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Rosa di Tetto IGT 2018 BIO

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents her Rosa di tetto 2018 IGT Toscana 2018 for the first time BIO, organic, and for the first time in a “fine wine” version

first harvest with organic certification for Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s wineries and first “Rosa di Tetto” rosé BIO. Our vineyards have always been cultivated with manual care but since 2014 we have begun to follow the protocols and we have begun to  be checked on by an external entity that allowed us to obtain the certification and consequently the green leaf, symbol of an organic winery, on the label.

STORY OF A NAME AND OF A FARM WINE

At Fattoria del Colle the production of rosé began more than 30 years ago with the name “Aqua di Tetto”. When Donatella Cinelli Colombini received from her father the farm she decided to change the name because the previous one led to imagine a red wine that had been watered down.

2018-sangiovese-harvest-Fattoria-del-Colle-Toscana

She chose Rosa di Tetto because it recalls the first name buy is also inspired by the climbing roses that grow on the facade of the 16th century villa so high that they get under the roof tiles.

ROSA DI TETTO-FAMILY WINE

The rosé Rosa di Tetto is produced in limited series of 2,500 bottles obtained through Sangiovese grapes from the vineyards at Fattoria del Colle that were picked and vinified on the estate. So this is a “family wine” or as we would say in Tuscany , “Vino di Fattoria”.

2016 vintage of Il Drago e le 8 Colombe Super Tuscan

2016, another 5 star vintage, and finally one that is perfect for wines apt for long ageing. Il Drago e le 8 Colombe an auteur bottle for great wine lovers

Il-Drago-e-le-8-Colombe 2016

In 2016 the vegetative cycle of the vines was very very long: the vines budded 15 days sooner than usual, but the harvest took place in October, as was usual traditionally. This was because the ripening of the grapes was gradual and slow: something rare during this era of climatic changes that gave great joy to the producers. In fact the ripening of the grape skin (poliphenolic) and that of the pulp (technological) went hand in hand and this circumstance always produces extremely elegant wines.

THE NAME IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE

This wine was born to celebrate the only man in Donatella Cinelli Colombini’s wineries, my husband Carlo Gardini. These wineries are the first in Italy to be all female staffed. But Carlo is however always present with his advice and his passion for great red wines, that sometimes, are completely different to those that I love.

THE STORY OF IL DRAGO E LE 8 COLOMBE

“Il Drago e le 8 Colombe” was originally “Il Drago e le 7 Colombe” and was renamed with the arrival of our consultant wine maker Valérie Lavigne. On that occasion the blend too was changed, today it is a 60% Sangiovese 20% Merlot and 20% Sagrantino. Three varieties that give different characteristic to the wine: the Sangiovese gives elegance, the Merlot pleasantness, and the Sagrantino increases the structure. All the grapes have been grown on the state, following the organic regime, and are picked, vinified and aged in barrel separately to be assembled before bottling.

This is a small production between 8,000-16,000 bottles per year, a masterpiece. Often this type of wine is called Super Tuscan because although it doesn’t belong to any appellation is aims at high quality, even though with freedom with respect to the rules that are enforced by the DOC appellations. For this reason Donatella Cinelli Colombini has inserted among the varieties for the Il Drago e Le 8 Colombe the Sagrantino, typical variety used in Umbria, its administrative boundary lines, end just about 10 km from the Fattoria del Colle vineyards.

Sanchimento IGT Toscana 2018 BIO

Bianco Sanchimento 2018 from Fattoria del Colle, for the first time BIO (organic). Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents the first products of her environment- friendly choice.

The white wine “Sanchimento” and the rosé “Rosa di Tetto” are the first wines with organic certification produced at Fattoria del Colle. This wine is obtained from grapes from a small vineyard around the chapel of the estate. Its name comes in fact from the patron saint of the small church, Pope Clement I martyr in 97 AD. in Sebastopol. San Chimento is in fact the medieval name given to the same Saint and still today used by the local population.

