What do you want to book?


Forum: News and lifestyle

Collana sarda in argento

Food bloggers in Italy: is it a hobby or a job?

In Italy there are 280 food bloggers: is this an activity you can live off or is it only a cost for those who do it without compromise? Let’s find out together

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne



The case with  Giallo Zafferano is emblematic. Born in 2006 thanks to Sonia Peronacci and her partner, both accountants who in their free time wrote and photographed recipes to then divulge online. This has become a venture that employs 30 people and has 2 million contacts per day, important investors…. But in the end  Sonia ended up not recognizing herself in this project, and has sold her shares and got out. Now she is concentrating on <<video recipes in English too (there is practically an online encyclopedia and I wish to open it up abroad”), and a wider view regarding the cuisine. “Something a little more modern in its contents with respect to GialloZafferano” for example intolerances>> she said in an interview for  Gamberorosso.

Italian -food-blogger- Ada-Parisi-siciliani-creativi-in-cucina

Italian -food-blogger- Ada-Parisi-siciliani-creativi-in-cucina

Another high end food blogger who has a similar passion but is oriented towards haute cuisine and refuses any publicity,: Ada Parisi from “Siciliani creativi in cucina”. When she came to prepare the “polpettine di tonno” and the “caponata” (a dream that you would just not believe) for the Casato Prime Donne award, I asked her <<but being a food blogger has a costs you?>> she touched her glasses and closed her mouth tight <<I am a journalist for a large agency, I try the recipes and I publish them as I like to cook them and share, if I must prepare them with ingredients I do not like, then I don’t do it! >>. “Siciliani creativi in cucina” grows in followers month after month, and maybe it is its rigor that is the key to success .

Barolo's Vietti winery sold: the importance of wine myths

The sale of the Vietti winery has surprised experts and wine lovers all over the world. What would happen if en even more famous winery changed owner?



By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne

Everything began in March 2015 when the winery Gigi Rosso sold a 9 hectare property with woodland for truffles and 5 hectares of Vineyard among which the Airone Vineyard one of the most beautiful in Serralunga d’Alba. The declared amount of 7 million Euros seems sufficient to put off every neighbour; instead one comes forward and buys. It is Roberto Conterno owner of the cantina Giacomo Conterno.

This price makes the cost of vineyards all over the Langhe increase and it seems to block the market because those selling ask for astronomical amounts. A worrying subject that often I have been asked about during meetings with Piedmont producers <<these prices are absurd, much superior to the revenue of the vineyards, how can we grow in this situation? >>

Vietti- sold- new-and-old-owners

Vietti- sold- new-and-old-owners

in July 2016 the Poderi Luigi Einaudi, estate founded in 1897 in Dogliani announces the acquisition of 9 hectares of vineyards among which 4 of Barolo. The amount has not been divulged but rumours say around 6 million Euro.

Practically at the same time another bomb, that shakes wine lovers and experts all over the world and increases again quotations: the Vietti winery for 60 or maybe 70 million Euro.

Dom Pérignon

Is it right for a wine to have a different testimonial than the producer or wine maker?  Christoph Waltz the actor binds his name to Dom Pérignon P2By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fattoria del Colle, Orcia DOC, Cenerentola[caption id="attachment_11682" align="alignleft" width="300"] Champagne Dom Pèrignon[/caption]Generally wine producers associate their face to the...

Ricetta dei corolli tipica di Montalcino

Don't miss Wine2wine, December 6th and 7th in Verona!

Once again the Italian women in wine -Le Donne del Vino- are protagonists at Wine2wine the most important Italian wine forum dedicated to wine business

Schermata-2015-08-26-a-09.59.02-300x147By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Two days dedicated to communicating and marketing wine, dozens of mini-conventions where the speakers must summarize their information into a few minutes. This Wine2wine, a forum where it is possible to buy the instruments to make ones enterprise more competitive in an era when the places where wines are consumed are further and further away from where they are produced and in the last 20 years internation exchanges have doubled.



Which are the new trends and which foreign markets are growing? How should wineries set up their web marketing strategy and advertising while the decision of which wines to buy depends more and more on the social media?

These are the two fundamental questions to which  Wine2wine 2016 will reply by examining in depth dedicated to digital communication, to Germany and Sweden. The German Giant is the second importer of Italian wines and will be illustrated by Hermann Pilz editor of Weinwirtschaft one of the major specialized magazines.

benvenuto Brunello 2013 location per la cena di gala

Extra virgin olive oil, too many frauds and not enough : buy it in the countryside

3 restaurants out of 4 do not respect the rule of using closures against top ups, there is a 278% increase in products confiscated because adulterated, or false oils



By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Information regarding frauds and advice for those who want at home an extra virgin olive oil to exalt the taste of food and is good for your health.

