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POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 OF LEGISLATIVE DECREE NO. 196/03: The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 OF LEGISLATIVE DECREE NO. 196/03: The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 OF LEGISLATIVE DECREE NO. 196/03: The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 OF LEGISLATIVE DECREE NO. 196/03: The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

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Castello Banfi il Borgo

News

  • 25 May 2014

    Castello Banfi and Cantine Aperte 2014

    On May 25th will be back Cantine Aperte, one of the most important Italian wine tourism event. From 1993 the wineries  partner of the Wine Tourism Movement open their gate to the public, promoting a direct contact with the wine lovers.

    This year Castello Banfi will open its winery again to all the wine-addicted: they will have the chance to discover all the secrets behind vinification and aging, the prestigious wines, from the Brunellos to the SuperTuscan, walking across the beautiful estate.

    On Sunday May 25th the Enoteca Wine Bar at Castello Banfi will be open all day from 10.00AM to 7.30PM.

    The free tasting wines, paired with Grana cheese slices and breadstick, will be: Centine Bianco, Centine Rosé e Centine Rosso.

    Other wines will be available for tasting at the glass by charge (with fee).

    The winery guided tour will be:

    • 11.00AM and 12.00AM (in Italian)
    • 4.00PM (in Italian and English)
    • 5.00PM (in Italian)

    Deliveries from the Enoteca at Castello Banfi by own means of transport (the winery will not provide transportation).

    Reservation is not required.

    La Taverna Banfi will be open for lunch with a special tasting menu with 3, 4 or 5 dishes paired with wines. Reservation is recommended at 0577.877524.

    For further information:
    phone 0577.877500
    castellobanfiilborgo.com
    www.facebook.com/CastelloBanfiIlBorgo
    www.instagram.com/castellobanfi_ilborgo/

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  • 11 April 2014

    Easter at la Taverna Banfi!!

    This coming Easter we will be delighted to greeting you at la Taverna Banfi with a traditional Tuscan menu.

    Come and enjoy your Easter with us!!

     

    Slow cooked egg with cherry tomato confit and Pecorino foam
    San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2013

    Raviolo stuffed with Cinta Senese pork on a potato velouté with truffle
    Aska Bolgheri 2012

    Traditional oven-roasted lamb with potato mille-feuille
    Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino 2006

    Milk chocolate egg with gianduia ice cream
    Rosa Regale 2013

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  • 18 November 2013

    A food and wine break at Castello Banfi Tuscany - Travel Matters Blog

    Joanna Neave, who won a Travel Matters competition to stay 2 night at Castello Banfi, talks about her italian’s experience that has inspired her cookery back home.

    “Our morning of cooking with Samuele was tremendous fun and I am thrilled to now be able to make fresh pasta. Everything we cooked in the class was easy to recreate at home and I am delighted to say that I have already done so. We ate what we had prepared, accompanied by more delicious Banfi wines, sitting outside (in late October!).

    We could not have enjoyed ourselves more. Everyone working at Castello Banfi was so friendly and helpful and we were given lots of tips and advice for our following two days in Florence. It is a very good base to go and visit a variety of interesting places in Tuscany and I really hope that we are able to return there soon. Anyone wanting a completely relaxing break in wonderful surroundings should certainly plan a visit.”

    www.travelmatters.co.uk/travelmattersblog/a-food-and-wine-break-at-castello-banfi-tuscany/

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  • 01 November 2013

    Maison Mat & Vin: cooking classes at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo

    Last year, in June, we hosted some Norwegian journalists at Castello Banfi - Il Borgo.

    Following their visit with us, they published some articles, including this available in the October / November issue of Maison Mat & Vin. The article, accompanied by lots of pictures, it's pretty complete with the report of all the activities they did during their stay, including the cooking class, the same we normally organize for our clients staying at Il Borgo.

    It’s a shame it is in Norwegian...

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  • 14 October 2013

    La Taverna Banfi is on the list of the world's best winery restaurants of The Daily Meal

    The Daily Meal celebrates the most exemplary epicurean endeavors at the world’s best wineries.

    Lauren Mack in her article writes: "The concept of dining at wineries started changing in the late 20th century when many began recognizing the potential for winery tourism and realized that a restaurant could be an asset, encouraging oenophiles to make a trip to the countryside not just to sip wine but to dine as well."

    The methodology and the voting criteria were quite complicated as all the 67 countries that produce wine around the world were considered.

    The final list includes winery restaurants in 11 countries - Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S - and 18 cities.

    Among the notable restaurants that made the cut at N° 7 is included La Taverna at Castello Banfi.