SANCHIMENTO, A FARM WINE, WITH ITS OWN CHAPEL

 

The small Sanchimento vineyard was planted in 1989 with Traminer grapes on the north side of the hill that goes up behind the chapel at Fattoria del Colle 404 m above sea level. The soil is deep with mostly clay and quaternion deposits.

Sanchimento IGT Toscana 2018

So Sanchimento is a “family wine” obtained through grapes grown on the farm, picked by hand, vinified in a state-of-the-art manner and bottled in a limited production of 2,000 bottles.

The 2018 vintage is particular for its extraordinary aromatic richness thanks to a cool summer and a sunny autumn, but with great diurnal temperature variations.

Foglia Tonda is a new star of the Tuscan vineyard

Forum regarding the old grape variety called Foglia Tonda with wines from 9 wineries. Donatella Cinelli Colombini and Gianni Fabrizio tell the story and the characteristics

 

Foglia-Tonda-Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini

On Friday February the 1st at Fattoria del Colle, in Southern Tuscany, the Foglia Tonda grape variety will make its debut into wine society, where there is a comparison between great winemaking in front of great wine critics. Donatella Cinelli Colombini, host and initiator of the rediscovery of this old Sienese grape variety abandoned more than 100 years ago and now once again of interest to the market and to the experts. She together with another 8 colleagues will tell the story and give a tasting of wines based on Foglia Tonda variety.

 

FOGLIA TONDA FORUM – HOW IT WAS ORGANIZED

<<We found 18 wineries producing Foglia Tonda and 9 of them, from all over Tuscany have replied to our invitation. The forum allows a group of experts and influencers to get to know the Foglia Tonda characteristics better, within its terroir and style differences>>explained the famous taster and journalist Gianni Fabrizio. He will guide the tasting of three of the wines presents obtained with only  Foglia Tonda , where some aged in an amphora will give the possibility of better understanding the fruit, ad two blends will give the possibility to consider the potential of Foglia Tonda as a partner for  Sangiovese, main variety in Tuscany. The other 4 wines will be served directly by their producers with an around the table setting.

 

Foglia-tonda-forum-2019

PARTICIPANTS OF THE FOGLIA TONDA FORUM

Podere Sequerciani (Gavorrano GR), Podere Ema (Grassina FI), Mocine (Asciano SI), Il Castellaccio (Castagneto Carducci LI), Donatella Cinelli Colombini Az.Agr. (Trequanda SI), Mammuccini Droandi Nuova Agricoltura (Montevarchi AR), Podere Anima Mondi (Casciana Terme PI), Santa Vittoria (Foiano della Chiana AR), Poggio al Vento Mascelloni (Castiglion d’Orcia SI).

Valentine’s Day with romance and wine

At Fattoria del Colle for dinner on February 14th or a whole weekend dedicated to love, Brunello and aphrodisiac aromas

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day dinner – February 14th – candlelit dinner with a menu concentrated on love. The weekend 15-17 February with erotic aromas, Benvenuto Brunello and romantic rites for wine loving couplet. An intense and unrepeatable program to enjoy your passions

 

VALENTINE’S DINNER

Here is the brief proposal for Valentine’s Day. Romantic dinner in the restaurant veranda at  Fattoria del Colle: slow music, candles, menu with typical traditional Tuscan dishes with aphrodisiac ingredients , such as “ ciancifricola” with quail eggs, panpepato, truffles, saffron, cloves, chocolate….(4 courses, wines not included 34 euro) to be matched with fine wines such as Brunello or Brunello Riserva, Cenerentola Doc Orcia …. For those who wish to prepare their skin for a night of romance dinner can be preceded by massages with extra virgin olive oil or vino-therapy treatments for the couple, or, still as a couple, a bath in the panoramic Jacuzzi.