Frauds are destroying the wonderful reputation Italian extra virgin olive oil had. Prestige that had taken years and years of work and investments to get qualified olive groves, olive mills and employees. A million hectares of olive grove, the most olive oils with an appellation (44) in Europe, and the largest number of olive varieties in the world with  395 cultivar (see Cronache di Gusto).

On September 28th, the day dedicated to olive oil, that took place in Florence, became a court case, with Coldiretti on the defensive and 10,000 angry farmers who arrived in the city on their tractors.



Frauds have quadrupled; with in prime position the sale of foreign oils as if it were made in Italy and even sunflower seed oil labelled as extra virgin olive oil. So Roberto Moncalvo President of the Coldiretti asks for names <<of the companies where the oil from abroad is destined>>. This is in fact what is most scary for those who bring in tankers full of oil of dubious provenance and quality; Let us know their names.  29,5 million euro of sequestered goods,  58 people reported to the authorities have not in fact been sufficient to stop this ever growing scam: I buy oil abroad, I bottle it in Italy, and I sell it as if it came from our olive groves.

Rare wine auction by the Donne del Vino-Italian Women in Wine

Excellent wines at an auction to help Vincenzo Rapisarda “the angel” in his humanitarian action for people with burn injuries plus he is personality of the year 2016 according to the  Donne del Vino


Rare-bottle-auction-by the-Donne-del-Vino

<<We will be expecting you on Saturday November 12th from 3 to 6 pm in the Cantine Fratelli Berlucchi in Borgonato di Cortefranca (Brescia). 30 lots will be auctioned where 72 rare and high quality bottles have been grouped together , donated by the   Donne del Vino from all over Italy>> this is the invitation formulated by Donatella Cinelli Colombini National President of the association<< the sum will be used to finance the actions of Prof. Rapisarda in favour of the patients with burn injuries in the poorest regions around the world through the Onlus ALMaUST (Associazione Lombarda per la Malattia da Ustione) which he founded>>.

Vincenzo-Rapisarda-Personaggio-2016-Donne-del-Vino-ALMaUST-248x3001-248x300 (1)

Vincenzo-Rapisarda-Personality-2016-Donne-del-Vino-ALMaUST-248×3001-248×300 (1)

”Donne, Vino e Bellezza”, “Women, Wine and beauty” is the  2016 theme for the Donne del Vino, and it becomes solidarity with a charity action in favour of those who work hard to lessen the terrible damages caused by burns. A scientific and humanitarian job carried out by  Prof. Vincenzo Rapisarda, Director of the  Struttura Complessa di Chirurgia Plastica e Centro per Grandi Ustionati of the Ospedale Niguarda in Milan, through  ALMaUST, an Italian non-profit organization working i Italy and in the poorest regions around the world. The cures regard those physical damages caused by acids or has but also psychological damage caused by the changes in one’s original aspect. This help is for those who cannot afford this type of therapy or those who live in nations where there are no specialized structures.

Social media wine's virtual grapevine

Blog, newsletters, social media, reviews portals, local searches, OTA: the many forms of online wine grapevine that creates an image and turnover

Wine- virtual -grapevine-Cantine-Barbera

Wine- virtual -grapevine-Cantine-Barbera

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The virtual wine grapevine is the major instrument for the growth of wine tourism. Up until 2013 it was a human chain mouth to ear, today the viral action that takes place on the web among wine lovers who publish images of their visit and comment the experience, wine bloggers who write posts that then get shared … A procedure that must be cared for and fed and in so doing you create a community with whom there is a daily dialogue. One of the most efficient instruments for this scope is the creation of a newsletter to be sent via internet every 15 days always the same day and time) to those who have visited the winery or who have made contact through the web site. It should contain offers reserved for faithful clients (events, special releases) ..the next few appointments and some news. The client becomes a friend –follower and is regularly updated with what is happening on the estate, so as to become aware of the daily goings on. The newsletter is also useful to sell courses, tastings, shopping to a particularly attentive and faithful clientele.


Wine- virtual- grapevine-Wine-Marketing-&-tourism-conference

Obviously the mother of all news is the blog or the news section in the web site. Many wineries have a blog but only Marilena Barbera, of the Sicilian Barbera wineries has been able to get into the first positions in the international ratings as wine blogger. Each producer has their own style. There are those like myself who write about everything that makes me curious even out of the estate and then there are those who rigorously write only about their own wines and tourism proposals. All techniques are right if they bring visibility and clients.

