(Montalcino, Tuscany - March 2006) - Castello Banfi has become the first winery in Italy, and one of few in the world, to be officially recognized for its social responsibility.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Social Accountability International (SAI) bestowed a rare triple certification on this American-owned, Italian-managed vineyard estate. Banfi qualified not only for the top international standard ISO 9001.2000 and ISO 14001 ratings for establishing and maintaining standards of Quality Assurance and Environmental Management, respectively, but also received the prestigious SA 8000 rating for its fidelity to and involvement with employees and local institutions, its job security, and its social involvement in the community.
“Our dedication to a finer wine world has always been more than just a motto,” said family proprietor Cristina Mariani-May. “Four generations of Banfi family stewardship have kept that philosophy in focus, building always with the future in mind.”
ISO 9001:2000 recognizes customer satisfaction and loyalty, efficiency, and effectiveness, demonstrating that a company’s products conform to or surpass its industry’s established requirements. It is the only standard against which a company’s quality assurance systems can be certified by an external agency. ISO 14001 is the world’s leading standard for Environmental Management that measures a company’s respect for and impact on its surrounding environment. It acknowledges the company’s cost-effective preservation of the environment and improvement of living conditions. SA8000, based on the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and U.N. Human Rights Conventions, is the leading and most comprehensive international standard for ethical workplace management.
Brothers John and Harry Mariani established Castello Banfi in 1978, assembling a contiguous estate of 7,100 acres (2,830 hectares). A constellation of single vineyards spreads out to cover only 1/3 of the property, starting with the undeniable concept that quality is determined first and foremost in the vineyard. In the continual pursuit of superior quality ingrained in them by their fathers, cousins Cristina Mariani-May and James Mariani work constantly to improve upon every detail, from winemaking and packaging to the estate’s renowned hospitality. 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. A luxury hotel, Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, occupying the 18th century homes built alongside the fortress, is scheduled to open in late 2006.
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.