As the world's most dedicated "foodies" descend on the northern Italian city of Turin this fall, the wines of Tuscan vineyard estate Castello Banfi will join in the greeting.
Salone del Gusto, a bi-annual culinary fair started four years ago by the Slow Food Society, will once again celebrate the regional flavors of Italy and the world from October 25-29. Thousands of participants are expected to crowd the stands to taste 2,500 different products exhibited and leave standing room only at a series of seminars, dinners and excursions. For fans of Montalcino's Castello Banfi, voted International Winery of the Year an unprecedented four times, the highlight of the weekend will be a vertical tasting of it's Poggio all'Oro. One of the signature wines of estate, Poggio all'Oro is a single vineyard reserve of the region's historic wine, Brunello di Montalcino. It is produced only in optimal vintages, all of which were given the top rating (Tre Bicchiere) by Italy's leading wine magazine, Gambero Rosso and consistently high numeric scores by the vaunted American publication, Wine Spectator. After tasting the Poggio all'Oro 1985, 1988, 1990 and 1993, guests will be treated to a world preview of vintage 1995, which by Italian winemaking regulations cannot officially be released until January 2001, given a minimum of five years' aging. Tickets for the 8 p.m. tasting on Saturday, October 28th, were already sold out by June of this year.
SummuS and ExcelsuS, two proprietary blends that are the other signature wines of Castello Banfi, will also be featured at the fair. They will be exclusively paired with a tasting of the limited production, handcrafted cheeses of Giulio Signorelli of Bergamo, on Thursday, October 26th. Other selections from the Castello Banfi estate will accompany two Slow Food dinners: one at the tradition-minded restaurant La Fermata in Piedmont's Alessandria Province, the other at the Locanda del Sant'Uffizio, a small luxury hotel in Penango. Both locations are about 45 miles east of Turin. As a classic "Dulcis in Fondo," Banfi Brachetto d'Acqui, a wine of the producer's sister-estate in Strevi, Piedmont, will be paired with chocolate-covered fruits presented by the Marangoni di Macerata bakery at a seminar on Sunday, October 29th.
For more details on the Salone del Gusto, visit www.slowfood.it.