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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.

Donatella Cinelli Colombini presents herself part 2

In 1998 when I left my family’s estate (one of the oldest and most prestigious producing Brunello) to create my own, that bears my name, it really seemed a “mission impossible” By Donatella Cinelli Colombini [caption id="attachment_10091" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Donatella Cinelli Colombini Cavaliere della Repubblica"][/caption] Again like in my other troubled chellenges I...

Zuppa pasqualina di Montalcino

Grape harvest weekend in Tuscany

Take part to the grape harvest of Brunello wine and Chianti in the vineyards, in the cellar and sit at the table of Donatella Cinelli Colombini restaurant [caption id="attachment_7225" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="grape harvest at Fattoria del Colle"][/caption] An unique experience to discover how the great tuscan red wines such as Brunello, Chianti...

Your wonderful wedding in Tuscany

For those who desire a romantic wedding beautiful landscapes and nature are perfect frames. At Fattoria del Colle – country inn in Tuscany you get the best [caption id="attachment_7015" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Wedding at Fattoria del Colle"][/caption] The most requested location is the Belvedere, a horse-shoe shaped area surrounded buy a seating and...

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