia Merli.


Three names of international prestige, three very talented women who put themselves at the head of the currently most performing Italian denomination, Bolgheri. Something is to be expected that will leave everyone amazed and show the world the value of giving more space to women. Albiera Antinori, first-born of Marchese Piero, together with her sisters Allegra a

nd Alessia, heir to the largest and most prestigious Italian wine group with over 200 million annual revenue. An expert in communication and marketing, Albiera has always stood out for her commitment, balance and professional talent. Skills that, together with the simplicity of her behavior, is appreciated as one of the true minds of Italian wine.

Olio Evo appena fatto

New EVO oil from the Fattoria del Colle

Olio Evo appena fatto

Olio Evo appena fatto

We have a real passion for extra virgin olive oil. For centuries, here at Fattoria del Colle the quality of the olives is excellent and we put every care in picking and crushing these delicious fruits. We have 6 hectares of traditional olive grove with frantoio (correggiolo) varieties moraiolo and some olive trees along the paths. Fattoria del Colle is located 400 meters above sea level, in a low rainfall area, with limestone soils where olive trees have their ideal habitat. No chemicals have ever been used in olive groves and even in the last ten years when the terrible oil fly arrived twice the olives were defended with traps and nothing else.



The microclimate of the olive grove is very important and accounts for 50% of the quality of the oil, another 25% depends on the cultivar that is the variety of the plants. Trequanda is an area renowned for centuries for its excellent oil Fattoria del Colle still preserves more than 20 jars of terracotta, some of which over two hundred years old, that testify to the tradition and the great care with which has always been produced the extra virgin.

The remaining 25% of the oil quality depends on how the olives are harvested and processed. We harvest the olives, in October and November, starting shortly after the harvest, when they are still green. The harvest is manual with the only help of small electric rakes. Every day the olives are brought to Casteluzio in the small Sant’Angelo olive mill managed by a competent and passionate young man, Paolo Bindi. Thanks to a slow process that does not heat the olives Pieralisi plant by Paolo preserves all the fragrance of the fruits. After the pressing, to preserve the perfumes and health virtues of the extra virgin, we at Fattoria del Colle store it at 15°C in nitrogen-saturated steel drums and then bottle it without filtering it.
Almost everything is sold at the farm in the mono-varietal correggiolo (frantoio), moraiolo and in the blend of the two varieties. It is packaged in bottles and small metal cans.

93/100-a Cenerentola-doc-Orcia-Drago-e-le-8-colombe-IGT-da parte-diWine-Spectator-e-Robert-Parker

Triumph of Fattoria del Colle 4 wines over 93 cents

Wine Spectator awards 93/100 Doc Orcia Cenerentola 2016 and  Wine Advocate -Robert Parker awards 93/100 il Drago e le 8 colombe IGT 2016


“It’s a magical moment for the wines of Fattoria del Colle” says Donatella Cinelli Colombini.
Incredible but true, in recent months, the judgments of the main international specialized press, on bottles coming from the smallest and least famous of her cellars have exceeded the ratings, although very

93/100-a Cenerentola-doc-Orcia-Drago-e-le-8-colombe-IGT-da parte-diWine-Spectator-e-Robert-Parker

93/100-a Cenerentola-doc-Orcia-Drago-e-le-8-colombe-IGT-da parte-diWine-Spectator-e-Robert-Parker

good, of some bottles from the Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino. This had never happened before .


Passito IGT Toscana 2017 94/100 Wine Advocate -Robert Parker
Vin Santo del Chianti DOC 2002 93/100 Wine Advocate -Robert Parker
Il Drago e le 8 Colombe IGT 2016 93/100 Wine Advocate -Robert Parker
Cenerentola Orcia Doc 2016 93/100 Wine Spectator

New Year’s Eve 2020 tasting Brunello in the Tuscan countryside

At Fattoria del Colle, the New Year’s Eve 2020 holidays full of experiences for foodies, wine lovers and lovers of peace and Tuscan traditions

From 26 December 26th till January 6th, Fattoria del Colle, in the south of Chianti, offers a program of daily animations able to introduce visitors to the most authentic and ancient Tuscan tradition. There will be a visit to the wineries of Brunello with a special musical accompaniment, the cooking lesson on Sienese Christmas sweets such as panforte and ricciarelli held by a pastry chef, themed dinners with 3 dishes, the experience “oenologist for one day” led by a sommelier, the guided tour of the historical parts of Fattoria del Colle with itinerant tasting, tasting of the new olive oil …. Each initiative is tailormade to offer knowledge and fun to both great wine lovers and simple lovers of the countryside and views.
For the detailed program of the activities, the prices and to book click here.


