In 1978, Italian-American brothers John and Harry Mariani founded Castello Banfi. The brothers followed into the wine industry after their father, who established Banfi Vintners in 1919 which soon became America’s leading Italian wine importer. From the estate’s conception, the brother’s philosophy was a blend, combining the traditional with the innovative in order to create a state-of-the-art winery. Concentrated around the eye-catching, medieval Banfi castle, the vineyards cover one-third of the total 2,380 hectares. Alongside Ezio Rivella, one of Italy’s foremost oenologists, the Castello Banfi team understood the fortunate position of the estate and worked to maximise the benefits of the area’s microclimate and the richness of the soils.
After they bought Castello Banfi, the team worked on several research projects with the University of Milan into clonal selection. As a result of this work, they developed a clonal blend that produced a wine with open and elegant fruit whilst still retaining enormous ageing potential. Today, six of the 45 registered clones of Sangiovese come from Castello Banfi. In addition, the estate has a microvinification area, where over 7,000 unique barrels and casks are used to age and evolve the wines. Castello Banfi places great emphasis on the importance of sustainability and became the first winery in the world to be award international recognition for exceptional environment, ethical and social responsibility. It is little surprise therefore that the estate is internationally recognised as a true pioneer of great Italian wines.