In a gesture toward wine education, Castello Banfi is going to let wine drinkers pick its flagship wine apart piece by piece.
"The best way to learn about something is to see what it's made up of," noted Cristina Mariani, family proprietor of the Tuscan vineyard estate. She is in the midst of organizing a 11-city US tour in conjunction with the Society of Wine Educators to taste the estate's Super Tuscan SummuS, both the final cuvée and its unblended parts. Ms. Mariani will guide the tasting of the currently released vintage of SummuS 1997, as well as a pre-release sampling of vintages 1998, 1999 and the individual components of 1999 - Sangiovese Brunello, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
Seminar attendees will also be welcomed with a glass of vintage 2000 San Angelo Pinot Grigio from the Castello Banfi estate, to properly prepare their palate. Following the flight of SummuS, Ms. Mariani will present another estate powerhouse, Poggio all'Oro Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1993. Afterwards, guests will mingle around a buffet of food selections paired to Castello Banfi's other Super Tuscan cuvée, Excelsus 1997, as well as the newly released 1996 vintage of Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino and a unique red sparkling dessert wine, Banfi La Rosa Brachetto d'Acqui 1999.
A non-wine highlight of the program will be the world premier of "The Etruscan Legacy," an educational film on the evolution of wines from ancient Etruria to modern day Tuscany, filmed on location at Castello Banfi.
Seminar venues for 2001 include the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 5, Four Seasons Seattle on February 6, Ritz Carlton Atlanta on February 20, Ritz Carlton Washington, DC on February 21, The Mansion at Turtle Creek, Dallas on February 26, The Houstonian, Houston on February 27, Top of The Hub, Boston on March 5, Park Hyatt Philadelphia on March 6, The Metropolitan Club in New York City on March 7, and The Bellagio, Las Vegas on May 2. Additional seminars are scheduled for San Francisco, Miami and Chicago later in the year, with venues not yet announced. Tickets are available through the Society of Wine Educators, telephone 202-347-5677, or Sharron McCarthy at Banfi Vintners, 1-800-645-6511.