Castello Banfi – Il Borgo, the boutique hotel at the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, has added a unique and quite appropriate feature in one of its 14 rooms – a $10,000 private wine cellar.
Banfi has equipped its top suite, dubbed “Poggio all’Oro” for what many consider to be the estate’s finest wine, a single vineyard Riserva of the estate’s Brunello di Montalcino, with a temperature-controlled, carved wood wine storage unit. The cellar is fully stocked with verticals that include the first vintage each of Poggio all’Oro (1985), the cru Poggio alle Mura (1997), and the flagship Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (1978). Those and many other later vintages are no longer available on the open market, such as the rare 1986 Poggio all’Oro, which was never released for sale outside of the estate.
“To our knowledge, this is the only suite in the world with such an exclusive wine cellar,” noted Castello Banfi family proprietor Cristina Mariani-May. “It is quite simply an integral part of our Extraordinary Tuscan Experience.”
Guests may select a wine to bring with them to lunch or dinner at Castello Banfi – La Taverna, the estate’s restaurant featuring traditional local dishes in an elegant but informal atmosphere, or enjoy the selection in the privacy of their suite. Silver trays bearing a special cork puller, crystal wine decanter, hand blown wine glasses, linen napkins and decanting candle stand at the ready for guests who care to open the wine themselves or have an estate sommelier handle the task for them.
The Poggio all’Oro suite is a 1000 square foot space with one large sitting area/master bedroom and separate sitting area/guest bedroom as well as two large bathrooms featuring large rainfall showers. Windows of the suite look north to the borgo lane and the castle itself, and south to the borgo gardens, estate vineyards, olive groves and rolling hills beyond.
The 14 luxury rooms and suites of Castello Banfi – il Borgo are nestled into the homes that were built alongside the medieval fortress, historically known as Poggio alle Mura, in the 17thand 18thcentury. The castle, since re-christened Castello Banfi, is hospitality center of the 7,100-acre/2,83- hectare vineyard estate. Guests are nurtured in a warm and refined environment with attention to detail, befitting the world of fine wine. Though all bearing the same amenities and style, the rooms vary in size, color scheme and decoration, each a unique concept by Federico Forquet, one of Italy’s most renowned designers. Guests at Il Borgo can take full avail of the hospitality of Castello Banfi – it’s Taverna, Enoteca/Wine Bar, Balsamic cellars, glass museum, winery tours and castle grounds, in addition to the private spaces including a swimming pool, breakfast nook, pergola-covered rose garden, fitness area, reading room and a dedicated inner courtyard of the castle.