Vines and wines

Organic winery: I want the symbol back again

There are many reasons to use an organic regime in the vineyards in an environmentally friendly way, I am though doubtful about the elimination of sulfites from the cellar

orgnic-agriculture-logo

orgnic-agriculture-logo

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

 

The main reason to cultivate a vineyard in an organic or biodynamic way is the grape growers love for his plants and his wish to see them in a perfect equilibrium. In a way a similar sentiment as for a child. To have healthy vines, able to react to the sun and to the adversities of the climate and so can give grapes of superior quality, this should be the second motive. In fact a study carried out by the prestigious  University of California Los Angeles UCLA (it has 3 Nobel Prize winners among its past students) upon a sample of 74.000 wine tasted by Wine Advocate-Robert Parker, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator revealed that the average rating on red wines made with organic and biodynamic grapes is  5,6 points higher with respect to the rest. An advantage that decreases by 1,3 points for white wines. A powerful sign that ought to be considered with attention by those who aim at producing excellent wines.

DonatellaCinelliColombini-vineyard-organic-cultivation

DonatellaCinelliColombini-vineyard-organic-cultivation

The reasons to choose a regime that respects nature are also dictated by the desire that one has to live in the midst of the vineyards . Without  touching the situations where there is true pollution such as those shown on the  France 2 Cash Investigation program in February 2016 in the  Bordeaux area, where the analysis carried out on kids hair revealed the absorption of prohibited and cancerous substances, there is a new awareness regarding the environment that pusher all of us to live in a healthy ambiance. Environments which have been put at risk by farming practices where chemicals are used even in a controlled manner such as the “lutte raisonnée”.

In the same way, whoever practices organic farming, realizes that it is not enough for u s to be able to deliver a natural environment to future generations, we must do more. Copper is a polluting metal, its use in the Vineyard must be diminished. It is on the other hand necessary to learn how to use mushrooms, mating disruption, increase in the predator population already present I the environment to create biological to reinforce the plants’ “immune defenses” and also turn to other natural methods like using seaweed.

Trebbiatura in un'antica stampa

Super selection of only 320 bottles of Passito di Traminer

Passito 2105: a sweet masterpiece born from a vineyard that is 50 years old, that is cultivated organically and that grows thanks to Carlo and Barbara’s attentions

Passito-di-Traminer-Fattoria-del-Colle

Passito-di-Traminer-Fattoria-del-Colle

An exclusive production to which Carlo Gardini, Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s husband dedicates assiduous care and attention together with Barbara Magnani the cellar master. The Sanchimento vineyard from her the Passito grapes come is nearly 50 years old and it is the oldest at Fattoria del Colle. This age gives the wine elements of finesse, complexity and minerality.

This is an artisan Passito made with a lot of passion and nothing else. Carlo and Barbara fuss over the crates where the Traminer grapes are put as if they were baby cribs. They move them according to the sun, they shelter them inside if it rains and they check every cluster every day to be sure that the natural drying proceeds perfectly. A very big job for just 120 litres of production, justified only by the great passion that the pair has for sweet wines.

Traminer-grapes-for-the Passito-di.Traminer-Carlo-Gardini-

Traminer-grapes-for-the Passito-di.Traminer-Carlo-Gardini-

Donatella Cinelli Colombini does not share their enthusiasm, quite the contrary for her a wine must have a nice intense ruby colour, so she does not take part in the tastings where Carlo and Barbara taste Sauternes, Tokay moulded wines and Passito from all over the world. Fortunately not everybody feels the same as Donatella and their efforts have been rewarded by 93/100 for the 2013 production from the important US magazine “Wine Advocate”.

The Passito comers from deep and well drained soils, from quaternary era, characterized by clay in also in conglomerate form. The Traminer vineyard is cultivated in organic regime. It is next to the Chapel at Fattoria del Colle, 404 m above sea level.

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.

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.

