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How it was born

premio casato

how it was born


It was in 1998 that Donatella Cinelli Colombini left her family’s estate to start her own, made up of Casato in Montalcino and Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. Along with the vineyards and with the farmhouses to be renovated, Donatella received a quantity of Brunello di Montalcino, and so she needed a cellar master to see to its barrel-ageing. She called the Enology School in Siena, asking for a good student to hire. They answered that they had none; cellar masters had to be booked years in advance. They mentioned, however, that they had many female cellar masters available, since no important winery wanted to employ them.
This episode gave birth to the Prime Donne Project, that is divided into 4 parts:


Casato Prime Donne Winery


Casato Prime Donne Winery with its all female staff, including the wine maker, practically a flagship for equal opportunities for women in the wine world.


Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne


The first Italian red wine suitable for ageing, selected by female tasters. IT is chosen by a tasting panel composed of four female taters who choose where and for how long to age it in barrel. They are Rosemary George, Master of Wine, the German wine expert Astrid Schwarz, one of the best Italian sommeliers and teachers Daniela Scrobogna and the Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth.


Casato Prime Donne Award


International journalism and photography award, crowns the “Prima donna”, a female figure who is either an example or a help to the female world.

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Ilda Bartoloni Hall and the Prime Donne Trail


The tasting hall at Casato Prime Donne, houses the winning pictures of the photographic section of the Award and is dedicated to the RAI journalist Ilda Bartolini 1946-2009 to whom we owe the formula of this event. On the walls hang the winning photographs in a unique gallery regarding the Val d’Orcia and its wines.

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Video of the Prime Donne trail


Video of the Prime Donne trail: a path through the Brunello vineyards with dedication quotes of the winners of the Casato Prime Donne Award and works of contemporary Tuscan artists.

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