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Producer Profile: Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Donatella Cinelli Colombini is all about 'new beginnings'....

Producer profile: Donatella Cinelli Colombini

If her brother Stefano at Fattoria dei Barbi represents tradition and continuity, Donatella Cinelli Colombini is all about new beginnings; her wine label with the dove (colomba in Italian) in flight is pregnant with meaning.

She inherited the Casato estate from her mother Francesca, the grande dame of Montalcino wine, in 1998.

Since then Cinelli Colombini, who is a softly spoken but extremely determined lady, has embarked on an endless succession of innovative projects.

One of her first missions was to create a winery exclusively staffed by women – referred to in the Casato Prime Donne estate name.

She has given free rein to her passion for art (she is an art history graduate) in commissions for paintings, sculpture and various installations scattered around the cellars and the estate.

Cinelli Colombini is completely replanting her vineyards on the hills north of the village.

She ferments with strains of indigenous yeasts, selected on the estate.

Her latest innovation is to move over to conical cement fermenting vats – cutting-edge stuff.

As for the wines themselves, with the arrival of French oenologist Valérie Lavigne, they have taken a new direction, characterised by precision, elegance and succulent fruit.

Richard Baudains is the regional chair for Veneto in the Decanter World Wine Awards.

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