Donne del vino e non solo

Wine tours at Casato Prime Donne winery

Two wine tours to discover Brunello: Itinerant tastings among the barrels dedicated to wine and music or wine and history

Wine-tours-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne

Wine-Tours-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino is a treasure chest full of passion for wine and the territory and it proposes, for wine lovers who come to visit, two wine tours than can charm even the most expert Brunello estimators. The itinerant wine and music tasting with 4 wines to taste in different locations through the winery for which the sommelier musician Igor Vazzaz has chosen matching pieces of music. So, in the near darkness of the large barrel cellar, the Brunello is tasted together with the Sonata for solo cello opus 8, Adagio con gran espressione (1915) by Zoltàn Kodàly.

Tour-in-thewinery-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne

Wine-tours-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne

<<His majesty Brunello sumptuous and austere, grave and regal. The articulated taste shim needs music and acoustic frequency are able to favour the rare profound characteristics that a wine like this presents those who taste it>> wrote Vazzaz.

ITINERANT HISTORY AND WINE TOUR

The novelty, launched on September 18th 2016, is the wine and history tasting apt for the lovers of wine and the Montalcino territory. In this case too the tasting is itinerant along a tour through the winery and regards 4 wines:  IGT Rosato Rosa di Tetto, Chianti Superiore DOCG, Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino.

turisti del vino

Women and wine 10 false clichés

Julien Miguel the most social wine maker in the world shows us 10 common clichés regarding women and wine that must be exposed, 1st point they buy the most wine

images1By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Orcia Doc, Fattoria del Colle

Social Vignerons the blog by Julien is one of the most influent the world over and his followers are worthy of the quality of his articles: 254.825 on Twitter, 14.445 son Facebook, 40.058 on  Instagram, 7.334 on LinkedIn … practically all of those who love reading about wine online.

Lady-Sommelier-Karen-Casagrande

Lady-Sommelier-Karen-Casagrande

The posts that are published by this French winemaker, who turned to the web while in New Zealand, to then return to Europe last year, are always very interesting.  The article << Women and Wine? Let’s shrug off dusty clichés!>>  is to be framed. Read it and then continue scouring his blog because Social Vignerons will fascinate you.

So let us see which are these myths to be exposed regarding wines and women that Julien Miguel re-proposes from the graph by Feminalise the wine competition that takes place in Beaune in Burgundy –this year it will be on April 6th – and regards 4.000 labels from all over the world blind tasted by a jury of 750 female experts from 18 nations

  1. Men buy more wine than women– INCORRECT Women are the 1st buyers of wine in the world. In the US: Women make 83% of wine purchase UK: 80%     France: 70%         Switzerland: 60% Australia: 57%
  2. Women only drink white and sweet wines-INCORRECT They drink mostly Red. On the American continent and Europe, women drink: Red 57%, White 30%, Rosé 13%
  1. Men drink all the wine, women wash the glasses -INCORRECT: Women drink more wine than men More than 51% of wine drinkers are women everywhere in the world. 85% of them think that wine is a moment of pleasure and sharing
    Women-and-wine

    Women-and-wine

  2. Women don’t know how to buy wine. WRONG: They buy wine mostly for its ability to pair perfectly with food. Women’s choice is driven by variety, region or country, label and suitability with food. While men’s wine selection is more status-driven, drawn to particular brands with price factor. Overall, nearly 1/5 women that are highly involved, meaning knowledgeable about wine, have an interest in the category and/or consider themselves collectors
  3. Wines made by women are for women FALSE: There is no specific wine for women

Wine & Siena brings Brunello into the centre of the Gothic city

Wine&Siena on January 21st and 22nd transforms historic buildings of the Gothic capital into tasting rooms for great wines by 250 wineries [caption id="attachment_11837" align="alignleft" width="300"] Wine&Siena-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini[/caption] By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Brunello, Casato Prime Donne Wine&Siena: we are at desk 165 in the sala Mappamondo of the Palazzo Pubblico with our Brunello...

Brunello 2012 Prime Donne, satisfying and enduring

The 2012 vintage has been rated 5 stars in the Montalcino territory and it is the first great Brunello Prime Donne in the new millennium style.

The high summer temperatures and the drought that lasted fifteen months gave us Mediterranean and satisfying wines. The Brunello 2012 Prime Donne is extraordinary now and will also be long lasting.