     

     

    7) La Taverna at Castello Banfi (Montalcino, Italy)

    At just about 35 years old, Castello Banfi is one of the youngest winery on The Daily Meal’s 20 Best Winery Restaurants list. Americans John and Harry Mariani have harvested outstanding vintages from the expansive 7,100-acre estate’s cluster of sloping single vineyards, which grow chardonnay, pinot grigio, and brunello. The estate in southern Tuscany includes Il Borgo, a hillside hamlet of 18th-century stone houses that accommodates a handful of overnight guests, as well as La Taverna, a rustic restaurant populated with sturdy wooden tables and housed in the vaulted, brick-arched cellars of the medieval castle. The dining experience here includes a choice of three-, four-, and five-course tasting menus and an à la carte menu, all paired with Castello Banfi wines. The menu of traditional Tuscan dishes may include duck ravioli with truffles or Tuscan chicken stew with mashed potatoes.

     

    https://www.thedailymeal.com/20-best-winery-restaurants-around-world/101413

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  • 27 August 2013

    Romancing one's way through Italy by Misha Mariani

    Our next destination was south of Florence, the small fortress town of Montalcino, located in the heart of Tuscany, just south of Siena.  Montalcino’s fame is inextricably tied to one of the greatest wines of the world, Brunello di Montalcino. Back in the mid- to late 19th century, the Biondi Santi family isolated a specific clone of sangiovese grape that they found thrived and showcased their area and terroir like no other planted in the region. It was a grape that showed great potential, balance, expression, depth, complexity and aging ability. Up until that point no Italian wines could rival the great French wines, but this all changed with Brunello when Ferruccio Biondi Santi named this clone Sangiovese Grosso BBS11, and it became the benchmark and, eventually, a DOCG regulation for all Brunello production.

    Biondi Santi was a leader in a movement in the area, but later down the road, another leader and trailblazer would make his way onto the scene. This man, American at that, was John Mariani, not the writer (who happens to be my father, though our family has known theirs for decades). The Mariani family had run an importing business under the Banfi label in New York, and made its fortune importing wine from the  cooperative Riunite in Italy that produced the highly popular Lambrusco in the '60s, which became the number one imported wine. In 1978, Banfi had already bought land in Tuscany and had purchased vineyards in Montalcino, soon to produce their very own Brunello.

    What has made Banfi such a prominent and important name in the region and the wine world is not just that they make great wines, but that they have been integral in maintaining and developing the region as a whole, preserving and upholding the highest level of en vironmental consciousness and dedication to the betterment of the DOCG. The company financed ampelographic research to isolate the best, healthiest clones for production of Brunello, narrowing 650 clones down to 15, which they openly shared with their neighbors. Castello Banfi has won International Winery of the Year four times and Italian Winery of the Year nine times.

    Leaving Florence, we headed down SS2 until we reached the entrance road to the winery. Navigating our way through vineyards and roads lined with cypress trees, we pulled up to the Castello Banfi Estate (above), a sight nostalgically familiar to me as I had been here before, almost twelve years ago. Much has changed since then but much has remained the same. I remember back then seeing along the entrance road barren soil being prepared for new vines soon to be planted; now they were healthy bountiful rows of vines. When I had first visited the estate, we had stayed in their farmhouse, isolated in the vineyards with a corral in the back harboring donkeys,  including one, Aristotle, who is still there.

    Now, after spending millions of euros, Castello Banfi has built a full-blown resort of luxury suites and accommodations called Il Borgo. Rooms are dressed in a modern and elevated farmhouse motif (right) that provide the ultimate Tuscan Wine getaway.

    When we arrived, we found a small, gated parking area for guests.  We pulled in, and as I crept through the lot I noticed that there happened to be a club of Ferrari owners staying the night. So, with no choice, I parked my Fiat 500 between million-dollar vintage Ferraris. Of course, I was excited to see these cars, but all of a sudden my super cool, 101 hp Fiat wasn’t as much fun anymore. Nonetheless, when I was greeted by the concierge and hotel managers, I was treated just as if one of those Ferraris were mine. The hospitality was genuine and abundant.

    We were walked to our room and, as we stepped out from a covered staircase, we entered into a white rose garden with vineyards in the background (right) that sat at the footstep of our room’s door. After settling in and getting our second wind, we headed to the restaurant, set just off the castle, for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of food and great wine.

    The following day, we had the luxury of taking a wine tour of the estate, an amenity offered to all guests of Banfi. To kick off the tour, we started in the tasting room with lineups such as the Rosso di Montepulciano, Poggio alle Mure, their single vineyard production, and their top bottling, Poggio all’Oro, each showcasing Banfi’s commitment to constant development and increased used of modern wine making techniques. The wines had balance, persistence, power and identity, all the while showing finesse.

