Banfi - Ratings & Reviews - News
Banfi for a better wine world
Scroll down
2003 16 June


(Montalcino, Italy – October 2003) One of the most severe heat waves in European history brought grape pickers early to the rolling hills of the Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, with the start of the annual harvest here on August 11.


The range of grape varieties grown at this noted property in the famed Brunello zone of southern Tuscany has always meant that it gets an earlier start than its neighbors, according to Castello Banfi family proprietor Cristina Mariani-May, but the entire process seems to be moving away from its autumnal traditions and becoming a rite of summer.


“We have always started our harvest with a few people working in bathing suits,” noted Ms. Mariani-May, “but traditionally we were closer to the end of August than its beginning.”


“The heat wave broke in early September, giving both the workers and the grapes much needed relief. Most importantly, normal patterns of significant variations between daytime and night temperatures returned, adding finesse and complexity to this very good vintage.


The first grape variety harvested at Castello Banfi is Sauvignon Blanc, used to produce the single-vineyard, barrel-fermented Serena. A week later the harvest moved on to Pinot Grigio to produce the rich and complex San Angelo as well as the crisp, clean Le Rime, a quaffable Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay blend that is fermented in stainless steel and released within months of harvest. The estate’s Chardonnay was also harvested in the third week of August this year to produce a barrique-aged wine named for its vineyard source, Fontanelle. The quality of the white wines is very good, fresh and concentrated, reported Ms. Mariani-May. 


Within weeks, the red began coming in, starting with the precocious Merlot Mandrielle and Syrah Colvecchio and finishing up near the end of September with Cabernet Sauvignon Tavernelle and Sangiovese, used to produce the Montalcino Super Tuscan wines Cum Laude, SummuS and ExcelsuS as well as the region’s traditional and acclaimed Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino. Castello Banfi produces three other versions of Brunello: the cru Poggio alle Mura, a single-vineyard Riserva Poggio all’Oro, and an earlier release Rosso di Montalcino.


Veraison, the stage when the berries of the grapes used for making red wine varieties turn from green to purple, took place about two weeks earlier than usual this year, according to Ms. Mariani-May. Spring frosts naturally reduced the overall crop by about 10%, and the summer heat wave produced more concentrated fruit that will yield especially flavorful wines with power and elegance.


Despite the unusually torrid season, berry size is only slightly smaller than usual, she said, thanks in part to relief irrigation for many of the varieties as well as abundant rainfall over the winter and spring. While DOCG production regulations stipulate that water cannot be applied to Sangiovese being grown for the production of Brunello di Montalcino, Ms. Mariani-May pointed out that Castello Banfi has been working for the past 25 years both to isolate and develop clones of Sangiovese that thrive under these otherwise adverse conditions, and to single out vineyard sites with soil types that retain and gradually release the moisture from winter and spring rainfall.


“The grapes are in excellent condition,” she reported. “We can’t control the weather, of course, but we can prepare for the best way to deal with whatever Mother Nature bestows upon us!”


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
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.