Fattoria del Colle was built by the ancestors of the present owner in 1592 and has been preserved miraculously intact over the centuries. There is the villa with the ancient kitchen, the room of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the underground now full of barrels, there is the Chapel of San Clemente and all around parks, olive groves, vineyards and truffle reserves. Also the transformation of the ancient village of peasants into tourist residences was made without altering the original characteristics preserving even the ancient floors, the rooms are furnished with authentic local antiques.
In Fattoria del Colle there are a restaurant and the banquet hall, the cooking school and the relaxation area for the natural wellness equipped with Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, room for couples massages and wine therapy.



Future wine is threatened by falling consumption and taxes while opportunities are emerging markets, online sales and wine tourism but focus on packaging

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

I take up a beautiful article by Fabio Piccoli as a conclusion of his participation in the “Global Wine Industry Outlook 2025” by Wine Intelligence. The super British agency of analysis on wine, has called 300 professionals of all the production chain (producers, marketing experts, importers, traditional and online distributors, GDO and HORECA operators, trade associations and institutional representatives) from 52 countries around the world to map enology in the next five years. The outcome is only partly predictable because, as in any self-respecting large forum, confirmation of known data is associated with something new and a new interpretation of old information.


Both Wine Intelligence and Fabio Piccoli from WineMeridian underline the importance of the contribution of an Australian marketing manager who summarizes in simple words a new very complicated horizon



“There are more and more peo

ple involved in wine, but it is no longer a question of loyalty to a particular brand; instead, there is a tendency to try many different styles. This makes it difficult for wineries to distinguish themselves, given the impressive amount of varieties that consumers can choose”. As is now well known, wine and food have replaced clothing as tools used by consumers to represent themselves and communicate to their community. The choice of a particular bottle therefore depends on the values it brings in: luxury, attention to pairing, ability to represent certain cultures, respect for the environment, ethical choices in favour of people, of the territory, animals … In front of customers who are less and less loyal and more experimentalist, it becomes even more necessary to make the producer’s choices perceivable, those that distinguish its bottles in the immense international offer and make them preferred by consumers who share the same values.

The comment by Fabio Piccoli is lapidary and fully shareable “businesses are and will be increasingly obliged to identify tools to stand out>>.


Italian sommelier great victories and great international defeats

Matteo Montone be



st young sommelier in the world 2019 and Italian debacle at the sommelier team world championships ranked least


Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The facts are as follows: on October 12th the seventh edition of the sommelier team competition was held in the Chambord Castle in France with the participation of teams coming from 27 nations of the world and the Italian team, for the second year a row, came in last.



On October 18th  in London the Italian Matteo Montone won the world title chaîne des Rôtisseurs young sommelier of the year racing under the British flag.



Two events almost concurrent but with opposite result make us reflect on the skills of sommeliers of the Italian nursery. Evidently natural talent is not lacking and the training grounds are good. In fact, traveling around the world, it is easy to find fellow countrymen who take care of the wine service in the most important clubs of Oslo, London, Toronto… or champions like Paolo Basso who won the title of best sommelier in the world  ASI  in 2013 competing for Switzerland. But the point is, why do our sommeliers only spread their wings and fly high when they go abroad? The case of Matteo Montone is exemplary, he was born in Milan and became sommelier in Italy in 2012 but the following year he left for Great Britain. In 2015 he finished seventh in the race for best Italian sommelier.
Commenting on the competition for the best young sommelier in the world The drinks Business notes that in the last 10 years the wine service professionals operating in the UK have always won first or second place. This year the second was Jonathan Eichholz from the USA followed by the Australian Andres Aragon in third place.

vino-in lattina- Larkin, Larkan White, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2017