    Castello Banfi is not just a place to visit while driving through this prominent wine rich region but also a place where you can splurge, be taken care of and indulge yourself within the world of vino. There aren’t many resorts that can offer the extensive experience Castello has.  Or so many Ferraris in the parking lot.

     

    http://www.johnmariani.com/current-issue/

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  • 10 May 2013

    Castello Banfi as official sponsor of 4th edition of Tuscan Rewind

    From May 10 to 12 will come back under the spotlight the 4th edition of Tuscan Rewind, the evocative historic car race on dirt.

    The most important news of Tuscan Rewind 2013 is its opening with the special race "Castello Banfi", which will take place on the roads along the historic Castle of Poggio alle Mura, in the late afternoon of Friday, May 10.

    The race will feature some of the Italian and International greats of yesterday and today.

    Castello Banfi has supported Tuscan Rewind since its inception.

    This year, in addition to the Trophy – a selection of the estate’s top wines – they are also putting up a weekend stay at the splendid Castello Banfi - Il Borgo for the winner of the Classic Cars category.

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  • 31 August 2012

    In 2012 Castello Banfi La Taverna has once again earned the Wine Spectator Restaurant Award of Excellence for its wine list

    In 2012 Castello Banfi La Taverna has once again received the Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Award of Excellence for its wine list.

    Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize those restaurants whose wine lists present captivating selections, which are suitable to their cuisine and appeal to an extensive variety of wine lovers. To be eligible for an award, the list has to show full, precise wine information. It has to include vintages and appellations for all selections, as well as wines offered by the glass.

    It is also taken into consideration having the overall presentation and appearance of the list while the complete producer names and exact spellings are mandatory. Wine Spectator, considered one of the most influential international specialized magazines, recognizes this excellence award to fewer than 3.000 restaurants all over the world.

    Taverna Banfi is open to daily visitors as well as guests of Castello Banfi - Il Borgo, the comfortable and charmingly elegant 14 luxurious rooms and suites nestled alongside the castle keep. For information and reservations please contact: reservation@banfi.it

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  • 05 July 2012

    Castello Banfi and Melodia del Vino 2012

    On July 5th, celebrating the second edition of the Italian music festival inspired by Frances Grands Crus Musicaux, Castello Banfi will host Russian Maestro Alexander Kniazev in concert.

    After the resounding success of its first edition, the Melodia del Vino, festival, a true voyage across the excellence of Tuscan wines, returns with the magic of international classical music.

    On July 5, celebrating the fifth of seven stops in the series, framed by the impressive walls of Castello Banfi in Montalcino, the notes of Alexander Knaziev, the international of the festivals second edition, will ring out with his performance of the Recital di violoncello. Considered by critics the be the heir of Mstislav Rostropovich, the Russian Maestro began studying the violoncello at a tender age, under the tutelage of Alexander Fedorchenko. Honored at the most prestigious competitions including the Cajkovskij of Moscow and Vilnius, he has had the opportunity to play with some of the most important artists of international renown. Over the course of his career he has earned recognition by the critics, above all for his album dedicated to Max Reger and for the one dedicated to “Schelomo” by Ernest Bloch. In addition to having played for some of the top directors (Temirkanov, Rostropovich, Bashmet), he worked together with numerous European orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of France and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

    During the evening, participants will have the opportunity to taste two prestigious wines from Banfi’s rich portfolio: San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2011 and BelnerO 2009.

    Peugeot, one of the main sponsors of the series, will be present at Castello Banfi with two of its new models, the 3008 HYbrid4 and the 508 RXH, two autos that, thanks to their environmentally friendly engineering, are perfectly aligned to Melodia del Vino.

    “To participate in this second edition of Festival Melodia del Vino,” said Cristina Mariani-May, family proprietor of Castello Banfi,“ seemed like a natural choice, especially after the first edition was so well received. Maestro Marc Laforet and Michel Gotlib, creators of this project, dreamt of following a unique and extraordinary experience, with all the senses in harmony, for classical music and outstanding wine from such a prestigious region as Tuscany.”

    Castello Banfi, immersed in this extraordinary land and always dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, produces wines characterized by a spirit that is deeply rooted in this unique and extraordinary territory. A benchmark for Brunello production, Castello Banfi was created in 1978 by the Mariani family, who chose to develop in Montalcino their center for quality wine, closely linking Banfi to this region and its development. Located on the south western slopes of the township of Montalcino, the estate is composed of 2.830 hectares, one third of which is dedicated to a constellation of vineyards, while the remainder of the property is left to natural woodland, fruit groves and grain fields.

