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Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 EU Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”): The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 EU Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”): The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

Declaration of consent

Having read the information brief

POLICY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO ART. 13 EU Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”): The personal data collected through this Web page shall be processed in print and electronic format for the following purposes:
a) to fulfil your request for information regarding our products or resellers;
b) to send information and commercial communications, including of a promotional nature (including our newsletter), advertisements and/or offers of products and services, by any medium (including any medium yet to be discovered), including, without limitation, post, the Internet, telephone, e-mail, MMS video messaging and SMS text messaging, etc.
For the purposes set out in point a), you must provide your data in order for us to be able to fulfil your request for information, and your refusal to do so could make it impossible for us to comply, whereas providing your data for the purposes set out in point b) is optional and your refusal will not have any consequences in respect of the purposes set out in point a). Your data shall be processed by internal personnel, shall be disclosed to authorised parties only and shall not be disseminated. You may exercise the rights set out in Article 7 in respect of the data provided by sending a specific written request to the Data Controller: Banfi S.r.l. - Località Castello di Poggio alle Mura snc - 53024 Montalcino (SI) Italy, for the attention of the management.

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  • 09 June 2023

    Summer in Tuscany: 5 original ideas | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Summer in Tuscany? Here are 5 places to visit that are off the beaten path but wonderful. Read more about Castello Banfi Wine Resort’s recommendations.

    Summer in Tuscany: 5 low-tourism ideas

    Summer in Tuscany is an unrivaled experience, a symphony of emotions and delights for the senses. Among the gently rolling hills and ancient olive trees, the landscapes are enlivened by vibrant and charming colors, framed within a breathtaking and enchanting setting. The cultural wealth of this land offers the opportunity to see firsthand masterpieces from every era.

    However, it is not only Florence, Pisa, Siena, Montalcino, and the Chianti hills that hold such treasures. Many small towns and villages in Tuscany are filled with hidden gems, scenic landscapes, and artistic marvels. Additionally, a plethora of recreational activities in harmony with nature will make your summer in Tuscany the most beautiful memory of your vacation.

    In this region of rare beauty, summer becomes a feast for the eyes, a journey into the most authentic Italy, where one breathes in the spirit of a land rooted in history, art, and tradition. So, here's what to see in Tuscany during the summer and what alternative activities to indulge in for fun and relaxation.

    What to do in Tuscany in Summertime

    Summer in Tuscany is not just about going to the beach: there are many attractions that this region offers to both Italian and foreign tourists in summertime. Trekking, for example, proves to be a unique and captivating experience. Amidst vineyards, hills, olive groves, and ancient villages, one breathes fresh air and experiences a full immersion in nature, far from the daily bustle. The winding trails lead to fairytale-like panoramas, and every step stimulates the sense of adventure and exploration. For trekking enthusiasts and those who love biking or horseback riding, Tuscany in summer is the ideal destination.

    But summer in Tuscany also means concerts, festivals, medieval reenactments, and good food. The food and wine initiatives linked to local food excellences are an integral part of a refined tourism that is no longer so niche. Surrounded by lush nature, landscapes full of history, and welcomed by the unmatched Tuscan hospitality, wine enthusiasts in Tuscany during summer enjoy all the magical experiences this region has to offer.

    Summer in Tuscany: Where to go?

    When spending summer in Tuscany, where can one go and see away from the big cities full of tourists? Here are 5 low-tourism destinations that can offer you an unforgettable vacation.


    Montefioralle is a small and romantic village in the Chianti area, offering breathtaking scenic views. Strolling through its narrow alleyways, admiring the ancient houses still adorned with colorful flowers at the windows, and savoring a delicious gelato in the shade of the medieval castle is an alternative way to enjoy the summer in Tuscany and truly grasp its essence.


    Enchanting and characteristic is also the village of Pitigliano, in the heart of Maremma, a small town perched on a tufo hill that overlooks the surrounding countryside. It is also known as "Little Jerusalem" due to the significance of its Jewish community dating back to the 16th century, which consequently influenced the city's urban layout.

    In Pitigliano, one can admire the synagogue and the Jewish ghetto, the fascinating Etruscan necropolis, the majestic Medici aqueduct, the beautiful Fountain of the Seven Spouts, and the splendid Palazzo Orsini, a fortress that now houses the Archaeological Museum and the Library.


    The historic center of Bolgheri is a truly enchanted place, with the majestic Castle of the Counts of Gherardesca, artisan shops, squares rich in history, and the Viale dei Cipressi [Cypress Boulevard - ed.], made famous by poet Giosuè Carducci. The poet spent several years in this village, always a source of inspiration. If you're wondering what to do in Tuscany during the summer, a visit entirely dedicated to the poet is certainly an experience worth having.


    The village of Vinci, located about fifty kilometers from Florence, is famous for being the birthplace of genius Leonardo da Vinci. Despite its fame, it remains a relatively undiscovered tourist destination, making it a perfect choice for an alternative and cultural summer in Tuscany. The main attraction of the village is the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, which houses one of the exhibitions dedicated to the great Renaissance artist. The museum is located within a charming building itself: the Castle of the Conti Guidi, ancient lords of the village, also known as the "ship castle" due to its characteristic shape.

    Exploring the city in the footsteps of Leonardo is a new and culturally rewarding experience. The church of Santa Croce, the Library, and the Piazza adorned with Mario Ceroli's sculpture "L'uomo di Vinci" are all marked by Leonardo's presence in the village.

    Poggio alle Mura

    Poggio alle Mura is the ideal place to spend a summer in Tuscany that goes beyond just the beach. This enchanting location near Montalcino revolves around the Castello Banfi Wine Resort, a medieval fortress surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, transformed into a magnificent resort. Here, you can experience the pleasure of staying in a real medieval castle without sacrificing the luxury and comfort of modern days. The beautiful suites of Hotel Il Borgo perfectly blend tradition and innovation, while the common areas offer the opportunity to relax amidst breathtaking landscapes and views. In this captivating place, you will also find the Glass Museum, which houses glass masterpieces from all eras, including the renowned "Portatrice" by Picasso.

    Therefore, summer in Tuscany is a journey to discover the scenic, historical, artistic, cultural, and culinary beauty of a wonderful and unforgettable region. We look forward to welcoming you! Have a great summer!

  • 19 May 2023

    Wine tourism in Tuscany: standards and data | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Tuscany and wine tourism: discover all the secrets of the quintessential combination of Italian tourism on the Castello Banfi Wine Resort’s blog.

    Wine Tourism in Tuscany: what to know

    Wine tourism, a precious blend of culture and wine tasting, is as a sensory experience of rare pleasure, to be experienced in places full of charm and allure. These destinations captivate not only due to the richness of their soils but also for the artistic, cultural, and scenic treasures they hold. In Italy, and particularly in Tuscany, a region renowned for its prestigious grape varieties and ancient traditions, wine tourism finds one of its highest expressions. Wine tourism in Tuscany offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in the winemaking culture, savor exceptional wines, and embrace the authenticity of a thousand-years-old tradition, providing an unforgettable experience.

    Tuscany and wine tourism represent a symbol of Italian excellence in the tourism sector, as per the latest data, approximately 14 million visitors flock to the green hills and lush vineyards of this region every year. They come to explore the historic wineries, where the artistry of winemakers blends with the beauty of the landscapes. Moreover, they indulge in a few days of relaxation surrounded by nature in the charming villages and wine resorts, such as Castello Banfi Wine Resort in Poggio alle Mura.

    Wine Tourism in Tuscany: the data

    Let's briefly delve into the data on wine tourism in Tuscany. According to the latest Coldiretti/Ixè report, wine tourism in Italy involves 58% of Italians. Good food and good wine are indeed among the main reasons why a city is chosen as a tourist destination for 56% of respondents. In the case of Tuscany, where wine and food tourism intertwine with art and nature tourism, the numbers are even higher.

    Wine tourism in Tuscany is now a well-established phenomenon and one of the most attractive in Italy. Regarding wine-related tourism, the region ranks third, following Piedmont and Campania (according to data from Isnart for Enit), in terms of "food and wine" tourist packages. Based on the 2022 data on wine tourism in Tuscany, provided by the Regional Statistics Office, there were over 13 million tourists and more than 42.7 million overnight stays, showing a significant increase compared to 2021.

    The remarkable success of wine tourism in Tuscany is also evident on social media channels. Visits to wine tourism-related offer pages grew by 136.29% from March 2021 to February 2022.

    Furthermore, wine tourism in Tuscany fuels not only the tourism sector but also the production sector, with a considerable turnover. According to the latest estimates from the Ismea-Qualivita Observatory, the PDO and PGI Wine sector in Tuscany is worth 1004 million euros (86.9% of the total certified productions in the country). These figures are confirmed by Roberta Garibaldi, vice president of the Tourism Committee of Ocs, one of the leading experts in wine tourism in Tuscany and Italy.

    Tuscany and Wine Tourism: ancient history

    The primacy of Tuscany in the wine tourism sector is ancient, in fact, it is thanks to this region that wine tourism was born in Italy, with initiatives such as Cantine Aperte and Calici sotto le stelle in 1993, along with the Movimento Turismo del Vino [Wine Tourism Movement - ed.].

    However, the guidelines for wine tourism were officialized only in the 2000s, with the creation of the "wine roads," protected itineraries that enhance locations and productions. It was only in 2019 that the so-called Decree on Wine Tourism was issued, regulating winery visits, billing for wine tourism activities, the qualifications of personnel, and the guidelines regarding the requirements and minimum quality standards for wine tourism activities.

    Wine Tourism Law in Tuscany

    Although the decree applies throughout Italy, some regions are further refining the legislation to better protect and promote this form of tourism, and Tuscany is among them. The wine tourism law in Tuscany saw significant development in the spring of last year with Regional Law 24 May 2022, no. 15 (Regulation of olive oil and farm holiday hospitality. Amendments to the l.r. 30/2003).