 

VALENTINE’S WEEKEND AND BENVENUTO BRUNELLO

Fattoria del Colle couples massage with extra virgin olive oil

The most romantic weekend this year coincides with Benvenuto Brunello, a preview of the Montalcino wines (tickets to be bough directly from the Consorzio del Brunello website) where the exceptional Brunello Riserva 2013 will be presented. Montalcino is about 35 km from Fattoria del Colle.

DISCOVERING SEDUCTIVE PERFUMES

Our 2019 program for Valentine’s weekend is dedicated to wine, erotic scents and romance. The experience of perfuming your body and the explanations regarding the seductive character of certain essences come from Gloria Del Dottore expert in artistic perfuse. Together with Gloria women in love will take an aromatic journey to understand how to wear the more voluptuous perfumes and when o the other hand to wear fragrances that give energy or that relax.

The rooms and apartments are furnished with antique furniture; they have the intimacy of authentic places and are particularly apt for this type of stay.

Felix before, during and after surgery

Felix the blonde golden retriever, king of Fattoria del Colle, has had surgery for two skin tumours. He is well but we have been worried.

Felix-king-of-Fattoria-del-Colle-straight-after-surgery

Greedy, lazy, a snuggler, a wimp ….Felix welcomes, with a waggly tail all those who arrive at Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. Everybody loves him.

 

DISCOVERING THE TUMOURS

During the summer we discovered that Felix had a strange bump on his back, and its pathology revealed that is was a skin tumour. This shocked us greatly. When we took him to the vet for surgery, we also discovered a second bump that after the incision resulted in being a second tumour even bigger than the first.

A few hours after surgery, when Felix came home, all his back had been shaved and he had two long scars, but he was walking, and hungry.

The scan and pathology on lymph nodes, liver and pancreas found no metastasis; we are worried, but have avoided chemo. We will keep him under check and if we see any suspect symptoms we will take action, but we did not want him to be unwell because of invasive therapy. This might have been a selfish decision but he is serene and he must live a good life until his health allows him to.

In the meantime he has pulled out 5 stitches rubbing against a hedge. Great amount of worry, and more stitches! For a few days he was “under special surveillance” and he was allowed out only accompanied. For him that was very strange as he lives free to come and go all day long, following Donatella Cinelli Colombini and barking with his big baritone voice when he finds a shut door. He actually hates shut doors!

 

LET ME PRESENT FELIX

Our Golden retriever is enormous he weighs over 50kg, but he acts like a puppy. He is very fearsome, he is scared of thunder and he hides under the desks for protection.

Violante-and-Felix-in-the-vineyard

Rifle shots have the same effect, consequently  when out for a walk he runs home if he hears the hunters. On the other hand is he fascinated by deer, wild boar and porcupines, he doesn’t run after them but he sits aiming at them

and barks while wagging his tail.

Felix is unrepentantly greedy. The vet calls him “pastasciutta”. He is able to finish his dish (one hamburger, half a chicken breast and beef with rice and zucchini, twice a day) in just a few minutes and then he wanders over to the restaurant, sits by the door waiting, as if famished.

Saffron and the Montalcino recipe for tripe

To pick a kilogram of saffron you need 150 thousand flowers. In medieval times it was used instead of gold and today it is used in the kitchens of the greatest chefs, but in Montalcino it is the main ingredient in the recipe for tripe

HISTORY

Arnolfo-ColleDiValD’Elsa-risotto with lemon, blue lobster saffron

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The name comes from Persia, Zaafran , and in fact it comes from Asia and the southern coast of the Mediterranean, even though, for many centuries it has also been cultivated in Marche, Abruzzi, Sardinia, Umbria, Toscana and Basilicata.

It is the most valuable of spices.

Around this flower there is a legend:  Homer writes that saffron was a comfortable bed for Zeus, the old Romans used the flowers to cover the roads before the passage of prices and emperors.

