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2009 1 January


Montalcino, Italy, January 2009– Now making its debut with the 2005 vintage,BelnerO, is the latest addition to the Castello Banfi family of wines and the most significant new release within the past decade from this top Tuscan estate.BelnerOis a direct outcome of successive decades of pioneering research conducted at the property since it was established by the Mariani family, a leading U.S. wine merchant, 30 years ago.

 A limited edition, estate-bottled red,BelnerO 2005is made principally from choice Sangiovese clones harvested from selected vineyard blocks at the Castello Banfi estate.

 According to Castello Banfi family proprietor, Cristina Mariani-May,“BelnerOis first and foremost a terroir-driven wine -- a departure in style from Montalcino’s more classic, varietally-driven reds. The first in the next generation of Castello Banfi wines, the release ofBelnerOparallels the recent transition within my own family at Castello Banfi, from one generation to the next. At the same time, itsintroduction coincides with and celebrates my family’s 90thyear in the wine trade, starting with my grandfather, John Mariani, Sr., in 1919.”


In further comments about the new wine, Ms. Mariani-May went on to note:“Over the years we have challenged our winemakers at Castello Banfi to find the root of excellence and from it to grow extraordinary wines.BelnerOis part of our vision for the future, and once again underscores Castello Banfi’s pioneering status in Montalcino winemaking.”



Effective March 2009, the 2005 vintage BelnerO will debut in restaurants

and fine wine stores in a growing number of major metropolitan markets throughout the U.S., where it will retail for approximately $39 per 750ml. bottle

BelnerOis the fruit of many years of research at Castello Banfi, as isThe Pursuit of Excellence,a companion book which serves as a blueprint for the new wine. A beautifully photographed 440-page volume co-authored by Castello Banfi winemakers, agronomists and scholars from the universities of Milan and Pisa,The Pursuit of Excellencerecords the special assets and attributes of the Castello Banfi estate that make it a source of so many acclaimed, world-class wines.


As of March 2009, copies of The Pursuit of Excellencewill be available for purchase ($75 + packaging and shipping) from the Online Store at, in addition to other online retailers, including


Lorella Carresi -  PR & Communication Manager +39 0577 840 111 (


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