Scroll down

News & Events

2005 27 September

2005 Harvest at Castello Banfi: Fighting the Elements

(Montalcino, Italy – September 27, 2005) Mark Twain is said to have once observed that “We all grumble about the weather, but nothing is done about it.” He obviously never met the vineyardteam at Tuscany’s Castello Banfi.   Frequent and persistent rainfall soaked the region’s vineyards since mid-August, making for conditions that once left winemakers wringing their hands, pacing the floors and shaking their fists at the sky. At the very least the rainfall delayed the start of harvest and the long term forecast was not much better, but because Banfi – the Brunello zone’s leading producer of white wines as well – already had harvest crews assembled, they swung into action of another sort.   “Some years, like 2004, you are blessed with textbook growing conditions and arrive at the harvest in great shape,” said Cristina Mariani-May, family proprietor of Castello Banfi. “In 2005 we had good prospects in early summer, but the sunshine, heat and warmth didn’t stay with us long enough. When we realized by mid-August that we were in for damp, inclement weather for the rest of the season, it was vital to prepare the vines and get the most out of the remaining weeks.”   An intensive program of “canopy management” removed most of the leaves surrounding the grape bunches, considered protective in sunnier, hotter years but now blocking precious sunlight. An even more aggressive approach of “green harvesting” had crews removing and discarding any grape bunches that were too close or could rub against another – proximity could cause mold, and abrasions turn to rot.   “We had to put our advantages to work,” said Ms. Mariani-May. “Because we have more land dedicated to vineyard and a broader range of varietals planted than any of our neighbors, we have more people and greater resources on hand to deal with any given situation. Rather than picking immediately, we worked on the vines in order to insure that there would be something to pick later on. With good quality grapes coming into the winery, we will produce good quality wine. This will be one of those years to rely on producers in a position to make above-average wine for the vintage.”   Harvest of the early-maturing white wine varieties of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc began at the end of August, followed by Chardonnay and then the red varietals Merlot and Syrah, which were completed last week. This week crews turn their attention to Cabernet Sauvignon and finally Sangiovese, the crucial grape variety in Castello Banfi’s innovative “super Tuscan” cuvees SummuS, ExcelsuS, Cum Laude and Centine, as well as the sole component of the area’s traditional wines, Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino.   In addition to the Rosso and Brunello under the Castello Banfi label, aged two and four years respectively before release, the estate also produces the single vineyard reserve Poggio all’Oro, aged five years before release, and the cru Poggio alle Mura, culled from select vineyards surrounding the estate’s medieval castle. Those vineyards are the first planted with a selection of 3 to 5 vine clones narrowed down from more than 160 over 25 years of intense research conducted by Castello Banfi in conjunction with the University of Milan. The goal was to find a group of clones that together combined the best elements of Brunello and would produce a more consistently excellent wine over varying vintage conditions.   “Mother nature controls about 75 to 80 percent of the conditions needed for making fine wine,” noted Ms. Mariani-May. “That doesn’t leave us much more to influence, so every remaining measure counts toward excellence.”   The family owned Castello Banfi vineyard estate has been described as a “constellation of single vineyards.” A medieval castle crowning the estate serves as a hospitality center for the region, housing the Michelin-starred Ristorante Castello Banfi and the more informal Taverna, as well as an enoteca and a museum tracing the history of glass as it relates to wine. Castello Banfi was declared “International Winery of the Year” an unprecedented four times and Italy’s “Best Wine Estate” an unprecedented 11 times since 1994 at the VinItaly wine fair in Verona, Italy.

PRIVACY POLICY

Banfi S.r.l. places fundamental importance on your personal privacy. Banfi S.r.l. takes all steps to protect the personal information of the users. Optimal service is possible when we can assure that the user is aware of and understands the norms and criteria adopted for our privacy policy. The criteria used by Banfi S.r.l. regarding personal information are as follows:
 
Why personal information is collected?
Banfi S.r.l. gathers and uses personal information of the users to guarantee optimal service and to facilitate access to a broad range of products and services. Furthermore, the personal information is used to keep every user updated on new offerings and other information that Banfi S.r.l. believe may be useful to the user. Furthermore, personal information could be used to contact the user to invite the user to participate in eventual market research that allows us to both evaluate the level of user satisfaction and to develop superior products.
 
How personal information is collected
Information about our users is collected in different ways. For example, information that can be used to contact the user can be requested when that person writes to Banfi S.r.l., telephones to ask about a service, or participates in an online poll. Furthermore, when a person subscribes to the internet service of Banfi S.r.l. or to the mailing list, they provide information that is then collected and filed within a secure database.
 
When personal information is revealed
It can become necessary to reveal personal data of the client by law or in the course of legal proceedings or other situations in the public interest.
 
How personal information is protected
Banfi S.r.l. protects the security of information sent by people using physical, electronic and managerial methods. Banfi S.r.l. invites its users to take the necessary steps to protect their personal data on the Internet. Banfi S.r.l. suggests that users often change their password, using a combination of letters and numbers, and relying solely on secure browsers.

Access to personal information
The user can, at any time, access information regarding themselves. To review and update personal information that Banfi S.r.l. has gathered, please contact banfi@banfi.it.
 
Collection of personal information
It is possible to navigate the websites of Banfi S.r.l. anonymously. In any case, the browser automatically comunicates the type of computer and operating system used.

Like many other websites, Banfi S.r.l. uses "cookie" technology. The first time a user connects to the site, their cookies identify the browser with a random and unique number. The cookies used do not reveal any information of a personal nature to the user, including first names that could be used to welcome the user on their next visit. The cookies help us understand what part of the website the users visit more frequently, which are the paths used by the clients, and how long they remain connected. The cookies are used to study the traffic patterns of the Banfi S.r.l. websites in order to improve their functionality.