It was also used for ministers’ headdresses for ceremonies, and for dyeing their robes.

saffron

For this reason too, apart from the quotations by Pliny and Ovid we are sure that the Romans knew of saffron, but its cultivation then was lost and began again in L’Aquila thanks to the Dominican Padre Santucci who imported it secretly from Spain.

CULTIVATION

Saffron is a crocus about 5 cm long from which generally three violet flowers with red stigmas. It loves dry climates and a sandy soil such as those in the Val d’Orcia dove where is has been grown since time immemorial.

The type that is most prestigious and desired by those who love good cuisine is the Crocus sativus which is sterile and reproduces only thanks to cloning.

It was selected in Crete by impassioned cultivators who were trying to better the production of stigmas.

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 

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.

Lighting for summer dinners at Fattoria del Colle

Summer nights in the countryside, lights, glow worms, outdoor meals. New lighting for  summer dinners at the  Fattoria del Colle restaurant

Lighting-for summer-dinners-Fattoria-del-Colle

Lighting-for summer-dinners-Fattoria-del-Colle

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

For those who come from abroad it is a must: in Italy one must bring light cloche, flip flops and dine under the stars. Millionaires and tourists-on-the-road alike, everyone has the same romantic dream. Obviously their necessities differ: from costly and exclusive events where film producers and starred chefs create unique and private experiences…to glamour events where lights and music create the right atmosphere for famous and less famous people, but everyone is anxious to be seen and photographed by some gossip magazine.

Lighting-for-summer-dinners-Fattoria-del-Colle-before-dinner

Lighting-for-summer-dinners-Fattoria-del-Colle-before-dinner

And so on until we get to the locations apt for a vaster public: the Sicilian ”baglio”, the “masseria” in Puglia, the medieval hamlet in Tuscany … and not to mention the classical terraces overlooking the sea and the tables in the squares of the historical towns and villages with views of artistic monuments .

The open air dinner is part of a trip to Italy just like a visit to the Coliseum or like a true pizza. It is up to us to transform them into magical moments and the lighting has a very important role

FATTORIA DEL COLLE BY NIGHT

At Fattoria del Colle we have tried to put a little originality to our nights and we hope to offer special experiences for outdoor dinners.

Archi, a villa for parties

Magnificent panorama, swimming pool and private parks, dining room with monumental fireplace, 5 bathrooms and 7 bedrooms with air conditioning. Villa Archi is a perfect Tuscan villa for parties 

Villa-for-parties-Toscana-Archi-Fattoria-del-Colle-agriturismo

Villa-for-parties-Toscana-Archi-Fattoria-del-Colle-agriturismo

The luxury of a 2000 sq m villa and a garden that extends over one hectare and that reached the olive groves and the surrounding vineyards. The unique experience of living in a building three hundred years old that still has its porch with its outdoor oven and threes is a fireplace so large you can sit in it. A villa in exclusive use, with nobody else around, in the silence of the countryside.

A truly authentic Tuscan retreat but also modernly equipped: the 7 bedrooms have air conditioning (5 bathrooms), Wi-Fi, TV, a fitted kitchen … In other words there is the intimacy imparted by the antique furnishings, the freedom of wide open spaces and some of the most beautiful panoramas in Tuscany, together with the luxury of a private swimming pool for your sole use right in front of the villa.

Villa-for-parties-Toscana-Archi-swimming-pool-Fattoria-del-Colle-agriturismo

Villa-for-parties-Toscana-Archi-swimming-pool-Fattoria-del-Colle-agriturismo

This is an ideal place to organize a holiday with friends, to sun bathe, to have dinner all together at the same table under the gazebo, or in the dining room in the villa. And for those who love enriching holidays it is possible to take part in cookery lessons, wine tastings,

tours … organized every day at

Fattoria del Colle.

Villa Archi is also apt for organizing a birthday or degree celebration. Fattoria del Colle with its small hamlet and restaurant is only about 200 m away hidden by an olive grove. It can supply traditional food, excellent wines, water and all that is necessary to organize a stylish party.

