Scroll down

News & Events

2011 30 March

MONTALCINO- “It is Bellissimo!!!”

MONTALCINO- “It is Bellissimo!!!” Better yet: wonderful.
Excuse me, what was that, Ms. Mariani? One would imagine that it would pertain to a budget surplus, or a contract.  The desk of this fascinating American woman is covered in reports, studies, proposals.  And her telephone seems like a metronome, ringing every ten seconds.  “No, the rainbow is so beautiful!”  The only thing missing is Judy Garland singing…  But the ambiance is truly a bit magical.  And it is the kind of enthusiasm that only a girl born in the shadow of Manhattan’s skyscrapers can find when she looks out the window overlooking classic Tuscan landscape: cypress trees, olive groves, the soft hills of Montalcino speckled with its native holm oak trees, and that expanse of vineyards that surrounds Castello Banfi.  And above it all, lighting up the sky, there is an infinitely beautiful rainbow hugging the sky between Sant’Angelo in Colle and the Medici Fortress, the entire profile of Montalcino, one of the most important wine territories in the world.  “Here you have it,” explains Cristina Mariani, president of Castello Banfi: 55 million Euros in sales, 10.5 million bottles of which 60% are sold overseas – the fascination of making wine, all the charm of winemaking, is wrapped in that rainbow.” But what about the financial crisis?  The Brunello investigation?
“These things happen,” responds Cristina, who has golden hair and a sweet demeanor even if in the company they say she is maniacal in her attention to detail, as she divides her time between two sides of the Atlantic; and between her husband and three children on one side, and a company with hundreds of employees on the other.  But the real wealth is in this countryside, and the possibility to work with this earth.  The world financial crisis is passing, and sales of Brunello are strong.” Do your American friends envy you?
“Sure, and why not - I’m a top manager, I earn my pay, I am happy doing what I do, but when I tell them about my Tuscany, my Montalcino, my wine, they are absolutely blown away.  I can almost hear them whisper, ‘lucky you.’ Does ‘Made in Tuscany’ still have strong value in America?
“Absolutely yes.  In America it is sort of a fatal attraction, but also in the rest of the world when you tell people that you are Italian and that you make wine in Italy, they look at you with eyes glazed over in amazement.” Excuse me, but you’re not truly Italian.  You were born in America, you studied in America, you sell wine mostly in America…
“But I have an Italian last name, I spend a lot of time living and working in Italy, and I make one of Italy’s best wines, Brunello di Montalcino.  And to tell the truth, I now feel more Italian than American.  Plus I live in the land of Dante, Botticelli, Galilei, Michelangelo, Puccini and Verdi.  When I tell my friends about that, their reaction reminds me of when I tell fairytales to my children.” I’ve heard that the image of Italy has faded.  Listening to you, though, that does not seem to be true.
“For my work, I travel from New York to Singapore, from Rio to Shanghai, and I have never found anyone who is not fascinated with Italy.  Maybe it is because I tell them about it in English, but the perception of Italy in the world is one of absolute quality in terms of its products and for a way of life that everyone aspires to.  And these are the values it takes to sell wine.  The image of a place is fundamental, and Italy is at the top.”   In just over a week, VinItaly opens; what are the prospects for the economy when it comes to wine?
“Excellent in the overseas markets, a little less domestically.  In the USA we sell well, in Germany, which remains the leading market for Italian wine, the recovery is strong.  And it is really not true that high priced wines are not selling.  Those that are selling are the wines that are able to deliver value for the money, regardless of price point.  In Italy, things are moving along a little slower, but the consumer, even if he is more selective than before, recognizes quality.  What doesn’t work is to try to sell smoke.  All around the world today, you can sell if you can make your customers appreciate the value in your product.” But isn’t it the case to ask yourself is wine marketing has become a little outdated?
“I’m not convinced that’s the case.  Today you need to have a direct dialogue with the consumer, we have to help them understand the value of the investment they are making in the purchase of a bottle of our wine.  It is an investment in emotion, in sensation, and in pleasure.  From this point of view the role of wine tourism is fundamental.  Who comes to Montalcino, who comes to visit our Castello which also has a luxury hotel and restaurant, gains an authentic perception of the value behind our wine, which also comes from the beauty of our land here.  And I believe this is the magic formula for all Italian wine.  And then some!” Pardon me, Ms. Mariani, but it seems strange to hear that coming from you, an American…
“No, it is not strange.  I am a woman who is well aware that in the world of wine today woman have a key role; there are outstanding women winemakers, excellent businesswomen, supersensitive tasters who have brought a touch of fascination, of creativity, of passion and more to this world of wine.  And I am a woman born in America who had a dream: Italy.  That is why the rainbow is so beautiful to me!”  

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.