Chaimaa Fatihi, Giuseppe Casciaro, Bruno Gambacorta and Filippa Lagerback Casato Prime Donne 2016

The Casato Prime Donne jury; with for the first time Donatella Cinelli Colombini as President, have chosen a Muslim young woman who is against Isis


Casato Prime Donne Award 2016 – Chaimaa Fatihi

3 big names have been chosen among those who divulge this territory: Giuseppe Casciaro editor of the Repubblica supplements, Bruno Gambacorta with his Eat Parade and Filippa Lagerback with her tourism by bike.

Chaimaa Fatihi, 23 years old, is studying law in Modena and is the commissary for the Giovani Musulmani d’Italia (young Muslims in Italy) at the Forum Nazionale Giovani, straight after the attack at Bataclan spoke for the Koran followers who are horrified by violence with an open letter -to terrorists then published on the front page of “Repubblica” <<Maledetti Teroristi– Damned terrorists>> she wrote <<My faith is in Islam, a religion that preaches peace …. As a Muslim I disclaim you, I fight you with words, with information, with the voice of those who live daily their faith and being an example of its teachings>>.


Casato Prime Donne Award 2016 – Filippa Lagerback

In this young woman who has affronted the fundamentalists wearing her veil and bare handed, the Jury of the Casato Prime Donne Award – made up of Donatella Cinelli Colombini president, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri and Daniela Viglione- has seen an example of courage and a new type of femininity able to move consciences

The prizes for the journalism sections, destined to those who divulge the Montalcino territory and Brunello went to  Giuseppe Casciaro for the article Dall’albergo vicino a Montalcino un panorama suggestivo. Castello di Velona published in “La Repubblica”, Bruno Gambacorta for his TV programme called 50 anni della DOC sent on air byTG2 Eat Parade and Filippa Lagerback for her TV programme In bici con Filippa: Montalcino sent on air by “Bike Channel”.

The meaning of colours on wine labels

Women prefer blue, purple and green but not brown or gray. Men are attracted to blue, green and black, but avoid purple brown and orange.

Psychology of Design: Colour and wine labels

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Brunello di Montalcino , Casato Prime Donne


Lets go back to the subject of messages given by colours so as to continue on the subject of wine packaging, started a while back

Below you will find an explanation regarding colours so that we may try to understand which are most apt for each type of wine

PURPLE: This expresses sadness. It must be used sparingly

BLUE: is a cold colour that expresses elegance and seduction but also solidity and because of this is chosen by many banks. It refers to an aristocratic and elite culture which is well associated with traditionally made wines produced in historic locations such as castles, villas or medieval hamlets. Better still if the wine as a male target.

Fattoria del Colle Osteria sala liberty

Few days left to participate in the Casato Prime Donne award 2015

An award that wishes to thank  those who divulge the territory and open new horizons for women. An award born in Montalcino in the first winery in Italy with an all female staff

Casato Prime Donne Award 2014 Jury and winners

Casato Prime Donne Award 2014 Jury and winners

There are still a few day left to be able to take part in the Casato Prime Donne 2015 award with photographs , articles, and TV and radio material regarding the wonderful Montalcino territory and Brunello, published between June 15th 2014 and June 1st 2015. Before the 15th of June your entries must reach the Award Secretariat  (Casato Prime Donne 53024 Montalcino SI- casato@cinellicolombini.it).

Art, landscapes…. But most of all people from a land made famous by the excellence of its wines. As a prize there are bottles of prestigious wine as well as money (respectively 1.000 and 1.500 €) and the possibility of spending a week in an agritursimo apartment in this enchanted countryside.

Duccio Nacci 2010 Winner

Duccio Nacci 2010 Winner

The winners of the journalistic sections are chosen by the jury made up of Francesca Colombini Cinelli, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri e Daniela Viglione. The list of past winners is full of wonderful names from Italian and International wine journalism: the last edition saw as protagonists Anna Di Martino, Daniele Cernilli and Ian D’Agata.

