All the clichés of a bucolic paradise come to a head at Casato Prime Donne, a gem of a winery nestled in the hills of the idyllic Brunello di Montalcino region. The majestic views alone of the surrounding vineyards are to die for, while the splendid wines produced at this historic estate are simply magnificent – powerful, structured, complex and very long-lived.
Casato Prime Donne is one of the oldest estates in Brunello di Montalcino, with a history that dates back to the 16th century. Indeed, records show that the property belonged to the current owner’s ancestors as far back as 1592, passing down from generation to generation over the centuries without any outside interference.
Yet when Donatella Colombini’s grandmother inherited the Tuscan estate, things would change dramatically. Prior to that time, the Casato was used by Donatella’s maternal forefathers for hunting and for family events like weddings, with the family patriarchs controlling most aspects of its day-to-day management. However, the transfer of power to Colobbini’s grandmother heralded a new matriarchal era for Casato Prime Donne, with control passing to the current owner, Donatella, in the late 1990s.
Since that day, Donatella has made significant and lasting changes to her family’s legacy, uniting two separate properties – the Casato in Montalcino and the Fattoria del Colle – under one proud banner in 1998. She then undertook a massive program of investment, replanting all 33 hectares of vineyards and building two new wineries at Fattoria del Colle and Casato Prime Donne in 2001 and 2002 respectively. But this is nothing compared to her revolutionary approach to the firm’s management; Donatella Cinelli Colombini has founded the first Italian winery run solely by women, a decision that raised more than a few eyebrows in the late 1990s.
Of course, Donatella has since been vindicated, as Casato Prime Donne is today producing utterly stupendous Brunello di Montalcino, loved by critics and aficionados alike. Her most revolutionary brand is the Prime Donne selection, which is chosen each year by a tasting panel of four women. Elegant, refined, complex and long-lived, it is more than a match for super-expensive labels such as Poggio di Sotto and Casanova di Neri.
A fitting testament to the energy, hard work and brilliance of the team at Casato Prime Donne!
Brunello di Montalcino Progetto Prime Donne
100% Sangiovese. After fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak for 12 months, before being subject to a further period of barrel ageing in 15-40 hl Slavonian oak. A classical structured Brunello, Progetto Prime Donne can be cellared for several decades after release.
Rosso di Montalcino
100% Sangiovese. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 6-12 months in oak barrels. A softer, more approachable wine that Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino will cellar for 4-5 years after release.
Brunello di Montalcino Iosono Donatella
100% Sangiovese. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak. The wine is then aged for 2 further years in 30-40 hl Allier and Slavonian oak. The prestige, icon wine of the property, produced in minute quantities.
Brunello di Montalcino – Casato Prime Donne
100% Sangiovese. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 months in small French oak barrels. The wine is then aged in 15-40 hl Allier and Slavonian oak casks
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
100% Sangiovese. After fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak. The wine is then aged for 2 further years in 30-40 hl Allier and Slavonian oak. Only made in small quantities, the 2010 Riserva has been hailed as one of the greatest Brunellos of all time.
Località Casato, 17
Tel +34 0577849421
- DOCG Brunello di Montalcino
- Area under vine
- 33 hectares (owned) (16 in Casato Prime Donne)
- Age of vines
- 30 years+ Low yields
- Oak barrel origin
- French / Slavonian
- Barbara Magnani
- Donatella Cinelli Colombini
- 160,000 bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
- Grape varietals