    This law regulates wine tourism in Tuscany regarding:

    • Buildings used for farm holiday activities
    • Organization of promotional events for traditional or quality products
    • Wine and olive oil tourism activities and the requirements for their implementation
    • Minimum quality standards to be respected.

    Of particular interest is the new definition of wine tourism, which we report in full: "Wine tourism and olive oil tourism mean all the activities related to the knowledge of wine and extra-virgin olive oil carried out at the place of production, including visits to places of cultivation, production or exhibition of tools used for vine and olive cultivation, wine and olive oil tasting and commercialization, also combined with food, educational and recreational initiatives within wineries and vineyards, oil mills and olive groves.”

    The enactment of a wine tourism law in Tuscany is of fundamental importance, serving as a shield for the protection of local producers and the support of their precious winemaking activities. This measure guarantees a solid regulatory framework, capable of preserving centuries-old traditions and promoting excellence in the sector. At the same time, this law becomes a tool of protection for visitors, ensuring safety, quality, and authenticity standards in the experiences offered. In this way, the enhancement of the wine heritage is combined with conscious and rewarding hospitality for all those who choose wine tourism in Tuscany as a form of travel and discovery.

  • 12 May 2023

    Sant'Antimo Abbey: opening hours and path | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    How to visit the Sant'Antimo Abbey? At Castello Banfi you can find all you need to know on prices, how to get there and pictures of the monument.

    Sant'Antimo Abbey: info and how to get there

    Located in the heart of Tuscany, surrounded by gently rolling hills and vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see, the Sant'Antimo Abbey is an architectural jewel nestled in the peaceful countryside of Montalcino, just a few kilometers from Castello Banfi Wine Resort. This ancient Benedictine abbey, dating back to the 12th century, is a sublime example of elegance and spirituality, a living testament to a glorious past that continues to attract numerous tourists, both believers and non-believers.

    The Sant'Antimo Abbey is much more than a mere tourist attraction; it is a sanctuary of peace and reflection, a place where history merges with spirituality. Every stone, every fresco, and every sculpture has a story to tell and a message to convey. That is why photos and images of Sant'Antimo Abbey cannot fully capture the atmosphere that one breathes there, but they can stimulate the curiosity of tourists who visit this area of Tuscany.

    The origins of the Sant'Antimo Abbey in Montalcino date back to Charlemagne, who is said to have built a rectangular chapel with an apse called Cappella Carolingia in 781, which today serves as the sacristy.

    Sant’Antimo Abbey: the exterior

    Travelers approaching the Abbey from the nearby Castello Banfi Wine Resort are immediately welcomed by its size and the height of the bell tower, majestically rising among the hills. As they draw closer, they are welcomed by a romantic facade that reveals an austere and ancient beauty: the pure and simple lines, the elegant arches, and the windows adorned with intricate details evoke a sense of grace and harmony.

    Sant’Antimo Abbey: the interior

    Once inside, after passing through the portal with its sculpted lintel, visitors are welcomed by a feeling of calm and contemplation. Natural light filters through the stained-glass windows, decorating the stone floor with shades of light and shadow, creating some of the most beautiful images of Sant'Antimo Abbey in Montalcino.

    The presbytery, dominated by the main altar, is a masterpiece of art and devotion overlooked by a medieval crucifix. Meanwhile, the crypt houses the tomb of Sant'Antimo with its relics.

    The Sant'Antimo Abbey Complex

    Next to the abbey stands the Cloister, an enchanting corner of paradise once overlooked by all the buildings belonging to the abbey. It features a quadrangular porticoed courtyard where one can stroll in the shade, enjoying the peace and silence of the place. Nearby, there's the Ospitalia, a guesthouse that still accommodates small groups dedicated to prayer and spiritual retreat.

    Livelier and bustling with life is the Monastic Pharmacy, located in the ancient Treasure Room, offering the opportunity to experience the results of the Benedictine rule of "Ora et labora" [Pray and work - ed.]. In the Pharmacy, numerous body care products based on medicinal herbs cultivated near the Abbey are sold, reflecting the ancient wisdom of the monks. Additionally, products from the land's labor, such as honey, herbal teas, candies, and fruit preserves, are also available. The craft beers of Sant'Antimo Abbey, prepared with a secret recipe, are renowned throughout the region. Another notable product is the "Amaro di Sant'Antimo," made from Erba Carlina, which was once used to alleviate the suffering of Charlemagne's soldiers during their visits to the Abbey.

    Part of the Benedictine complex is also the Oliveta, a rich and lush area of the monastery dedicated to the cultivation of olive trees, from which high-quality extra virgin olive oil is produced. Additionally, there is an Apiary for crafting artisan honey, and the Garden of Santa Ildegarda, where medicinal plants used to treat the sick can be admired.

    Sant’Antimo Abbey: opening hours

    The Sant’Antimo Abbey in Montalcino offers the following opening hours to the public:

    • November 1st to March 31st: Daily from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
    • April 1st to September 30: Daily from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM
    • October 1st to October 31st: Daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

    Please note that on Sundays and public holidays, the Holy Mass is celebrated at 10:00 AM, and entrance is allowed only after the service has ended.

    Where to stay if you wish to visit the Sant’Antimo Abbey in Montalcino

    If you want to visit the Sant'Antimo Abbey in Montalcino comfortably, staying at Castello Banfi Wine Resort is the best choice. The resort is also nestled in an oasis of peace amidst the green hills adorned with vineyards and olive groves, providing an excellent starting point for reaching the abbey in the morning after a hearty breakfast. Moreover, it is only a few kilometers away from this renowned tourist destination.

    The road that separates the resort from the abbey is also an attraction. It is easy to travel, without dangerous hairpin turns or heavy traffic, making it a charming route that leads to an even more enchanting destination.

    Sant'Antimo Abbey: how to get there

    Leaving from Castello Banfi Wine Resort, you can reach the Sant'Antimo Abbey through two routes:

    • Exiting the resort estate, head towards Poggio alle Mura and take the Provincial Road "La Maremma" SP117 and immediately after SP114 for approximately 14 km. This scenic route winds through the beautiful Tuscan countryside, passing through vast vineyard rows and charming old farmhouses, or shaded by lush natural vegetation. In less than half an hour, you'll reach the Sant'Antimo Abbey from the south and enter its convenient parking area.
    • Alternatively, you can reach Sant'Antimo Abbey from the north, passing through Montalcino. After leaving Castello Banfi Wine Resort, take the Provincial Road "La Maremma" SP117 this time heading towards Montalcino. Once you reach the village, take the Provincial Road to the Badia di Sant'Antimo, which will lead you to your destination after approximately 10 km.

  • 17 April 2023

    Terms for wine tasting | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    From clarity to smoothness, here's a list of suitable terminology to describe the characteristics of wine during a tasting session.


    The full terminology for wine tasting

    An increasing number of Italians are opting to indulge in a wine tasting experience offered by the most prestigious wineries or savor a tasting menu that pairs gourmet dishes with carefully selected wines at high-end restaurants such as Ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli near Montalcino. This is why to fully immerse oneself in the experience, it is also beneficial to learn a comprehensive and accurate wine tasting terminology, enabling one to fully grasp the harmony of pairings and the myriad of nuances concealed within a glass of wine.

    A wine tasting sheet: what it is and why it is important

    Knowing which terms to use is important even if you want to fill out - or read - a wine tasting sheet, a valuable ally that allows you to organize the sensations experienced during the tasting experience.

    The most common form is the wine tasting sheet from AIS (Italian Sommelier Association), but there's also the FISAR (Italian Federation of Sommeliers, Hoteliers, and Restaurateurs) sheet. Both are built upon analyzing the three fundamental aspects of sensory analysis carried out during the tasting session:

    • Visual examination
    • Olfactory examination 
    • Taste examination

    So, here's a short list of wine tasting terminology that is useful for filling out a wine tasting sheet and for truly appreciating the value of a fine bottle, capturing all the nuances and peculiarities it holds.

    Wine tasting terminology with visual examination

    Describing the visual characteristics of wine is the first step in the tasting experience.  In fact, the experience begins with sight, and a fundamental role is played by the color, clarity, and fluidity of the wine.


    The color of wine is the first element to consider during the visual examination. Distinguishing different shades of color and their reflections requires practice, but with time, one can learn to differentiate a straw-yellow wine from a golden-yellow one.


    The clarity of a wine depends on the presence of suspended particles, such as yeast, sediments, or other substances that could make the wine cloudy or opaque.  A clear wine appears crystalline and bright, indicating higher quality and care in the winemaking process, especially when it comes to sparkling wines.


    In wine tasting terminology, fluidity is a characteristic measured through the "technical gesture" of swirling the glass and observing the legs left on the sides. The wider the legs, the less fluid the wine.

    Wine tasting terminology with olfactory examination

    The second sense involved in tasting is the sense of smell. The bouquet of aromas and scents released by the wine is a result of not only careful grape selection but also attentive aging in specific barrels, enriching the wine's natural scent.


    The intensity of the wine is perceived through the initial impact of the wine on the sense of smell. Tasters usually bring the glass to their nose, slightly tilt it, and take slow, regular sniffs. 


    The description defines the type of aromas characterizing the wine (floral, fruity, etc.) and to recognize the individual fragrances that tantalize the sense of smell.

    Wine tasting terminology with gustatory examination

    The gustatory examination is the final part of the tasting process, where the meaning of the entire experience materializes when the first drops of wine touch the tongue and palate, opening the doors to infinite sensations. 

    Wine Effervescence

    Wine effervescence is applicable only to sparkling wines and refers to evaluating the size and persistence of the bubbles in essentially how long they remain in the glass after pouring. The presence of bubbles can also clarify if the wine pairs well with certain foods, particularly with degreasing properties thus it is important to note this characteristic in the wine sheet if it is paired with food.