Wine in a can: expensive but practical, recyclable and good

Canned wine costs as much or more then the bottles, had a boom in sales in USA and UK, is more ecological and surprisingly, in some cases, is very good.

vino-in lattina- Larkin, Larkan White, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2017

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini


In the USA canned wine is growing: retail sales amount to 93 million dollars and already last year Forbes estimated the potential of this segment in 3.3 billion. The impressive thing is the proliferation of producers of canned wine – wine in cans, in June 2018  were 125 now are 350 with 900 different lines. What people like is the practicality and the fact of having a format typical of certain situations such as festivals or trips where you take everything with you in your backpack and then eat on boat or in a picnic.

This opinion w

vino-in lattina- Larkin, Larkan White, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2017

vino-in lattina- Larkin, Larkan White, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2017

as underlined by a Sopexa study according to which 40% of US consumers prefer alternative containers to the bottle because they do not break, they are more ecological and easier to store. The rebirth of canned wine is described by Professor Robert L. Williams, Professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania who in recent years has studied food and wine tourism as a tool for the economic development of the less developed territories.

vino-in-lattina-Ferdinand, Ferdinand, Lodi, California, USA, 2017


The success of wine in can does not concern Italy where this type has never had a great diffusion and remains anchored to the image of Giacobazzi, the winery of Modena, which in 1978 asked the Ministry for permission to package wine in containers other than glass. The authorization, granted in 1982, opened the door to a whole series of new packaging such as tetrapack, PET and of course the can. The amazing thing about Professor Williams’ study is that canned wine is consumed not only by alternative young people but also by wine lovers. Infact also some excellent names produce canned wines as is the case of the director Francis Ford Coppola and his “Sofia” sparkling Blanc de blancs.

vino-in-lattina-Ferdinand, Ferdinand, Lodi, California, USA, 2017

vino-in-lattina-Ferdinand, Ferdinand, Lodi, California, USA, 2017



Six wines over 90/100 points on Wine Advocate/Robert Parker

Donatella Cinelli Colombini celebrates the ratings obtained by Brunello, Doc Orcia, Igt Toscana, Passito and Vin Santo from Robert Parker – Wine Advocate

Positive reviews are always welcome but when they come from Robert Parker they are even more pleasing because the assessments in cents of the magazine created in 1978 by the lawyer of Baltimore, are accepted as authoritative worldwide and influence Canadian monopolies as well as major buyers. For this reason having a rating above 90/100 from Wine Advcate Robert Parker for six wines in a single vintage is an exciting and very important thing. Donatella Cinelli Colombini jumps with joy!
Among the wines with stellar scores are the two Brunello di Montalcino issued this year (vintage 2014 and reserve 2013), the Vin Santo and the Passito that score the highest marks with great joy of Donatella’s husband, Carlo Gardini, true maker of these wines together with the cellar master Barbara Magnani. But there are also the two main labels of Fattoria del Colle: Doc Orcia Cenerentola and l’IGT Toscana Il Drago and the 8 doves.


A result that rewards the great work done in the vineyards, grown in an organic and very manual way, but also the choice to aim at medium and large oak barrels made in small workshops. They are chosen each year in 5 tonnelleries according to the characteristics of the harvest with a tailor made criterion–almost nineteenth century style.


Tourism for lovers in Tuscany.

Road of the kiss, the tree of love, truffle, panforte, Granduca apartment: many little ingredients of tourism  for lovers in the most beautiful countryside in Tuscany.South of Tuscany is the ideal[caption id="attachment_55121" align="alignleft" width="300"] Turismo-da-innamorati-Via-del-Bacio[/caption]place for a couple’s trip. There are the most romantic places to take selfies, aphrodisiac food that has been used for centuries to rekindle passion and old rituals to swear eternal love. Below you’ll find places and dates for tourism in love in Tuscany.TOURISM FOR LOVERS : SELFIE SPOTSThe top places for romantic selfies are in Pienza (30km from Fattoria del Colle) in Via del Bacio...


Paola Gorelli’s pottery to put history on your table.