Wine Spectator gives my Brunello Prime Donne 2010 96/100

It is called Insider and it is an email that reports the best ratings on Wine Spectator. Every winery in the world wants to see its wines rated there. My Brunello has been

Brunello PrimeDonne 2010 Wine Spectator

Brunello PrimeDonne 2010 Wine Spectator

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

How exciting! Only 20 Brunello in the Insider and only 4 in the “hot wines”. Mine is in second position with a splendid rating of 96/100

The ratings by the most read and most authoritative American wine magazine start their journey towards the podium starting from a minimum of  50-74 for the not recommendable wines, then there are the mediocre ones (75-79), the good ones (80-84) the very good ones (85-89). And finally the champions (90-94) and the summit or rather, the classical wines rated between 95 and 100 points.

So, our Brunello Prime Donne 2010 is a vino CLASSICO that would mean an icon such as the works by Raffaello, Mozart, Petrarca … Maybe I’m being a bit presumptuous with these comparisons? It must be aid though that the search for harmony does countersign all my wines but especially the Brunello and this does make the word “Classic” quite apt.

How to make a career out of loving wine

First of all become a Sommelier, then go and work somewhere where you can taste great wine and listen to the opinions of real experts, then take the leap

SWE- sommelier course

SWE- corso da Sommelier

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

There are some expenses but they are not enormous, if there is a real passion for wine, some talent and a real desire to transform a passion into a successful career. In fact the  real investment is one of the AIS, FISAR, ONAV, FIS, ASPI courses …. With a Sommelier diploma in hand, it is possible to proceed with the next phases. In Italy the diploma counts and this first step must be paid.

To go abroad does not allow you to save money, these first steps cost elsewhere also. In Europe there are sommelier associations practically everywhere connected to the ASI and periodically organize similar course to the Italian ones. In Great Britain there is the very prestigious House of Master of Wine, the dream of every wine lover. It proposes very high level courses and certainly not for beginners, to begin with it is much better to go to  WSET, Wine and Spirit Education Trust where recently the royal sister-in-law Pippa Middleton studied. So other than having good teachers it also has high level students! In USA it is possible to address your training right from the beginning depending on what one wants to do: Master Sommeliers for those who want to work in the restaurants, WSET  is more apt for those who wish to work as importers or wine stores, SWE Society of Wine Educators which forms future teachers.


1.82 billion $ boom in the USA for direct wine sales

The American colossus shows an increase in +15,5 % in private wine sales just in 2014 and grows 4 times more quickly than the traditional commercial sales channels.


Napa Valley

Seen for you by  Donatella Cinelli Colombini

61% of shipments goes  to 5 states where 37% of all Americans live: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois. But others also do very well: thanks to the law that has facilitated shipping to private citizen, wine lovers form Montana have increate their wine orders by 245 % in one year. The real novelty is Massachusetts, 7th wine market in the USA, that from this year accept shipping from producing wineries .

The Oregon wineries are those who have done exceptionally well with a + 53% in sales to privates in just one year with  Pinot Noir coming up trumps. Oregon does seem to be the new star of the USA wine panorama, but there are also those who’ve been out there much longer such as Napa Valley, main wine making region of the US, which considers sales to private clients determent , and where it represents 48,5% of the business.

This all seems impossible considering the bad crisis we have in Italy. But the source is more than sure, its Wine Searcher, the largest online marketing platform for wine.

Brunello to be cellared: the rules for enjoying it

Prefer Brunello riserva and the great 5 star vintages. Always decant the wine and never serve it cold. Match it with Tuscan roasted meats

Fattoria del Colle Infernotto

Brunello cellared bottles Donatella Cinelli Colombini

One recommendation is a must: those who do not have a cool (16°C constant with 80% humidity) and dark area where to keep the bottle laying down in the dark, is best that they avoid storing because it is very probable that they will be disappointed. Any wine and so Brunello too, ages very quickly in our warm and well lit homes.

The other piece of advice regards the bottles to cellar for important occasion. Al Brunello lasts a long time, but the variety thought up for very long cellaring is the Riserva. So if you wish to keep a bottle from your child’s year of birth, to then open at their wedding, use a bottle of Brunello Riserva.

Brunello Camicia Rossa

Brunello Camicia Rossa

The more careful wineries, like ours produce riserva only in the excellent years among these, awarded 5 stars are: 1945, 1955, 1961, 1964, 1970,1975, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010.

Casato Prime Donne belonging to Donatella Cinelli Colombini, is quite young although it has a long family history, has a library with bottles from 1993 onwards


Better to stay with Tuscan dishes:  stracotto, roasts, rare Fiorentina steak or roast beef. As you know matching food and wine is based on two criteria assonance and contrast. They count on the tastes that each emphasise each other, or two tastes that compete each other. In our case a favour the first alternative so I would serve with a Brunello Riserva dishes with scarce fatty sauces and with a full taste.


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.