    Melodia del Vino will take place from June 26 to July 7 2012. The Festival, inspired by its French twin "Grands Crus Musicaux", is set as an “ideal bridge”between the excellence of Tuscany and France. For this reason, the Region of Tuscany decided to support the initiative starting in the summer of 2011. Creators of this original formate, Maestro Marc Laforet, artistic director of both festivals, and Michel Gotlib, childhood friend of Maestro Laforet, lover of music and wine as well as president of the Festival Melodia del Vino. Melodia del Vino is one of the events promoted via the internet. The Fondazione Sistema Toscana, which already promotes Tuscany online on behalf of the Regione Toscana, manages the official site of the event, www.melodiadelvino.it and will run its social campaign.

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  • 12 June 2012

    Castello Banfi and JAZZ&WINE in Montalcino (15th Edition, July 17-22 2012)

    Scott Hamilton, Reggie Washington, Tom Harrell, Kurt Elling, Nick the Nightfly and many other big names to celebrate jazz and great wine

    The fifteenth edition of Jazz&Wine in Montalcino, one of Italy’s enduring music festivals and a collaboration between the Castello Banfi vineyard estate of Montalcino, the Jazz&Image cultural society of Rome and the Township of Montalcino, will take place this year with a prestigious gathering of top artists from Italy and the world.

    The festival opens Tuesday July 17, as has become a tradition, in the historic walls of Castello Banfi with the quintet of the great sax-tenor Scott Hamilton. On Wednesday, July 18 the concerts move to the splendid 13th century fortress of Montalcino with the Nicola Stilo Sextet, led by the Roman flautist who, among his numerous performances around the globe, also reflects his long continual collaboration with Chet Baker in the 1980s. On Thursday July 19 the festival proposes the Tom Harrell Quintet. Defined by Newsweek as one of the most pure and creative musician-composers alive today, this year Tom Harrel won theGrammy Award with Downbeat International as best solo trumpeter.

    The program continues on Friday July 20 with contemporary jazz legend Reggie Washington who will make Jazz&Wine one of the few stops on a tour to present his second CD, Freedom. On Saturday July 21 it will be time for the voice of Montecarlo Nights’ Nick the Nightfly, playing for the first time in Montalcino with his quintet to present Nice One. To bring a dignified closing to the 15th edition of the festival, on Sunday July 22 the voice of Kurt Elling will be accompanied by the guitar of Charlie Hunter.

    For the fifteen consecutive year two such intimate and intense pleasures, jazz music and great wine, will come together to celebrate growing success with their fans in Montalcino, the emblematic city of Brunello. The 2012 edition, however, will offer something new: the pairing of two of Italy’s oldest Jazz&Wine festivals. In addition to Jazz&Wine in Montalcino, two others will join in this compelling initiative: Zola Jazz&Wine (Zola Predosa, May 25 - June 26 2012) and Jazz&Wine of Peace (Cormòns, October 25-28 2012). A unique opportunity to compare diverse areas and producers that bear a common passion for great jazz.

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  • 31 August 2011

    Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2011 for Castello Banfi La Taverna

    Castello Banfi La Taverna has once again become the only wine estate restaurant in Italy to receive Wine Spectator Magazine’s Restaurant Award of Excellence.

    Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List Awards recognize those restaurants whose wine lists present captivating selections, which are suitable to their cuisine and appeal to an extensive variety of wine lovers.

    To be eligible for an award, the list has to show full, precise wine information. It has to include vintages and appellations for all selections, as well as wines offered by the glass. It is also taken into consideration having the overall presentation and appearance of the list while the complete producer names and exact spellings are mandatory.

    Wine Spectator, considered one of the most influential international specialized magazines, recognizes this excellence award to fewer than 3.000 restaurants all over the world.

    Taverna Banfi is open to daily visitors as well as guests of Castello Banfi - Il Borgo, the comfortable and charmingly elegant 14 luxurious rooms and suites nestled alongside the castle keep. For information and reservations please contact: reservation@banfi.it

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  • 30 August 2011

    Tripadvisor awards Castello Banfi - Il Borgo with the Certificate of Excellence 2011

    Trip Advisor, the most popular and qualified travel reviews site all over the world, has awarded Castello Banfi - Il Borgo with the prestigious "Certificate of Excellence 2011".

    The recognition is assigned to the tourist accommodations, restaurants and sights which have received the best reviews, as well as the most numerous, by the travelers directly on the frequented travel website.