    Wine Persistence

    Wine persistence in the context of wine tasting terminology plays a prominent role. It indicates how long the initial taste sensation produced by the wine lingers on the palate, even after swallowing.


    The body of the wine refers to the sensation of fullness, weight, and consistency experienced in the mouth during wine tasting.  It indicates the presence of solid substances like tannins, residual sugars, and extracts, which contribute to the wine's structure.


    The amount of acids present in the wine determines its acidity, which can be perceived as a sensation of sharpness or freshness on the tongue. It provides vitality and structure to the wine, balancing the sweetness of residual sugars and the perception of tannins in the case of red wines.


    Sapidity is a less common characteristic compared to other tastes in wine, such as acidity or sweetness, but it is equally important in wine tasting terminology. It depends mainly on the presence of mineral salts in the soil, which winemakers carefully select.


    Wine sweetness is due to the presence of residual natural sugars that were not fully converted into alcohol during fermentation. In the terminology of wine tasting, terms like "brut," "extra-dry," "dry," "off-dry," "medium-dry," or "sweet" are used to provide an approximate indication of the perceived level of sweetness in wines and sparkling wines.

    Alcohol Content

    The alcohol content, listed on the wine tasting sheet as well as on the label, represents the percentage of alcohol present in the wine in relation to the total volume.  It is a measurement that informs about the concentration of alcohol in the wine and is expressed as a percentage. The alcohol content of the wine can influence its sensory perception and body. A wine with a higher alcohol content may be perceived as more full-bodied, warm, or intense, while a wine with a lower alcohol content may appear lighter or fresher. 

  • 10 April 2023

    What to see near Montalcino? | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    What to visit nearby Montalcino? Explore interesting locations close to this Tuscan town. 

    What to see near Montalcino? 10 places to explore

    Montalcino, an enchanting medieval village nestled among the hills of Tuscany, is renowned worldwide for its excellent wines, such as the beloved Brunello di Montalcino. However, beyond its renowned wine production, the town and its surroundings offer many other attractions and picturesque places to visit. Here’s what to see near Montalcino.

    The historical center of Montalcino and its Fortress

    With its thousand-years-old history, Montalcino enchants visitors with its timeless charm and offers a refined and fulfilling travel experience. Enveloped by well-preserved medieval walls, the village of Montalcino is rich with cobblestone streets and ancient stone houses, evoking images of a bygone era. Walking through the historic center is like immersing oneself in a fairytale, where medieval architectures unveil their stories steeped in tradition and nobility. Wondering what to see in Montalcino is, in fact, a question of being ready to embark on a marvelous journey into the past.

    One of the most iconic elements of Montalcino is its imposing Fortress, majestically perched atop the village. Built in the XIV century, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, allowing the eyes to wander over the gentle Tuscan hills, rows of vineyards and olive groves, creating a picture of rare beauty. The Fortress often serves as the venue for numerous cultural events, including the renowned Jazz & Wine in Montalcino, a festival dedicated to music and good wine. What can I find near Montalcino?

    Villages near Montalcino

    One of the most beautiful villages near Montalcino worth visiting is Pienza, known as the "ideal city," renovated by Pope Pius II in the XV century and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architectural beauty, including Piazza Piccolomini and the Cathedral. Next is Bagno Vignoni, built around a natural hot water spring that magically wells up in a large basin at the center of the square. Then there's Castiglione d'Orcia, a small village dominated by the imposing Rocca di Tentennano, an ancient medieval tower now hosting exhibitions and cultural events. Lastly, Buonconvento boasts the magnificent Clock Tower and Palazzo Podestarile, where you can still admire the 25 coats of arms of the ancient podestà [local leaders - ed.] of this charming village near Montalcino.

    Bottle and Glass Museum

    The Bottle and Glass Museum, dedicated to Giovanni F. Mariani, is located within the enchanting Castello Banfi Wine Resort, a 14th-century castle nestled in the heart of the village of Poggio alle Mura, which makes it a museum within a museum. Inside, visitors can admire the old castle spaces, such as the former stable and olive press, where the original machinery from 1857 is still preserved. As they follow the exhibition path, they are taken on a journey through the history of glass production, from the exquisite Roman glass artifacts dating back to the V and IV centuries BC to the stunning Picasso masterpiece "La Portatrice."

    What to see and do in Val d’Orcia

    But Montalcino is just the beginning of an unforgettable journey through the Val d'Orcia, a breathtaking landscape that extends beyond the borders of the village. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Val d'Orcia is a succession of hills shaped by agriculture and dotted with enchanting medieval villages. 

    Each glimpse reveals timeless beauty, a landscape painted with warm and harmonious colors that frame winding roads, fields of golden wheat, majestic cypress trees, and orderly vineyards. If you're wondering what to do and see in Val d'Orcia, the possibilities are endless. Whether it is relaxing in a magnificent wine resort or exploring the natural wonders through excursions, trekking, and walks, you will be accompanied by the opportunity to taste the local wines through guided tastings at the nearby wineries.

    Relax at Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    A vacation in Val d'Orcia turns into an immersive and relaxing experience, where you can delve into the world of wine. Among the highlights to see near Montalcino is the Castello Banfi Wine Resort, a fairytale-like medieval village just a short distance away. Here you will have the unique opportunity to stay in an authentic medieval castle. The rooms and suites at Hotel Il Borgo have been created restoring the castle buildings harmoniously blending the old with the new, tradition and contemporary comfort.

    You can also deepen your wine knowledge through guided tours of the Banfi wineries or enjoy delightful lunches at the La Taverna restaurant.

    Winery Tours

    An exhaustive answer to the question of what to see in Montalcino cannot overlook a tour of the wineries and wine shops in the vicinity. This discovery journey into the world of wine will give you the opportunity to explore real wineries and observe the wine production process up close, witnessing how cutting-edge technologies walk hand in hand with age-old traditions. In some places, like at L’Enoteca, a characteristic Tuscan shop located in the Banfi Castle Wine Resort, you can purchase the finest bottles and taste local products and culinary excellences from the region. 

  • 03 April 2023

    Easter food in Tuscany | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Lamb, typical cold cuts, and traditions: that's how Easter is celebrated in the Tuscany region.

    Easter in Tuscany: gastronomic traditions

    Spending Easter in Tuscany is an extraordinary opportunity to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the rich food tradition of this enchanting region. Food becomes a sensory experience that unfolds through authentic flavors, refined delicacies, and fairytale landscapes. Traditional dishes prepared with carefully cultivated and lovingly chosen ingredients, along with medieval castles perched on green hills adorned with vineyards and olive groves, come together in a symphony of taste and emotion that narrates the soul of Tuscany.

    Each dish served on the Easter table carries centuries of history and a deep connection with the land and its genuine products. So, what do people eat for Easter in Tuscany? What are the traditional Easter foods that one can savor in this region?

    Appetizers with local products

    To answer the question of what is enjoyed during Easter in Tuscany, it is best to start from the beginning, with the appetizers, mainly based on cured meats and cheeses. In Tuscany, talking about cured meats and cheeses is like opening the doors to a celebration of flavors, a true sensory feast, given the vast variety and, above all, the quality of these products.

    Tuscan cured meats and cheeses

    The local cured meats, such as the delicate prosciutto crudo, the aromatic finocchiona, and the flavorful Tuscan salami, release captivating aromas and flavors. Meanwhile, the sheep and cow's milk cheeses, among which the exquisite pecorino toscano stands out, offer to the palate a divine creaminess and an unparalleled embrace of taste. Every bite conveys a gustatory ecstasy, a harmony of flavors that tantalizes the taste buds and prepares them for an Easter lunch rich in taste.

    Chicken livers on Tuscan bread

    Even chicken livers are an enduring classic of Tuscan cuisine, especially during Easter. Sautéed in a pan with garlic, onion, sage, and white wine, and served hot on traditional Tuscan crostini, they have a tender texture and an intense flavor, a true delicacy to be enjoyed with family on a day of celebration.

    Torta pasqualina

    Finally, the Easter table is never complete without the "torta pasqualina," a savory pie made with puff pastry and filled with a delicious mixture of spinach, ricotta, hard-boiled eggs, and grated cheese. The typical preparation calls for creating one or more layers of filling within the pastry, with layers of spinach and ricotta interspersed with whole hard-boiled eggs. This pattern creates a succulent and flavorful dish, much loved for its combination of tastes and textures.

    First courses: homemade pasta

    An Easter tradition to uphold in the kitchen, not only in Tuscany but throughout Italy, is that of making homemade pasta. Whether it is pici, tortellini, or lasagna, the first course of this special Sunday must be prepared by hand.

    So, what do people eat for Easter in Tuscany? In general, pici are preferred, a pasta with a centuries-old tradition, similar to very thick spaghetti, dressed with a dense and flavorful ragout. Alternatively, there are the Mugellani tortelli, large homemade fresh pasta filled with flavorful seasoned potatoes.

    Main course: lamb

    The undisputed protagonist of the traditional Tuscan Easter main courses is lamb, either baked or roasted, accompanied by aromatic herbs and the so-called "pan ramerino," a traditional Tuscan bread with a crispy, golden crust and a soft, fragrant crumb.

    But when one wonders what is enjoyed during Easter in Tuscany, the answer that satisfies everyone is "buglione d'agnello," a lamb stew marinated in wine. Preparing it according to tradition requires time, precision, and a cast-iron pot in which to cook everything. The marinade must be at least eight hours long to ensure that all the flavors thoroughly infuse the meat. Not to be forgotten as an accompaniment, lightly toasted Tuscan bread crostini are served directly in the dish. The word "buglione" in the Maremma dialect means "a mix of things," precisely because all the ingredients are cooked and served together.