Brunello-Prime-Donne-2012

That year the winter was cold and dry and even the abundant snowfalls did not irrigate the soil. The summer 2012 began with 12 months of previous dry weather and was dry an very hot even during the night. In those extreme conditions the vines demonstrated a surprising adaptability producing few clusters, small in size and most off, during the colouring of the grapes abandoned part of the fruit that remained green and were removed by the pickers during the green harvest. Nature moves in mysterious ways that mankind must watch with respect, that is why it can give exceptional results even in difficult conditions. The vineyards at Casato Prime Donne situated o the North side of the Montalcino slope, the cooler side, in 2012 well resisted the hydro stress also thanks to the clayey component of the soil  and to the continues hoeing that kept the soil soft. The 2012 harvest is consequently a memorable one with all the clusters healthy and perfectly ripe.

Sangiovese-2012-300x225

2012-harvest-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne

The  Brunello 2012 Prime Donne is chosen by a panel of 4 female expert tasters from all of the Donatella Cinelli Colombini production,  and it distinguishes itself because of its heavier structure and its traditional style. The tasters meet once or twice a year and are the English Master Wine Rosemary George, the German wine shop owner Astrid Schwarz, one of the best Italian sommeliers Daniela Scrobogna and the Italo-American Pr Marina Thompson. In some years the tasters have decide not to produce a Brunello Prime Donne, but when they do, as in 2012, they always create small masterpieces that obtain excellent ratings from the most important international press.

Wine Lady: the 3 ladies of Italian wine in the USA

Wine Lady: a title for Monica Larner, Karin O’Keefe, and Alison Napjus, tasters of Italian wines for Robert Parker-Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator

larner

Wine-Lady-Monica-Larner

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

If the American wine market is not entirely dominated by women, but we are nearly there. Let me introduce you to 3 different Wine Lady, the women who taste Italian wines for the main USA wine magazines. They are great experts, young, intelligent, open and hard workers as they work without rest.  Monica Larner, Kerin O’Keefe, Alison Napjus are the ones who give the ratings to the Italian wines for the most influential magazines on the American market Robert Parker-Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and  Wine Spectator. Their ratings open the doors to Canadian monopolies and get wines into the wine lists of the most exclusive restaurants; they also help wineries in starting rapports with new importers. In other words they help in launching towards success.

Let’s get to know these three wine women better

Kerin-O'Keefe-Wine-Lady

Kerin-O’Keefe-Wine-Lady

MONICA LARNER

Monica Larner is from California but lives in Rome. She comes from a family where wine and cinema cohabit and it was during filming of the TV series “World War II” that she arrived in Italy in 1983. Her life continued between the family winery in the Ballard Canyon in Santa Barbara (California) and journalism that she studied in the universities of Boston and New York. In her professional life there are some experiences with daily newspapers such as La Repubblica and The Herald Tribune, the AIS sommelier course, many books on Italy and an immense photo archive of about 50.000 images.

Brunello 2012, five stars, a dream of a wine

Great vintage for Brunello and for Casato Prime Donne where the vineyards give their best when the weather is really hot

Brunello-di-Montalcino-2012-Casato-Prime-Donne

Brunello-di-Montalcino-2012-Casato-Prime-Donne

The Casato Prime Donne winery belonged to Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s ancestors already at the end of the 16th century when they were paying taxes for the cultivation of the land. It was used as a hunting lodge and for honeymoons, and for 4 centuries it has never been sold but has been passed down from one generation to another.

Since 1998 it is the first Italian winery to be staffed only by women: the cellar staff, the sales staff and the reception staff all are girls. The Casato Prime Donne wines are exported into 34 nations around the world and receive excellent ratings from wine critics all over the world.

Brunello-di-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne-2012

Brunello-di-Montalcino-Casato-Prime-Donne-2012

This Brunello comes from 16 hectares of vineyard – pruning, cleaning, tying green harvest and harvest – all done by a team of 8 expert grape growers. Casato Prime Donne is on the northern slope of Montalcino, the cooler area that has had the most benefits from the  surrounding the winery where only Sangiovese is grown. The vines are reared, pruned tied harvested all manually by a team of 8 expert grape growers. Casato Prime Donne is on the northern slope of Montalcino the cooler area that has had most benefits thanks to the global warming and particularly in the hot dry vintages such as 2012, is where absolute excellence is created. In the Brunello territory the 2012 vintage is considered a top year with 5 stars. 