At Toscana Lovers the artist Paola Gorelli proposes pottery inspired by the typical sienese ones from twelve and thirteen century, just like a gothic dream that never ended.



di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The gothic pottery that are preserved in the museums of Siena and Montalcino tell about a rich and elegant past. In the thirteen and fourteen century the city of the Palio was the financial centre of the part of Europe that   was connected  by the Via Francigena.


The reproductions of Sienese medieval pottery made by Paola Gorelli are true to the original also in the technique of execution because they are turned and painted by hand by an artist that studied the technique thoroughly, like in the artisan shops of eight hundred years ago. Every piece is slightly different from the other so each one is unique, a fragment of a real tradition.
The Toscana lovers shops in Siena, Bagno Vignoni and Cortona offer the new collection of pottery by Paola Gorelli that painted gothic motives on daily use objects like penholders, tiles and coasters.


Heroic Vineyards: very high or very old

Finally we have a law that protects heroic vine growing , those  historical vineyards attached to the  sides of the mountains.

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Wich are the vineyards that can be considered heroic? Those that give more work than grapes, those that have great landscape, social and historical value but are not very profitable.

This vineyards will probably be abandoned when the old people that cultivate them out of passion will die. For this reason a decree that recognises the value of heroic vine growing and economically supports it’s essential for  its own survival.


In Switzerland I saw vineyards so steep and so tiny that they don’t even allow any sort of mechanization . When they told me that the treatments need to be done with an helicopter and so all the producers have to decide together  for organic or conventional cultivation I realized what this meant economically and socially. Then they told me that the government helps heroic vine growing with financial incentives . A strategy that avoided the abandonment of the vineyards, protected the landscape and increased the quality of swiss wines .


Mantovana with pine nuts from Montalcino between tradition and innovation

At Fattoria del Colle the pastry chef Patrizia Cenni and the Chef Giovanni Rallo created a cake that tells the story of the tradition of mantovana from Montalcino.


Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

In Montalcino Mantovana is a typical cake and is made only with pine nuts without almonds. It is my daughter Violante Gardini favorite cake and it was hard to make here accept this new version since she has childhood memories linked to this recipe.

Patrizia and Giovanni created  a dessert that is completely new but able to show that Tuscan food culture is capable of renovating itself respecting the tradition.




Giovanni Rallo invented a semifreddo with mantovana ingredients. On top of it are putted traditional mantovana bits garnished with a sprig of thyme. The result is awesome from a gastronomic point of view, because the balance of flavors is perfect and and also from cultural point of view since it respects the tradition.

Below you will find the recipe for the traditional mantovana just like the one made by Patrizia Cenni. For Giovanni Rallo’s semifreddo, recently created, you’l have to come to Fattoria del Colle and try it since it is still a secret.

The best wine to pair with this wonderful dessert is our Passito 2017 di Donatella Cinelli Colombini that lately received 94/100 points from the prestigious Wine Advocate-Robert Parker.







October 9th the super harvest 2019 is over

Chronicle of a marvellous harvest at Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. How the Super Brunello 2019 was born.

Di Donatella Cinelli Colombini

This will be remembered as the harvest of the perfect and indestructible Sangiovese because the grapes arrived in the cellar in perfect conditions, without mould, in spite of the two storms that arrived at the end of September and on October the 2nd when it almost hailed.



“It looks like Cabernet” said the enologist Valerie Lavigne observing the tiny berries, when she came to decide the harvest’s schedule. And she was right because Sangiovese behaved just like the famous French grape. The colour extraction was immediate and intense, the bunches had no mould despite the rain. Perfection! Never seen an harvest like this!

Vendemmia-2019-Sangiovese -con-due-giorni-di-vinificazione

Vendemmia-2019-Sangiovese -con-due-giorni-di-vinificazione

The vines remained green and luxuriant until the day of the harvest, just like the famous vintage 2010, there were a lot of very high quality grapes.

Now we know that great harvest come from rainy winters or springs that allow the soil to accumulate water and very hot summers interrupted by brief storms. The milder climate of the last years increased the quality potential of Sangiovese and Brunello.

This harvest lasted a month, to pick each vineyard at the perfect moment, with no rush, with extreme selections that required to harvest the same vineyard three times. The choice of separating all the best grapes without mixing bunches with different ripeness levels required a lot of extra work.



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