    Easter in Tuscany: places to find traditional easter foods

    Knowing what the traditional Easter foods in Tuscany is just the first step towards an immersive experience in the festive traditions of this magnificent region. To fully appreciate its beauty, it is essential to savor these typical dishes in an authentic Tuscan restaurant. In this regard, there is no better place than La Taverna, a characteristic Tuscan restaurant located in the old cellars of Castello Banfi, near Montalcino. The restaurant is furnished in traditional style, with tables made of fine wood reminiscent of the wine barrels that once rested in those very rooms and the exposed vaulted ceilings and magnificent tapestries depicting the lush Tuscan countryside. It is the perfect setting for a family Easter lunch, featuring the traditional dishes of the region.

    More refined, yet certainly no less welcoming, is the Ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli, nestled in the shade of the historic Castello Banfi. The restaurant is located in a room with exposed wooden beams on the ceiling and walls decorated with splendid golden grape clusters, creating an ambiance where you can indulge in a true luxury enogastronomic experience.

  • 17 March 2023

    The art of pairing food and wine | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Enhancing the flavor of local products with the perfect wine pairing is truly a pleasure: here is the advice from the experts at Castello Banfi Wine Resort.

    Food and wine pairing: what to know

    The pairing of wine with food is considered a true art, the ultimate expression of gastronomic creativity, blending two sensory worlds through a meeting of flavors, aromas, and textures that merge into a symphony of delightful tastes. However, while personal preferences in wine selection plays a fundamental role, there are certain rules for pairing wine with food that it is advisable to follow to enhance not only the individual components but also to fully enjoy the entire tasting experience. Like a master conductor, the sommelier or wine enthusiast carefully chooses the perfect companion for each dish, seeking balance and harmony. Here's what you need to know about pairing wines with food.

    How to pair food and wine: general rules

    In the complex maze of the world of wines and their pairing with food, infinite paths open up. However, some of them are easy to recognize and follow if you want to avoid making mistakes in matching wine with food.

    For aperitifs, it is recommended to go for sparkling wines, while for appetizers, the type of wine depends on the specific dish. Cured meats, for example, pair well with various types of wine, but primarily, white sparkling wines or dry reds, still and light, are preferred. When it comes to cheeses, the pairing can be quite complex and depends on the type of cheese. In general, soft cheeses pair well with medium-bodied white wines, while hard cheeses go nicely with bold and robust red wines.

    As for the main courses, it is well-known that full-bodied and intense reds marry succulent meats, fresh and vibrant whites dance with seafood and other fish-based dishes, and aromatic sweet wines enhance desserts.

    Three principles for wine and food pairing

    But what are the principles that can be followed for wine and food pairing and that have given rise to these rules?  There are different schools of thought, but the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS) primarily relies on the Mercadini Method, based on three general principles:

    • Concordance
    • Contrast
    • Tradition

    By following this method for pairing wines with food, it is possible to create delightful combinations that enhance both the dish and the beverage. The effectiveness of the Mercadini Method lies in placing the sensations elicited by the wine and food, and the overall tasting experience, at the forefront. However, these are analytically framed within three levels of visual, olfactory, and gustatory examinations.

    Wine and food pairing by concordance

    Pairing by concordance enhances harmony and balance, creating a symphony of flavors that perfectly complement each other.  This principle is based on finding affinities between the aromas, tastes, and sensory characteristics of the wine and the food. The goal is to create a combination where the aromatic and gustatory components of the food blend and complement those of the wine, enhancing each other's overall sensory experience.

    Thus, a full-bodied and complex wine pairs well with equally complex dishes and foods with bold and intense flavors. On the other hand, for a delicately flavored dish, it is essential to pair it with a wine that accompanies rather than overwhelms it; a light and less structured wine would be a suitable choice.

    Wine and food pairing by contrast

    Pairing wines by contrast, according to the Mercadini Method, is an enticing culinary adventure that explores nuances and complexities of flavors, offering a unique and unforgettable experience for the palate.

    This approach is based on the idea of balancing opposing flavors between the food and the wine to create an intriguing gustatory experience. It involves combining foods and wines that have contrasting flavor characteristics, such as sweet-bitter, fat-acidic, or spicy-sweet. Following this principle of pairing wines with food can lead to surprising combinations, like pairing a dry white wine with a creamy cheese dish or matching a structured red wine with bold tannins with a sweet and rich dessert.

    Wine and food pairing by tradition

    The third principle of wine pairing is based on tradition: choosing a wine that aligns with the culinary, and therefore geographical, traditions of the main course.  This method leverages the synergies and local culinary traditions that have developed over time and is both the simplest and most appreciated to follow.

    The art of pairing wine and food by tradition is a tribute to the richness and diversity of the Italian culinary heritage.  And Tuscany is one of the most suitable places for a gastronomic experience of the highest quality, where premium wines, carefully bottled to capture the full potential of selected grapes, meet the finest local ingredients and traditional recipes.

    A wine tasting experience to explore the theme of wine and food pairing is undoubtedly an excellent choice. L’Enoteca a charming shop reminiscent of another era located within the walls of the medieval castle of Poggio alle Mura, near Montalcino, is the ideal place to be guided by expert sommeliers while tasting the finest wines of the region and discovering the best pairings with local gastronomic products. 

    For those who want to indulge in a complete taste experience, a true journey into the culinary symphony of Tuscany, La Taverna restaurant offers an extensive selection of wines, all to be paired with traditional dishes revisited in a modern key by our chefs. 

  • 10 March 2023

    What to give to a wine enthusiast | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Here are many original ideas to give a cherished gift to wine enthusiasts. Discover the Castello Banfi Wine Resort proposals.

    10 gift ideas for wine enthusiasts

    When it comes to choosing a gift for a wine lover, the goal is to surprise and delight their senses with gifts that capture the very essence of wine and the culture surrounding it. For those who are not enthusiasts themselves, finding unique and memorable gifts might seem complicated, but the world of wines offers a wide range of possibilities, from classic bottles to sommelier accessories, and even winery tours or enogastronomic experiences. So, here are 10 gift ideas for those who are unsure of what to give to wine enthusiasts

    A fine bottle of wine

    A fine wine bottle always represents the perfect choice when wondering what to give to a wine lover: besides adding a valuable piece to their collection, gifting a bottle can also be an opportunity to enjoy the gift together and toast to a special occasion. 

    Wine glasses 

    However, if you are not an expert or you are not familiar with the gift recipient's taste, buying the right bottle might be challenging. That's why, if you are wondering what to gift a wine enthusiast without being a connoisseur yourself, a set of wine glassesis always a fantastic idea. The price range for wine glasses is quite wide, making it a gift that can easily fit any budget while still guaranteeing a highly appreciated present.


    When it comes to decanters, there is a wide range of options to choose from. You can find the more technologically advanced models, known as automatic decanters, which help speed up the wine aeration process. However, there are also exquisite design pieces, perfect for displaying in the dining room and using during more formal dinners.

    Wine accessories

    In addition to wine glasses and decanters, there are several other essential wine accessories for connoisseurs. The basic kitstypically include:

    • A high-quality corkscrew
    • A foil cutter
    • A wine stopper
    • A wine pourer
    • A wine thermometer

    However, when it comes to wine accessories for wine enthusiasts, the options are endless and depend solely on your imagination.

    Wine Cooler

    Not all wine enthusiasts have one at home, but a wine cooler is an indispensable tool. It is perfect for those who don't have an actual wine cellar or a suitable environment for storing their finest bottles. It doesn't take up much space and comes in elegant and stylish designs.

    Wine Books

    Books about wine are also fascinating and well-received gifts whether they are tasting manuals, books about the history of wine, or guides on food pairings. 

    Wine Tasting Course

    Another interesting idea is to gift a wine tasting course. These courses can cover the basics, such as choosing the right glass, the serving temperature, and the dos and don'ts of wine tasting. Alternatively, they can be comprehensive training programs, serving as the first step towards the captivating world of sommeliers. They can transform a wine lover into a true connoisseur.

    Overnight Stay at a Wine Resort

    There are also many wine-themed gift experiences that would be greatly appreciated by a wine enthusiast. One of the most beloved gifts for wine lovers is a night stay at a wine resort such as the Castello Banfi Wine Resort, located near Montalcino, a charming medieval castle amidst the lush hills of the Tuscan countryside.

    The ancient stone walls, majestic towers, and battlements overlooking the fairytale landscape, along with the beautifully restored interiors and areas dedicated to relaxation and well-being, create an atmosphere of classic elegance and modern sophistication. What truly makes the experience of staying at this wine resort extraordinaryis its complete dedication to relaxation and fine wine

    Immersed in the unspoiled beauty of the Tuscan landscape, guests can stroll through lush vineyards, breathe in the fragrant air of ripening fruits, and even witness the the grape harvest during the right season.

    Winery Tour

    The winery tour, such as the one at Castello Banfi Wine Resort, is another wine-related experience not to be missed if you have friends who are wine enthusiasts. Besides a guided tasting, you can witness the entire wine production process of the Banfi winery, where they skillfully blend the enological traditions of the region with the most innovative technologies.

    In addition to the actual winery, the Castello Banfi Wine Resort complex also includes l’Enoteca, a charming Tuscan wine shop characterized by its vaulted ceilings and centuries-old stone walls hosting a selection of labels that represent the finest wines not only from Tuscany but also beyond. 

    Dining at a Restaurant with an Excellent Wine Selection

    Finally, if you are still undecided on what to gift a wine enthusiast, there's the option of treating them to a lunch or dinner at a restaurant with an excellent wine selection. At Castello Banfi Wine Resort, you will find the Michelin-starred Ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli nestled in the shadow of an authentic medieval castle, and the charming restaurant La Taverna, located beneath the vaults of the old castle cellars. Gifting this experience to a wine lovers means offering them not only an outstanding wine selection but also the opportunity to savor authentic Tuscan dishes prepared by top-class chefs.

  • 01 March 2023

    Traditional Tuscan Foods 7 delicacies | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Not just the Fiorentina steak: discover the 7 culinary delights of the Tuscany region and where we recommend you try them.