Cenerentola Doc Orcia, a wine with a crown

2016  old style harvest that excites wines lovers and puts a crown on the Cenerentola DOC Orcia label

A vintage this 2016 to be framed: depth, complexity, and finesse, and  longevity, characteristics that only a slow ripening of the grapes can give to a wine.

The Sangiovese, main variety used in Cenerentola DOC Orcia (together with Foglia Tonda), produces grapes that are meteoropathic, so can go mad and ruin if the climate is adverse. Its skin is made up of few layers of cells so it needs the help of the sun to express itself at its best. For this reason in the high hills of Southern Toscana, where the climate is dry but cool, Sangiovese has its ideal habitat and reached levels of excellence impossible elsewhere in the world.

Foglia-tonda-donatella-cinelli-colombini-225x300

There were surprises regarding the harvest date too: the vines had sprouted a good 15 days earlier than usual, and everyone, including us, thought that the harvest would have been precocious one. On the contrary already when the veraison happened (changing of the colour of the grapes from green to blue) the calendar of the vegetation cycle was already aligned with the traditional one, then the ripening proceeded regularly and slowly. In 2016 for the first time in a long time, the clusters reached the time of harvest at  a snail’s pace with a mass of sugar in the berries growing slower than the poliphenolic ripening, that of the noble substances in the skins. In 2016 the first semester of the year was very rainy, the soil was hydrated in depth creating reserves for the hot months, but also disturbing the flowering to such a point that the number and dimensions of the clusters  was drastically reduced. Then a topsy-turvy summer arrived. With hot days –over 35°c- alternated by storms of great violence, and the wine producers have been really scared that the hail would arrive. Those who like us were saved from the calamity, have had one of the best harvest man can remember.

The life of a wine producer: Donatella and her time

Donatella’s race with time, wine producer, wine blogger, president of various associations with an ambition to enjoy the wonderful territory where she lives

Donatella- University- of Pisa-teaching -wine-tourism

Donatella- University- of Pisa-teaching -wine-tourism

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fattoria del Colle – Trequanda, Casato Prime Donne, Montalcino

The worst day is Monday, and the most frenetic periods are those before and after trips abroad. Very long days with one interruption after another.

The arrival of internet has worsened the situation multiplying contacts and making holidays practically eclipse. I receive around 80 emails a day and I send off about 30. I have a very small portable computer that goes everywhere with me a, so I reply to the post even when I am away and have one wine tasting after the other and one appointment after the other. In fact when I am on the other side of the world some people seek my attention like a child pining for its mother and they write to me constantly, and in the end I reply quite curtly. After I am sorry and it takes me days to get the rapport back to normal, but I hate it when people deprive me of time when I want to think , sleep, and do things….. making me feel trapped.

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-Malta

Donatella-Cinelli-Colombini-Malta

This is how my holidays on my beloved isle of Gozo get reduced to three hours a day, because there is a problem, that to be solved from there takes lots of time. It is practically impossible because in the countryside there is no tradition in making appointments. Cellar staff, grape pickers, sales and tourism staff all come into my office and demand immediate attention, especially my lovely husband and volcanic daughter Violante.

Wine cats

After the winery dogs, now the wine cats, in other words 4 legged friends become a necessary presence in  boutique wineries

Read for you by Donatella Cinelli Colombini 

Wine cat

There is a legend about cats in the Vinsanto lofts in the Chianti region. Nobody has ever seen them but everyone talks about these felines that used to spend their whole life in the dark lofts protecting the small vinsanto barrels from the mice. In truth is does rather seem a tale because the places most loved by these hungry mice were the cellars and most of all the places where cold cuts, cheeses and nuts were stored. But for centuries cats have been welcomed in country homes and in cellars where excellent wines are made thanks to the passion of the producers who live there. These wineries are called “boutiques” small establishments where the owner has his home, surrounded by the vineyards, kept like gardens.

                                               

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