(Montalcino, Tuscany – August 31) Weather conditions throughout 2006 made for a perfect growing season. Abundant winter rains gave the vines plenty of water to draw on during a summer that was not spoiled by limited storms during the first half of August. Our team diligently avoided the only risk of such a season, overproduction, through careful pruning, canopy management, and green harvesting. Castello Banfi began harvesting Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio on August 28. Harvesting of the red varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Sangiovese (which is blended with Gamay for the famed Novello Santa Costanza) will start in mid September. This growing season’s strong differences between warm daytime and cool nightly temperatures are the key to a great vintage, but, of course, the next few weeks will show the true potential of the red varietals for this vintage.