    7 typical Tuscan foods to try

    In the heart of the lush Tuscany region, a land that enchants with its fairy-tale landscapes and thousand-years-old history, hospitality is a sacred value, of which Castello Banfi Wine Resort has always been an ambassador. Here, the culture of hospitality finds its highest expression, and visitors are welcomed with professionalism and warmth. However, it is not only in hospitality that the soul of Tuscany resides, but also in its most precious treasure: food.

    A plethora of authentic and genuine flavors, rooted in centuries-old culinary tradition, makes the Tuscan gastronomic experience a journey for all the senses. To fully understand the beauty of this region, it is essential to savor at least one of the 7 typical Tuscan foods that represent its essence.

    Florentine steak: a great classic

    But what is the most famous food of Tuscany? The "bistecca alla fiorentina" undoubtedly ranks first place in the collective imagination when it comes to typical Tuscan dishes, and it is certainly a well-deserved top spot. Cooked to perfection, this T-bone steak conceals a tender meat under a golden and crispy crust.  Generous in portion and bold in flavor, it is the result of precise and careful cooking , as well as the use of the finest ingredients , carefully selected meat from cattle raised in the green expanses of the region. It is recommended to pair it with a Brunello di Montalcino, which enhances the meat's aromas and reveals the complexity of this traditional red wines.

    Not just the "fiorentina steak": here some of other delicacies of Tuscany

    Here are the other Tuscan gastronomic specialties to try at least once in a lifetime.


    One of the quintessential Tuscan dishes is "ribollita," an ancient peasant dish made with fresh vegetables, legumes, and stale bread , embodying the essence of Tuscan tradition. This soup, born as a peasant recipe handed down from generation to generation, is now revisited using locally sourced ingredients, but it still retains its authentic spirit.  Slow-cooked for hours , it is like a warm embrace for the palate, a kaleidoscope of flavors where you can taste the sweetness of the vegetables, the richness of the legumes, and the unmistakable aroma of the herbs . Paired with a Chianti Classico, its robust flavor harmonizes perfectly with the intensity of Tuscan red wines.

    Pappa al pomodoro

    Pappa al pomodoro , one of the quintessential dishes in Tuscany, embodies the elegance and simplicity of the region's culinary tradition: it is a symphony of authentic flavors and Mediterranean aromas The rich red hues of ripe tomatoes blend with the golden tones of Tuscan extra virgin olive oil , while garlic and aromatic herbs add depth to the dish.  The secret ingredient, stale Tuscan bread, transforms into a soft and creamy texture, enveloping the palate in a delightful embrace of pleasure.

    Crostini with chicken livers paté

    And when it comes to Tuscan bread and cuisine, one cannot forget to mention "crostini con fegatini" a delicate preparation that combines chicken livers, crispy bread, and a touch of aromatic flavors. With every bite, an explosion of flavors unfolds, expertly encapsulated within the velvety creaminess of this distinctive dish.

    Pici (or "pinci" as they are called in Montalcino) with boar ragout

    Pici with wild boar ragout are truly unforgettable. This handmade pasta, similar to thick spaghetti, is dressed with a rich and hearty wild boar ragout, which offers intense and homely flavors while remaining complex and fascinating.

    Distinctive Tuscan Delicacies

    A place of honor among typical Tuscan dishes is also reserved for the famous "Lampredotto" a delicacy made from veal tripe, rich in flavor and tender in texture.  This cut of meat, carefully extracted from the stomach of the animal, becomes the star of a dish that demands patience and skill in its preparation.  It represents a unique culinary experience for those who dare to venture into the realm of less conventional delights, but it remains one of the quintessential Tuscan foods.

    Finally, to comprehensively answer the question of which Tuscan product is the most famous and widely consumed even outside the region, excluding the extensive selection of wines and focusing solely on Tuscan foods, the answer is: "Cantucci" with Vin Santo. These crunchy and fragrant almond cookies, perfect when dipped in Vin Santo, are among the most beloved sweets throughout the country.  The harmony between the sweetness of the cantucci and the richness of the wine creates a perfect conclusion to any Tuscan meal.

    Traditional Tuscan dishes at Ristorante La Taverna 

    For those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the centuries-old Tuscan culinary tradition, there is no better place than La Taverna restaurant.  Located in the shadow of Castello Banfi Wine Resort, this temple of taste offers a unique experience where typical Tuscan dishes are prepared with skill and passion, using only the highest quality local ingredients .

    In this pleasant and rustic setting, you can choose between a tasting menu or à la carte options, including appetizers, first courses, main courses, and desserts.  La Taverna restaurant is the place where hospitality and Tuscan culinary tradition come to life with every bite and sip of wine.

  • 28 February 2023

    Montalcino traditional dishes: where to enjoy them | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    The following are the traditional dishes of the Montalcino area. We explain how to prepare them and where to enjoy them paired with quality local wines.

    Montalcino traditional dishes: what they are and where to enjoy them

    Montalcino, a charming Tuscan village nestled among the hills of Val d'Orcia, has a history that is as ancient as its fertile land where the finest vineyards grow. This rich background finds its expression in the culinary and wine and food traditions of the area.

    Montalcino traditional dishes are all about authentic flavors that reflect a simple and traditional way of life deeply intertwined with the land and its excellent products. Each recipe takes you on a culinary journey, allowing you to discover the region's distinctive products. Moreover, every village or small town often takes pride in a personal reinterpretation of these recipes, offering a delightful array of unique and diverse culinary experiences in Montalcino.

    What to eat in Val d’Orcia

    Val d'Orcia, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is dotted by charming small villages set amidst a green landscape. Each village upholds the heritage of its local food and wine traditions, continuously conquering the heart of visitors from around the globe. Whether it is indulging in appetizers, first courses, main dishes, or desserts, you will have plenty of choices about what to eat in Val d'Orcia.

    Cold cuts and cheeses from the area

    Among the appetizers, a special mention goes to the Prosciutto di Cinta Senese, with its unique and unmistakable flavor, resembling that of game meat, and its characteristic spicy aroma, which pairs perfectly with Brunello di Montalcino.

    Pecorino di Pienza is also among the delicacies offered in the Val d'Orcia area. It is a traditional dish of Montalcino. Whether it's fresh or aged for ninety days in oak wood barriques, its bold taste is influenced by the aromatic herbs fed to the sheep while being reared semi-wild.

    Traditional First Courses

    The traditional first courses of Montalcino and Tuscany are renowned for their strong and concentrated flavors, showcasing the authentic tastes and aromas of the region. They are often served with sauces made with game meat.

    One of the most emblematic first courses is pici. Pici is a thick, long, and handmade type of pasta that embodies the culinary heritage of the Val d'Orcia. Pici beautifully complement various condiments (including game meat, garlic, and flavorful sauces) since their porous texture allows them to absorb and retain the sauces and flavors.

    In the land of Brunello, pici is sometimes referred to as "pinci." “Pinci alle briciole”, a classic dish in Montalcino, is best enjoyed in local restaurants and taverns. It bears witness to the creative spirit of the Tuscan people, transforming a seemingly simple and humble dish into a culinary delight. In addition to the traditional condiments of garlic, oil, and chili pepper, toasted or stale Tuscan breadcrumbs are often added to provide a delicate and surprising element to the dish.

    For a more elaborate option, "Tortelli alla Mugellana" stands out as one of the most beloved dishes and recipes in Montalcino, especially when paired with a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino. These unique tortelli are crafted with fresh pasta and filled with marinated potatoes, cheese, parsley, and garlic. They go well with rich meat-based condiments like wild boar ragout.

    Traditional Main Courses

    Another renowned masterpiece of Tuscan cuisine to be savored in Montalcino is peposo, a succulent stew bathed in a thick and spicy sauce, imbued with the flavors of the past, reminiscent of traditional cooking that calls for this delight to simmer slowly for nearly three hours in a copper pot. Peposo is typically enjoyed alongside a slice of Tuscan bread and a glass of Brunello di Montalcino wine.

    Another traditional Montalcino dish, rooted in its "poor" and working-class tradition, is stufato alla Sangiovannese. This stew is created with an assortment of aromatic spices, including ginger, cloves, and cinnamon. Passed down from one Montalcino family to the next, each household boasts its own perfect blend of spices.

    Traditional Desserts

    Panforte, amaretti, and ricciarelli hold a special place in the hearts of locals and are deeply intertwined with regional traditions. To discover the origins of the oldest panforte recipe, which was once a delicacy reserved for nobles and aristocrats, one must travel back in time to the year 1000.

    The "white" variation of panforte, widely enjoyed across the province of Siena today, can be traced back to a significant event—the visit of Queen Margherita in 1879 in Siena. During her visit, the people of Siena created a more delicate version of panforte, featuring a covering of vanilla-flavored sugar.

    Where to Eat in Montalcino

    This journey exploring the typical dishes and recipes of Montalcino inevitably leads to one question: where to eat near Montalcino?

    La Taverna

    One of the most iconic places to dine near Montalcino is Ristorante La Taverna, nestled among the hills that surround the enchanting Castello Banfi Wine Resort. This restaurant is housed within the ancient cellars of the medieval castle, boasting a traditional Tuscan decor with wooden tables, a collection of fine wine bottles on display, and charming brick vaults that create a rustic and cozy atmosphere.

    The ambiance is that of a welcoming tavern of yesteryear, where you can indulge in the typical dishes of Montalcino in the company of friends and family, paired with exceptional local wines.

    The menu showcases a selection of traditional Montalcino and Tuscan dishes, including braised pork cheek with Moscadello wine served with pumpkin, polenta, and plum jus, as well as porcini mushroom ravioli from Amiata, served with creamed chickpeas and Cinta Senese pork powder. The kitchen exclusively utilizes fresh, genuine, locally sourced ingredients, celebrating the authenticity of the region's flavors and promising a gastronomic experience that should not be missed.