Type: dry red.

Production area: Tuscany, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Where does Donatella and Violante's dove fly?

A new video for the  Cinelli Colombini winery but no change in the protagonist, Violante Gardini, together with a dove that flies through the Brunello and Orcia vines

 

This year too our estate video is out of the ordinary! Two and a half minutes to talk about the  all female staffed estates  belonging to Donatella, Casato Prime Donne in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in southern  Chianti, a quick rhythm of images of the vines, the barrels, the vats, the grapes and bottles….with a lively rhythmical music , like a music box. The novelty, for the very traditional Italian world of is the presence of a cartoon dove that comes out of the Brunello “IOsonoDONATELLA” label and accompanies us in the discovery of the first wineries in Italy to be staffed by only women.

The- doves- at-Casato-Prime-Donne

The- dove-s at-Casato-Prime-Donne

It flies along the vines with curiosity during the harvest, it goes into the fermentation hall where the bare concrete truncated cone shake vats are decorated with images, real, and painted, of Montalcino, it peeps in at the wine tasting organized for the  Brunello Prime Donne with the Master of Wine Rosemary George, the sommelier Daniela Scrobogna and the wine shop owner Astrid Schwarz who blind taste while the wine maker Valerie Lavigne  and the cellar master Barbara Magnani try to combine the wine from different barrels looking for the perfect balance.

2015, for the Leone rosso wine, is a roaring year

Leone Rosso: 5 star harvest that many consider identical to 2010 because of the exceptional quality of the grapes and because of the similarity in the climate.

 

Leone Rosso 2015 veraison-August 4th

Leone Rosso 2015 veraison-August 4th

In both years the rainy winter was followed by a very hot July and a warm August. The only big difference between these two great vintages is in the quantity of the grapes picked: in 2010 because of the spring showers that disturbed the flowering.

The cool September with cold nights and sunny days brought to a well balanced ripening of the grapes so that the concentration of the sugars and acids proceeded at the same pace with the noble substances – polyphenols – as in the skins.

The DOC Orcia denomination to which the Leone Rosso wine belongs was born on

Leone Rosso 2015 Fattoria del Colle

Leone Rosso 2015 Fattoria del Colle

February 14th 2000 and is produced in 13 municipalities between the areas producing Brunello di Montalcino  and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Leon Rosso is born at Fattoria del Colle an estate that covers 335 hectares at 404 m above sea level on the crest of hills that face the Crete Senesi. The soil is made up prevalently of sands and sea clays. The vineyards are cultivated according to the organic regime, mainly by hand and with great care.

The name of the wine comes from the Socini blazon, these were ancestors of the present owner, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, and built the estate in 1592.This was them confiscated shortly after because they were members of the protestant reform- Fattoria del Colle was bought back for the family in by Donatella’s great grandfather in 1919, and shehas been running it since 1998..

November 4-8, Merano Wein Festival

In the most exclusive wine tasting in Italy we too will be present with 5 awarded wines among which the two Brunello 2012 previews, each with a gold medal

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini 

Merano_Wein_Festival

Merano_Wein_Festival

Merano Wine Festival for the last 25 years has been the appointment not to be missed for those who work with or love high quality wines, because those invited to participate are only the best wineries and the best wines. The organizer Helmuth Köcher was born in Merano, he has a degree in Political Sciences taken in  Innsbruck, he often wears black and has a strong personality; he is practically a myth for his unlimited competence regarding wine and food excellencies from all over the world.IT is he together with two friends who have created in 1992 the GourmetClub Alto Adige and the

Brunello di Montalcino 2012 DonatellaCinelliColombini

Brunello di Montalcino 2012 DonatellaCinelliColombini

Merano WineFestival, first Italian event to accept only producers of high quality wines. Today next to the wines are served also oil, grappa and other foods, also from abroad and from 100 Italian high end gastronomy.

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