    Christine Petersen, President of Trip Advisor for Business, said: "The Certificate of Excellence offers a well-deserved recognition to those activities which, all over the world, propose outstanding service in tourism. We wish to congratulate with all accommodations which allow Trip Advisors travelers to live a fantastic experience, anywhere in the world. "

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  • 04 August 2009

    Castello Banfi, Tuscanys foremost vineyard estate, has added a new feather to its cap, as the recipient of the Italian Governments highest recognition for winery hospitality

    Castello Banfi, Tuscany’s foremost vineyard estate, has added a new feather to its cap, as the recipient of the Italian Government’s highest recognition for winery hospitality.

    This latest accolade comes from Italy’s Movimento Turismo del Vino (Wine Tourism Movement), a national organization dedicated to upholding a “Wine Country Hospitality Code of Ethics.” The award guarantees visitors a genuine, memorable experience that equates to the highest levels of hospitality and professionalism.

    “For my family, extending a warm welcome to consumers and visitors at Castello Banfi has always been a priority. Castello Banfi was an early pioneer of winery hospitality in Italy, dating back to an era when cellar doors were typically closed to all but a few wine industry insiders. We are proud to have helped set the standard and prouder still to stand shoulder to shoulder with neighbors who also embrace this concept and join us in showering guests with an extraordinary Tuscan experience.” -- Banfi family proprietor Cristina Mariani-May

    The Movimento Turismo del Vino conducts a series of anonymous inspector visits to wineries before assigning its rating. Criteria for judging (reevaluated every three years) include:

    • Clarity and quality of signage leading to the winery
    • Cleanliness, accessibility and overall attraction of winery facilities featured in the tour,
    • The manner, skills and language accessibility of winery hosts
    • The level of welcome guests can expect, and the manner in which tours are conducted
    • Quality of guest accommodations, including ease of parking, access to restrooms, etc.

    Arguably the most visitor-friendly winery in Tuscany, Castello Banfi offers an array of attractions, including:

     

    • Daily winery tours

    • Wine bar service, and flights of wine by the glass paired with tasting plates of local Tuscan cheeses and cured meats

    • An authentic taste of Tuscan cooking at La Taverna, a delightful restaurant offering lunch and dinner

    • A magnificent store offering Castello Banfi wines, extra virgin olive oil, honey and salsa etrusca, as well as a selection of local crafts and ceramics

    • A museum housing an extraordinary collection of ancient and contemporary glassware celebrating the historical relationship between glass and wine.

     

    The newest jewel in this hospitality crown is Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, 14 luxury rooms and suites, an open-air swimming pool with spectacular views of the surrounding Tuscan countryside, a pergola-covered cloister garden, and a reading room located within the castle keep.

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  • 15 May 2008

    Castello Banfi Il Borgo highlighted in Travel and Leisure's May 2008 Issue, "Tuscany's New Hotels and Spas"

    A host of hotel and spa openings is breathing new life into the region-a reminder of why we keep going back.

    From May 2008

    By Maria Shollenbarger

    There's a type of traveler who, on the subject of Tuscany, offers up the party line: "It may be beautiful, but it's too discovered," which happens to be the best way to elicit discerning smiles from those who truly know the area-the chic Romans and Milanese who've been spending weekends here since they were knee-high to a Sangiovese vine; the repeat renters who call it home for some of the year. Tuscany's 9,000 square miles of rolling hills and lush vineyards, pine tree-lined beaches and palazzo-encircled squares contain the best of what draws people here again and again-and to consider it "discovered" would be to sell the region short.

    Against the canvas of the timeless Tuscan landscape, a vibrant style and culture have emerged, some of it brought to you by transplants who couldn't leave. You can admire a view of Monte Amiata from the minimalist terrace at the B&B La Bandita, opened last May by John Voigtmann, an erstwhile Manhattan music executive. Or in Montalcino, relax by the pool at Castello Banfi's ll Borgo, a 14-room hotel in a 19th-century building restored to gorgeous effect by American Cristina Mariani-May, a co-CEO of the family winery. A handful of Tuscany's thermal baths-among them Terme di Saturnia in the Maremma and Adler Thermae at Bagno Vignoni-have shed their dowdy images and emerged with sleek rooms and amenities. And then there's Florence, moving apace with the rest of the region: the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, which opens in July, could exist only here-housed in a palace designed by the Renaissance architect Sangallo, and painstakingly restored under the aegis of the Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture.

    How to tackle Tuscany's multitude of attractions? Don't try to do it all at once; it does, after all, contain 10 distinct provinces. And do leave time for a detour along one of the strade bianche, the "white roads" that often lead to delightful vistas. Tuscany is simultaneously luxurious and worlds-away rustic, resolutely provincial and firmly forward-thinking. Expect to be surprised. And who knows? You may even make a discovery or two.

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