    Sala dei Grappoli

    Dining at Ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli, also located within Castello Banfi Wine Resort, is a journey through the flavors of Tuscany, artfully reimagined by Chef Domenico Francone and his team. The restaurant showcases the region's finest ingredients, crafting seasonal menus that deliver an unforgettable culinary experience, complemented by a superb selection of Banfi wines.

    The restaurant features an interior dining room with a rustic yet elegant atmosphere, highlighted by exposed wooden beams and walls decorated with green and gold grape frescoes. Additionally, guests can enjoy dining in the outdoor area shaded by the Castello Banfi Wine Resort.

  • 20 February 2023

    Winery tasting sessions in Montalcino | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Discover our wine shop and cellars, strategically located near Montalcino, and enjoy an unforgettable tasting experience.

    Exploring wineries in Montalcino for wine tasting: where to go?

    An increasing number of tourists and wine enthusiasts are choosing Montalcino's wineries to indulge in wine-tasting sessions of the finest wine our country has to offer. Montalcino's wineries provide the perfect setting to learn about wine, its diverse varieties, production techniques, and rich history.

    In recent years, food and wine tourism has evolved beyond mere local product-tasting experiences, becoming intertwined with the exploration of the region and its time-honored traditions. Nestled amidst the picturesque and sun-drenched hills of southern Tuscany, the captivating village of Montalcino beckons as an ideal destination for an immersive wine experience.

    Why is Montalcino an ideal destination for learning about wine?

    A tour of the Montalcino's wineries for wine tasting would be incomplete without a glimpse into the region's storied past, intrinsically tied to winemaking since ancient times.

    Montalcino: a land of wines since Etruscan era

    The Montalcino region's affinity for winemaking dates back as far as its very inception. Abundant archaeological evidence reveals that even during the Etruscan era, the verdant hills surrounding the present-day city were dedicated to vine cultivation and the production of exceptional wines renowned across the entire Italian peninsula.

    However, it was during the 19th century, with the Brunello wine production, that Montalcino earned its prestigious status as the "homeland of wine". Since then, it has become a cherished destination for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike leading to wine tastings in Montalcino and related tours to wineries and vineyards that continue to this day. In fact, the wineries in Montalcino were among the pioneers in welcoming visitors, solidifying the town's reputation as an early adopter of enotourism in Italy.

    A vast variety of vineyards and outstanding producers

    For those seeking to learn more about wine, its history, production techniques, and the cultivation of the various vineyard varieties, all while relishing the taste of the finest Italian offerings like Brunello and Moscadello, the wineries in Montalcino are the ultimate destination for wine tastings.

    Thanks to its distinctive microclimate, the region boasts vast vine varieties, encompassing both white and red, with Sangiovese unquestionably stealing the spotlight. Here exceptional wine producers dedicate themselves to crafting precious wines by harmoniously blending ancient wisdom with state-of-the-art technologies.

    Wineries for wine tastings near Montalcino

    Now, where can you enjoy Brunello di Montalcino and other regional marvels? Castello Banfi Wine Resort is a haven for wine enthusiasts seeking a tasting experience in Montalcino and surrounding areas. Located in the enchanting Poggio alle Mura, just a stone's throw from Montalcino, this magnificent Wine resort offers visitors the opportunity to tour its vineyards and cellars and enjoy a unique tasting experience. Touring the wineries near Montalcino for tastings will go beyond a mere sensory journey among the delicious aromas and the thousand flavors of wines produced in this area. Still, it will be a veritable exploration into the realm of winemaking where ancestral wisdom and cutting-edge technologies bring forth unparalleled excellence in wine production.

    Let's start with a tour of the vineyards

    A tour of the vineyards is the first step for those who wish to enjoy a tasting experience near Montalcino. Strolling through the vineyards with our experts, you will have the opportunity to discover technical and historical facts about different vine varieties, the Montalcino region, and the winemaking process.

    Winery tours

    At Castello Banfi Wine Resort, the vineyard tour is complemented by a tour of the cellars, the beating heart of the estate designed to preserve the richness of the grapes and their characteristics. The pride of our winery is the brand-new vinification area, fully accessible through comfortable and innovative architectural solutions that allow watching the entire winemaking process.

    You will be led by an expert guide who will explain the different production stages of winemaking and the various tools used for its production and aging. Our expert sommelier will also be by your side during the tasting experience, teaching you how to recognize a good wine with your eyes and nose before even tasting it.

    How tastings take place at the Wine Shop

    The Banfi Wine Shop is the perfect place to taste Brunello di Montalcino pairing it with typical products such as local pecorino cheese and Tuscan prosciutto. Just a few steps from the village, the setting fully recreates the charm of a traditional Tuscan shop from the past, with rustic floors and exposed beam ceilings. You can stroll among the elegant shelves made of fine wood, adorned with the wonders of local craftsmanship and the wine excellence of our cellars. You can savor local food and wine products, including the renowned Salsa Etrusca and local grappa.

    To meet the needs of all wine enthusiasts, our wine shop offers a variety of tour options, ranging from afternoon tours with tastings of four types of wine to morning tours with lunch featuring three or four courses and wines selected by our expert sommeliers. You can also book a private tour that includes a visit to the vineyards, cellar, and Balsameria, a guided tasting, and a lunch at the La Taverna restaurant.

  • 10 February 2023

    Wine tourism in Italy: history and interesting facts | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Wine tourism is a form of tourism that revolves around wine and its production. Learn more about wine tourism in Italy and its history.

    Wine tourism: meaning and history of wine tourism in Italy

    Enotourism, also known as wine tourism, is a journey of exploration through regions that have a rich winemaking heritage. It involves indulging in tastings of local wines and gastronomic local delights, participating in guided tours of wineries and vineyards, and immersing oneself in the traditions and culture of the region.

    Thus, when one wonders what wine tourism means, it is important to understand that it goes beyond the typical experience of wine tasting at a bar. It offers a comprehensive and immersive experience deeply rooted in the land, encompassing the entire wine culture and production process. Wineries are often nestled in charming villages embraced by sun-drenched hills and endless vineyards, creating a captivating and almost fairy-tale-like setting that becomes an integral part of the tasting experience.

    The most sought-after destinations for wine enthusiasts are primarily located in the renowned wine-producing regions of Tuscany, such as the Val d'Orcia or the Chianti area. In these regions, the enterprising spirit and warm hospitality of the local people have played a significant role. Local wineries have breathed new life into small villages and medieval towns, transforming them into museums, bed and breakfast establishments, or luxury resorts where to indulge in relaxation, art, wellness, and the pleasure of savoring exceptional wines.

    The wine culture is inherently tied to pleasure, well-being, and entertainment. When it comes to wine tourism, activities such as SPA and thermal paths are never lacking, as well as creative endeavors such as wine focused exhibitions and workshops as well as nature experiences.

    The birth of wine tourism

    The connection between wine and tourism is ancient, yet wine tourism in Italy is relatively recent. It emerged in the early 1990s through the initiatives of various associations that organized significant wine-focused events still renowned today, such as "Cantine Aperte" and "Calici sotto le stelle". Thanks to these initiatives, over the past thirty years, more than 15 million tourists have approached the world of wine production, its history, and the traditions of the land.

    Legislation on wine tourism

    But who regulates enotourism? And what are the laws governing this form of tourism?

    Legislation on enotourism or wine tourism is very recent. In the early 2000s, the Wine Roads were established. These protected routes encompass "natural, cultural, and environmental values, vineyards, and wineries of farms or associated companies open to the public". They paved the way for a new approach to food and wine-related tourism, focusing on the excellence of the area.

    In March 2019, guidelines were introduced regarding the requirements and minimum quality standards for wine tourism activities. These guidelines were strongly advocated by all industry stakeholders and approved during the State-Regions Conference. The Enotourism Decree regulates winery visits, billing for wine tourism activities, and the skill requirements for personnel working in this sector.

    Enotourism in Tuscany: where to go?

    One of the most charming destinations for enotourism is Val d'Orcia. With its awe-inspiring landscapes, historical villages, and rich winemaking heritage, it has always been a beloved choice for wine enthusiasts.

    Nestled in the heart of Val d'Orcia, just a few kilometers from Montalcino, the birthplace of Brunello wine, one can find Castello Banfi Wine Resort. This luxury resort is dedicated to wine tourism and wellness, an oasis of peace amidst the Tuscan hills where to enjoy a pleasant weekend getaway, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of city life and immersing yourself in the slow cycles of the countryside.

    Wine tourism: beyond tasting experiences

    The beating heart of wine tourism is undoubtedly the tasting of wines and local products, which, with their perfect harmony of aromas and flavors, reflect the excellence of the area. Castello Banfi Wine Resort offers personalized tasting experiences that allow you to indulge in the flavors of the castle, taking you on a sensory journey between Tuscany and Piedmont, sampling the finest Banfi wines or the exclusive Sangiovese Selection.

    Moreover, in harmony with the spirit of wine tourism, we provide the opportunity to embark on a unique tour of the distinctive places and craftsmanship that define our winery. The tour begins with a visit to the estate and vineyards, where magnificent grapes thrive to produce exceptional bottles of wine. Next, a guided tour of the cellars awaits, where cutting-edge technologies meet the highest-quality ingredients and time-honored traditions. Finally, the tour ends with a lunch featuring local products created to satisfy even the most demanding palates.

  • 03 January 2023

    6 Villages in Tuscany Where to Live | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Are you dreaming of a slower life, surrounded by nature, with locally-farmed products? Then follow this guide to small dream-like Tuscan hamlets.

    6 small Tuscan hamlets you could live in

    Tuscany, a land filled with history and culture in every form, apart from being a coveted destination for tourists all over the world, it is also a region where you could think about moving for good to change your lifestyle.

    The main appeal is that of small Tuscan hamlets, where you can enjoy life closer to nature, which can offer several career opportunities in the tourist, farming, and wine & food sectors.

    If you are wondering where to move to Tuscany to change your lifestyle, here are five small Tuscan hamlets to live in.

