Heinz Beck, Rome’s only Michelin three-star chef and one of only five in Italy, will host customized cooking classes this fall and in 2008 at the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany.
Beck at Banfi, as the luxury cultural travel package is being called, will include three nights at the recently opened Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, 14 luxury rooms and suites in the 17th century hamlet nestled alongside the medieval fortress, and dinner at the Michelin-star rated Castello Banfi – Il Ristorante. The Beck culinary expedition will be augmented by wine tastings designed by Sharron McCarthy, Certified Specialist of Wine, Director of the Society of Wine Educators, and a nationally respected food and wine consultant. Ms. McCarthy has worked with Castello Banfi’s winemakers to craft an in-depth wine appreciation program for a broad range of interest and expertise levels. Attendance at each of the sessions is limited to no more than fourteen people.
Author of “L’Arte e Scienza del Servizio” on the art of food service, as well as individual cook books focusing on finger food, pasta and vegetarian, Chef Beck is a passionate dynamo of energy and creativity. He will host two cooking demonstrations focusing on traditional Tuscan cuisine and its contemporary interpretations, continuing the discussions over lunch at Castello Banfi – La Taverna which specializes in traditional local dishes. Also a certified sommelier, Chef Beck will explore ideal pairings with Castello Banfi estate wines and cooking not only with wine, but for it – combining taste sensations where the result is greater than the sum of its parts. The group will visit local artisan producers of honey, cheese, olive oil , and other regional bounties.
Castello Banfi winemakers and sommeliers will guide the wine appreciation program, starting in the vineyards to explore the unique soil types of the estate’s microclimate and the vines that ideally pair to those soils for maximum expression of character and depth. In the winery, they will demonstrate how that promise is carried through by blending innovation and tradition to nurture wines in hygienic conditions that reduce sulfites and histamines. Tasters will join winemakers to follow the development of wine through the long, patient aging process, and then taste and compare the results in our tasting room under uniform, methodical processes established by experts and practiced by professionals.
The estate visit culminates with dinner prepared by Castello Banfi’s chef Guido Haverkock, an early protégé of Beck who earned Castello Banfi’s own Michelin star within a year of its opening. The group will then travel to Rome for an overnight at the stellar Cavalieri Hilton Hotel, perched on Monte Mario with breathtaking views of the eternal city, and dinner by Chef Beck at his own La Pergola.
Castello Banfi is internationally acclaimed for its clonal research to improve upon the region’s historical Brunello di Montalcino, and making premier quality wines that are low in sulfites and histamines. It was the first wine estate in the world to be internationally recognized for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SA8000) as well as customer satisfaction (ISO 9001:2000). A regional beacon for hospitality, in addition to its two restaurants - the informal “Castello Banfi – La Taverna,” and the Michelin-starred fine dining “Castello Banfi – Il Ristorante” - Castello Banfi boasts a glass museum, enoteca, balsamic cellars and daily winery tours for visitors to the region. Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, the newest jewel in this hospitality crown, opened on March 15. Private amenities include a swimming pool, pergola-covered cloister garden, breakfast nook, and reading room within the castle keep; each room and suite was designed uniquely by Italy’s preeminent interior designer, Federico Forquet. Signature wines of Castello Banfi include the single-vineyard reserve Poggio all’Oro and unfiltered cru Poggio alle Mura Brunellos, proprietary cuvées ExcelsuS, SummuS and Cum Laude, and single-vineyard varietal wines including Tavernelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Colvecchio Syrah and San Angelo Pinot Grigio.
For more information on Beck and Banfi, please visit www.castellobanfi.com and www.heinzbeck.com. The 2007 classes are scheduled for October and November; for final dates and to make reservations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone +39 0577 877700, or visit www.castellobanfiilborgo.com.