    Brento Sanico

    Brento Sanico is a tiny Tuscan hamlet, in the heart of the Upper Mugello mountains, in a partially-hidden valley; it is a unique chance to move to Tuscany, leaving the chaotic city life behind, to pursue farming or animal husbandry, for instance.

    This hamlet, abandoned in the 1960s, is the focus of an important redevelopment and repopulation project. The houses will be renovated using the beautiful local sandstone and loaned for free use.


    Sovana, part of the Municipality of Sorano in the Grosseto province, is one of the most enchanting small Tuscan hamlets to live in if you love art and culture. It was already inhabited in Etruscan times, and it soon became an important Medieval hamlet.

    Evidence of its ancient past is visible everywhere inside the town, among the numerous religious and military buildings, such as the Rocca Aldobrandesca or the archaeological area nearby.

    The town has a few hundred residents and is well-connected to the other towns in Maremma.

    Bagno Vignoni

    Bagno Vignoni too has very ancient origins. The Romans favored it, over the other towns in Val d’Orcia, for the presence of thermal baths of volcanic origins, and even Lorenzo De’ Medici visited it.

    San Gimignano

    Surely bigger and more famous than the others in this list, San Gimignano is known as the “city of towers” and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moving to Tuscany and deciding to live in San Gimignano offers the chance to enjoy all the perks of a small hamlet without giving up other services and infrastructures. Moreover, this Tuscan hamlet offers several career opportunities in the tourist and wine-making sector.


    Equally famous for its wine, for its thermal waters, and for its typically Medieval aspect, Montepulciano is one of the most enchanting places to live in Tuscany. The town, which houses almost 15,000 residents, is right on the border with the Umbria region and is surrounded by green areas, perfect for families who love trekking and hiking.

    Poggio alle Mura

    Among the most characteristic Medieval places in Tuscany, there is also Poggio alle Mura, in the Municipality of Montalcino, a short distance away from the Grosseto province.

    Castello Banfi di Poggio alle Mura, one of the best wine resorts near Montalcino, is located here. Although it is not possible to live in Poggio alle Mura, moving near here, such as to Montalcino, for instance, will give you a chance to start a life in contact with nature, with many career opportunities in the wine sector.

    Wine lovers will also have the chance to visit Enoteca Banfi, an enchanting Tuscan emporium of yesteryear, where they can find some of the most popular labels by Banfi and local producers. Moreover, Castello Banfi houses the Ristorante La Sala dei Grappoli and La Taverna, perfect places for those who love the taste of tradition.

  • 02 January 2023

    Wedding in Tuscany: where to do it? | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Where and how to organize a wedding in Tuscany? Here is an example of the perfect location to make this day unforgettable.

    Wedding in Tuscany: the perfect location

    Celebrating your wedding in Tuscany is the hidden dream of many couples. The allure of Tuscan landscapes, with its typical hills, vineyards, castles perched and towns if yesteryear, combined with the typical hospitality of local residents and the quality of food & wine, makes Tuscany the perfect location.

    The best places for a Tuscan wedding that best embody these characteristics there is Castello Banfi, near Montalcino, the land of Rosso and Brunello wines, a classy and sophisticated wedding location in Tuscany, in a unique and historical setting.

    Wedding at the Castello Banfi Wine Resort: hospitality and haute cuisine

    If you are wondering where to hold a truly unforgettable wedding in Tuscany, Castello Banfi Wine Resort is the ideal choice. The Castle will be reserved to the wedding couple and their guests, who will be able to walk amid Medieval walls, admire the vineyards and the quiet Tuscan countryside, and enjoy the tasty zero-km haute cuisine of our chefs, who expertly combine traditional flavors with new culinary trends.

    Castello Banfi Wine Resort wedding locations in Tuscany

    With the Castello versatile spaces, inside and out, and carefully curated details, you can customize the ceremony, the welcome drink, your lunch or dinner, by choosing the best formula for your needs, and exploiting the different locations, inside or outside the resort.

    Outdoor spaces overlooking the Tuscan countryside

    The structure strategic position makes the Castle the perfect place for a wedding; for instance, the Terrace, located near the walls, offers a breathtaking view over the Tuscan hills, just like in a postcard, with vineyards kissed by the sun becoming the perfect background for a wedding in a Tuscan vineyard.

    There are numerous outdoor options. Courtyards, terraces and gardens can host the buffer, the welcome drinks or the traditional cake cutting. One of the most romantic places in the entire Castle is the Rose Garden, where the enchanted nature and the expert work of flower designers and gardeners combine to create a fairy tale venue, an incredibly romantic and charming background for souvenir photos or to say “I do”, surrounded by the beautiful and elegant roses - the symbol of love.

    Fascinating interiors in the Castle walls

    And the Castle’s fascination is also enclosed between its ancient walls. Thanks to the care for details and elegant interiors, the wedding couple and their guests can enjoy all the comforts during the ceremony and the reception, in a unique and unusual wedding location in Tuscany.

    A tailored-made event

    Castello Banfi Wine Resort, with its romantic yet versatile spaces, indoor and out, offers several settings to hold the different moments of your ceremony. Every detail can be curated and personalized based on your needs, to offer you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

    The magical structure is also complemented by the unique location and the gourmet food offer and top-level staff, who will assist you to make your special day unique and unforgettable.

    Rooms and suites for your guests

    Lastly, if you choose to celebrate your wedding in Tuscany between the walls of Castello Banfi Wine Resort, you’ll have access, apart from the Castle’s private spaces, also to the resort rooms and suites, with the option of sleeping in an authentic Medieval castle, surrounded by nature, with all the amenities and comforts of a luxury facility.

  • 01 January 2023

    How to open a wine shop? | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    From wine to the location atmosphere, here is how Castello Banfi Wine Resort opened its wine bar and a few tips to open your own one.

    How do you open a successful wine shop?

    In the last years wine bars, and winery tours in Italy are growing fast. And many people are wondering what it takes to open a successful wine shop. This short guide on how to open a wine shop will answer all the most frequently asked questions on this topic.

    Difference between a wine cellar and a wine shop

    First of all, we should make a distinction between a wine cellar and a wine bar, which are often incorrectly used as synonyms:

    ●      A wine cellar is a place to store wine, such as the cellars of restaurants;

    ●      The wine bar (or wine shop), on the other hand, provides the sale of wine and the administration of food pairings; therefore, it better represents the concept of a wine shop.

    What does it take to open a wine shop?

    Just like any other business, you need a business plan. It should include several analyses, such as:

    ●      A cost estimate required to open your shop;

    ●      A target analysis, considering the kind of customers you wish to target with your business;

    ●      The location interior design;

    ●      The business’ medium and long-term objectives.

    How can I get a wine license?

    If you want to open a wine bar or a wine cellar, it is best to get a diploma from a hospitality training institute or have at least two years of experience in the restaurant sector before opening your store and having attended a sommelier class.

    Moreover, Italian regions frequently offer SAB (Food and Beverage Service) classes, which train and qualify to open a store where food and beverages are sold. Furthermore, you need the HACCP certificate for the hygienic and safety standards required to serve food and beverages to the public.

    And, of course, a license to sell alcoholic beverages. So, how can I get a wine license? You just need to submit the relevant request to the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli, even via registered letter. Lastly, the following documents are required to open a wine cellar or a wine bar:

    ●      Segnalazione Certificata di Inizio Attività (SCIA) for business activities;

    ●      VAT number;

    ●      Relevant ATECO code.

    How much does it cost to open a wine shop?

    Documents, permits, and licenses are the first items to add to the budget required to open a wine cellar; then, you should add the rental fees or purchase of the venue, furniture, wine supply, and staff costs.

    On average, the initial cost to open a wine cellar is around 30,000 euros, plus the wine.

    Enoteca Banfi - A success story

    In order to better understand what you need to open a wine shop, we advise you to take some successful businesses on our territory as an example, such as Enoteca Banfi, located in the heart of the land of Brunello, at Castello Banfi Wine Resort, just 20 km from Montalcino.

    The first thing that strikes visitors upon entering this wine cellar is its atmosphere. The furniture is made with fine materials and ancient pieces so as to recreate a Tuscan emporium from yesteryear. Walking into Enoteca Banfi is not just a purchasing experience but also a discovery of the places and traditions related to wine-making.

    This wine cellar has a wide range of products for sale: spumante, grappa, extra virgin olive oil, and many other local gourmet products, as well as a careful selection of Banfi wines, renowned and appreciated throughout the world for their quality and taste.

    Lastly, Enoteca Banfi holds tasting experiences for its guests with local products (cheese, cold cuts, etc.) paired with different wines and a visit to the fascinating Banfi winery. These tours include a walk through the vineyards, where you can admire multiple grape varieties cultivated in the Banfi estate and a classy, rustic, yet modern environment in the winery.

    Care for the customer and the finest products for sale are the other essential thing to keep in mind, to open a successful wine shop.

  • 01 January 2023

    How to recycle wooden wine boxes: 5 ideas | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    They can become shelves, storage compartments, or pet accessories - 5 tips to recycle wooden wine boxes.

    5 ideas to recycle wine boxes

    Wooden wine boxes - especially those from fine bottles - make the product more valuable. Indeed, they are often hand-made with fine wood.

    The nicest ones are sometimes stored along with the bottles or displayed in the wine cellar or living room as designer accessories. Alternatively, they can be recycled into entirely new objects. To this end, there are many different ideas on how to recycle wooden wine boxes.

    Since they are rectangular objects with a very versatile shape, and long-lasting, durable material, wine boxes can be reused in many different places in your home. Here are five ideas on how to recycle wooden wine boxes.

    Spice or tea holders

    If you are wondering how to recycle wooden wine boxes, the easiest solution is to give them a new life, without making any substantial changes, just by changing their content and using them to store spices or tea bags. You can choose to leave them as is or to embellish them with the decoupage technique for a fascinating vintage effect.

    Single wine bottle boxes are perfect for teabags. The size of a single wooden wine bottle box makes it ideal to be reused to hold most of the teabags available on the market.

    Or, if you want to use it as a spice holder, you can use the box as is or hang it on the wall securely fastened, and then arrange all the spice jars inside, so you can easily reach them when you are cooking. Adding a few aromatic plants between the spice jars, along with the rustic-chic effect of wooden boxes, make this wine box reuse idea truly classy and very simple to achieve.


    Another very easy idea to recycle your wooden wine boxes is to use them as shelves to hang on walls or to create actual bookcases using the wine boxes as shelving. Thanks to boxes versatility, you can create endless combinations, alternating empty and full spaces with captivating layouts, or by placing the boxes one on top of the other for a more classic design. This kind of bookcase is perfect for a rustic or shabby-chic environment.


    This idea to reuse wine boxes requires some handiwork for a one-of-a-kind, sophisticated, and classy result, which can be placed in any room of your home to recreate a relaxing atmosphere. Here is how to turn a wine box into a decorative lamp.

    One of the easiest way is to use the box without the lid and turn it into a light box by gluing a small LED strip light inside it, a few inches from the edge. Then, you can add a shiny or matte Plexiglas sheet in place of the lid, which can be further decorated with writings or stylized images.

    Another method is to cut out a shape (perhaps a wine bottle or glass) using the right tools, then add a lamp inside the box and cut a hole on the back for the cable to pass through.

    Glass holder

    A classy idea for true connoisseurs is to turn wine boxes into wine cellar decorations, such as glass storage shelves.

    Wine glasses should be stored upside down to prevent dust from collecting inside them. Also, to prevent the rims from chipping, they should be raised from the shelf. To achieve this purpose, you can fit a glass holder inside the box on one of the longer sides. The majority of these glass racks can be fitted on wooden elements, such as shelves or recycled wine boxes.

    A solution with hanging glasses reusing wooden wine boxes is elegant, sophisticated, practical, and functional for their perfect conservation.

    Pet kennel

    A unique idea to recycle wooden wine boxes is to turn them into comfortable pet kennels for cats or small dogs. Larger wine boxes that house two or three bottles are perfect for this purpose.

    You can upholster the bottom with a padded cushion to make it even more comfortable for your furry friends. You can even make a multi-level kennel by fitting wooden blocks to raise and support another box/kennel on the four upper boxes of the first box.

  • 06 December 2022

    Condimento Balsamico Etrusco | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    Condimento Balsamico Etrusco: history, production, characteristics and trivia about Banfi-made balsamic vinegar.

    Condimento Balsamico Etrusco: characteristics and production

    Staying at Castello Banfi Wine Resort, in the romantic hamlet of Poggio alle Mura, will be an unforgettable experience to the discovery of the beauty and history of the Tuscan territory, filled with priceless art treasures, evocative views, and unforgettable flavors. Among these, the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco - a fine nectar similar to balsamic vinegar - stands out for its uniqueness, perfect for enhancing the finest Italian dishes.

    In our Balsameria, located in the Poggio alle Mura Castle, we passionately and carefully produce the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco, using fine grapes cultivated on our territory and following ancient Etruscan methods.

    How the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco is produced

    The production technique for the Etruscan balsamic condiment is long and complex, with a maturation that reaches 12 years. The result is a balsamic vinegar with a complex, spicy scent and unique flavor, with the perfect sweet and sour balance.

    Traditional Montalcino white grapes (Moscadello and Trebbiano) are harvested late and then pressed to obtain the must. The must is filtered and then cooked. In this way, a thick, dark must is obtained, with a higher percentage of sugar. Once it cools down, the cooked must is then placed in wooden barrels for variable periods, between 4 and 8 months. During this time, the aging process begins.

    The traditional balsamic vinegar production process, partially followed also to make the Banfi’s Condimento Balsamico Etrusco, entails the preparation of a “batteria”, that is, a set of small barrels made of different woods of decreasing size (from 60 to 25 liters).

    The barrel material varies and is the main item responsible for the varied aromatic bouquet of the Etruscan balsamic condiment: oak, chestnut, cherry, ash, and mulberry release their aromas and help make the olfactory complexity of this peculiar condiment richer.

    Only three liters of condiment are gradually decanted from bigger to smaller barrels, with different dwell times. The entire aging process lasts approximately 12 years for a simply unique balsamic condiment.

    Characteristics of the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco

    The Condimento Balsamico Etrusco has a vivid and shiny dark brown color with an intense viscosity. Its scent is spicy and inebriating, with pleasantly balanced acidity. Its unique and complex scent is the result of its aging process in fine wood barrels and also of the quality of late-maturing grapes typical of the Montalcino territory.

    Its flavor is also unmistakable, with an expert mix of sweet-and-sour and a full, rich taste.

    The Balsameria: where the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco is made

    The sophisticated Condimento Balsamico Etrusco signed by Banfi production is done in Castello Banfi’s Balsameria, a place of times gone, which you can visit if you choose to stay at Castello Banfi Wine Resort.

    Castello Banfi’s ancient warehouses, located underneath the building’s north wing, have been transformed into this condiment’s production place, due to their climatic features. They look like miniature cellar, where barrels of different sizes and the materials used to age the must are displayed.

    A linen cloth with a metal chain is placed on each barrel, arranged in orderly rows between the red brick columns. Tradition has it that this cloth prevents dust and insects from contaminating the product.

    Visiting our Balsameria is not just a gourmet experience; it is also an enchanting dive into Montalcino’s traditions, which, such as the Condimento Balsamico Etrusco dates back to Etruscan times.

  • 01 December 2022

    Wine disgorging: what is it and what is it for? | Castello Banfi Wine Resort

    The disgorging process allows the removal of sediment. Find out how it is performed and at what stage of wine production it takes place.

    What is wine disgorgement and how it is performed

    The disgorging of wine represents a fundamental step in the production of classic method sparkling wines, and in Banfi's case, our bubbles are produced according to this process in the Banfi Piemonte winery located in Strevi, in the province of Alessandria.

    In addition to our open visit winery nestled among the Montalcino vineyards at the enchanting and evocative Castello Banfi Wine Resort estate, the Banfi winery also features another equally historic winery with an adjoining 50 hectares (46 of which are vineyards) in Piedmont. Here we produce quality sparkling wines, such as classic method and Charmat wines.

    At what stage of the production is the disgorgement of sparkling wine performed?

    Wine disgorgement is a process that involves the removal of fermentation residue from classic method sparkling wine bottles.

    Classic method sparkling wines undergo a second fermentation in the bottle: the base wine cuvée, made with fine wines from the region (Piedmont in the case of Banfi Piemonte) is enriched with a liqueur de tirage, a mixture of sugars, minerals and yeasts that can trigger the re-fermentation of the wine and the so-called “presa di spuma” or fermentation in the bottle. This process results in the formation of residues and spent yeast, which compromise the crystalline clarity that characterizes Italian sparkling wines.

    For this reason, the bottles are turned upside down and, through the complex process of remuage,  manual or mechanical, the residues are trapped toward the neck of the bottle, inside the bidule located under the crown cap.

    It is at this stage that the wine is disgorged, that is, the crown cork with residue is removed and the new characteristic cork that distinguishes classic method sparkling wines is applied.

    Wine disgorgement: meaning and origin of the name

    The word "disgorging" by which the entire process of removing residue refers is the actual act of uncorking the bottle. The French word "dégorgement" is equally used in Italy to refer to this procedure (given the profound influence of French wine culture in the production of classic method sparkling wines) and it can be translated literally as "discharge" and it refers to the removal of residues. The two terms are used as synonyms.

    Dégorgement: differences between manual and mechanical procedure

    Within the intricate and complex production process, the disgorging of sparkling wine holds an important role, as it ensures the presentation of a crystal-clear sparkling wine with bright perlage and characteristic bubbles. In the past, this operation was performed by hand, even within the Banfi Piemonte winery, by experts in manual remuage and dégorgement à la volée, through skillful and accurate procedures that were the result of years of experience in this field.

    Dégorgement à la volée: the traditional procedure

    Dégorgement à la volée, or classic method disgorgement  by hand, involves uncorking the bottle upside down by hand, taking advantage of the pressure created inside it during refermentation and thus eliminating the residue inside the cork and bidule. It is then quickly straightened so as to reduce the spillage of the sparkling wine.

    At this stage, it is possible to make up for the loss of liquid through a topping-up procedure with liquer d'expedition or liquer de dosage, a sugary mixture that embellishes classic method sparkling wines and helps enrich the sensory experience.

    The difficulty of dégorgement à la volée made it essential to invent a mechanized procedure that would minimize or completely eliminate wine spillage. However, for fine formats or more special cuvées, we still use this manual technique, which we might call a true art, under the exclusive skills of expert master vintners, such as those at Banfi.

    Dégorgement a la glace: the modern procedure

    The mechanized procedure of disgorging wine or sparkling wine is called dégorgement a la glace. Bottles undergoing remuage are pre-washed from the pupitres (the special wooden boards on which they are placed with the neck facing down) and placed in special machines that freeze the bottle neck and crown cap thanks to a special salt compound that can bring the liquid and sediment to a temperature between -25°C and -30°C.

    The machines thus proceed to turn the bottles upside down, which will end up with their necks facing upward: unlike in manual dégorgement, with the dégorgement a la glace the spent yeast and other residues trapped in the bidule will be frozen, without the risk of them falling into the bottle and clouding the wine again.

    It is then possible to safely remove the frozen cork (the actual disgorgement of the classic method sparkling wine), refill the wine if necessary, and place the cork with its metal cage.

    Dégorgement a la glace is, as mentioned earlier, the wine disgorgement procedure most commonly used by producers. However, watching a master vintner perform manual dégorgement is a true show, an experience not to be missed if you love wine and its production according to ancient traditions.