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la costa Toscana

Crete Senesi

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Montagnola Senese


Abbazia di Sant'Antimo

onte Amiata





          Fonti di Siena



Val d'Elsa

Val d'orcia




          San Quirico d'Orcia


          Walking in the Val d'Orcia

Val di Chiana



Valle d'Ombrone










Banfi Castle


Toacana ] Galleria di immagini  

Castle - Castello Banfi


The castle of Poggio alle Mura, now famous with the name of Banfi Castle as property and representative center of this important vine growing and wine producing company, was erected, in its current form, in 1438 on a hill near the confluence of the rivers Orcia and Ombrone.
Castello Banfi is a family-owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany. Together with its sister estates in Piedmont, Vigne Regali and Principessa Gavia, it has become recognized the world over for its dedication to excellence and sparking a renaissance in the art of Italian winemaking.


'Teodolinda Banfi, who inspired the founding and naming of Banfi Vintners, earned a place in papal history by being the first lay person ever to head a pope's household staff.

A woman of eclectic tastes, she greatly influenced the firm's founder, her nephew, John Mariani, Sr., through her knowledge of fine wines, and that ultimately shaped his choice of business career. He established the company that bears her name in New York in 1919.

Mr. Mariani was born in Torrington, Connecticut in 1895, but when he was nine years old, his father, a carriagemaker, died and financial circumstances forced his mother to return to Italy with him and five siblings. They resided with her sister, Teodolinda, who took an active interest in the children's early education. At the time she directed the household staff of the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Achille Ratti, a man destined to become pope.

In 1922, following the death of Benedict XV and 14 votes of the conclave, Cardinal Ratti was elected to the papacy, taking for his pontifical name Pius XI. Among his first appointments was one that stirred up a bit of controversy in austere Vatican circles. He requested that Miss Banfi be summoned to manage his household as she did for many years in Milan. It seems that Miss Banfi was like a younger sister to the pope, his mother having adopted her as a child. (She was born in Caronno Milanese on March 5, 1862, but orphaned at an early age.) Nevertheless, Pius XI's request was viewed with amazement--and ignored for months--because never before had a woman, other than a nun, lived in the Sistine Palace. Only after he repeated his instructions over and over again did she arrive on the scene and take up residence in a two-room apartment overlooking the Belvedere.

Miss Banfi quickly took charge. Records recently discovered in the Vatican Archives refer to her as the "real guardian" of the papal apartments. She is described as diminutive, yet possessed of a formidable personality, "very authoritative, particularly in the kitchen," just as she had been in former days at the Archbishop's palace where she also selected the wines served with the new pope's meals. Her choices--and the reasons for them--had been occasional topics of conversation back in Milan, and they did not escape her nephew's attention. In later years, he would quip with a wink that the experience unveiled for him the secrets of the Vatican cellars.

Addressed simply as "Miss Linda," it was often difficult to distinguish Miss Banfi from a nun. She always wore black, even her hair was tightly bound by a black scarf, and her strong sense of duty and personal loyalty to the pope dictated she work prodigiously. Little is noted about how she spent her free time except for works of charity. She enjoyed listening to the radio, mostly classical music, and reading also accounted for many of her leisure hours, everything from the classics to devotional literature and, of course, the daily press. (She favored Milan's newspapers over local media, however, with one exception: Osservatore Romano).

Miss Banfi remained in the post for several years and then retired. In 1929, she was granted Vatican citizenship and resided in San Carlo Palace until, after a long bout with bronchial pneumonia, she died peacefully in her sleep on February 12, 1938. Her remains are interred in a crypt under the parish church of Santa Anna in Vatican City.

The founder of Banfi Vintners was John Mariani, Sr., an American of Italian heritage whose company today is one of the world's leading wine merchants. It also exports wines of its own vinification to over 50 countries around the world.
Competitors who knew him were quick to compliment his integrity and business acumen; his associates saw him as a quiet, conservative executive yet one who enjoyed "working the streets"; and his family still marvels over his universally classic taste. Anything truly beautiful sparked his creative flair: art, sculpture, antiques, music, especially the operas of Verdi and Puccini, and, of course, the noble wines of Europe.
For a time, he may well have questioned his wisdom in establishing a wine house in New York in 1919, a year before the unthinkable happened: America voted "dry," and Prohibition became the law of the land. He persevered, however. Like any sound businessman, he simply adapted to conditions by concentrating on imported spices and other Italian specialties as well as the manufacture of medicinal bitters, an alcohol product permitted under the new law. These items kept the firm alive for the next 13 years.
With Repeal, Mr. Mariani wasted no time. He booked passage to Europe and sought agencies from renowned vintners in France, Germany and Italy though the Banfi line eventually became mostly Italian in character. He helped to introduce American connoisseurs to vintage Barolo, Gattinara, Brunello and Chianti Riserva.
Through a twist of fate, Mr. Mariani found himself exposed to Europe's fine wine offerings early in life. He was born in 1895 in Torrington, Connecticut, but when he was nine years old, his father, a carriagemaker, died. Financial circumstances then forced his mother to return to Italy with him and five siblings. They resided with her sister, Teodolinda Banfi, who, albeit unwittingly, planted the seeds for her nephew's future choice of career. At the time, she was serving as chief of the household staff of the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Achille Ratti, a position she continued to enjoy when he was elected Pope Pius XI in 1922. It seems that among her duties was the selection of the Pontiff's wines, decisions that invariably proved a topic of conversation at the Banfi table. Her choices--and the reasons for them--did not escape her nephew's attention. In subsequent years, he would quip with a wink that the experience unveiled the secrets of the Vatican cellars.
Mr. Mariani returned to America several years prior to the country's involvement in World War I. At the age of 23, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was trained at the Fort Gordon School for Non-Commissioned Officers in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating with the rank of infantry sergeant. But he never saw battle. While on a troop ship bound for Europe, hostilities ended, and on the voyage home he began giving serious thought to the wine trade.
He located his office and warehouse on Spring Street, New York, a section of the city favored by importers, and he named the firm "Banfi" in honor of his mother and aunt. The times obviously were not ideal, hours assuredly long and growth slow, but these difficulties did not interfere with his courtship of a young American girl of Lithuanian descent, Eva Barr. They married in 1928 and were blessed with three children: Joan, John, Jr., and Harry. All three joined their father in the business on reaching adulthood.
Joan was the first, following her graduation from Cornell University in 1951, and she remained with the firm until her marriage five years later. John, Jr., also a Cornell graduate and possessed of much of his father's creative flair, entered the family firm in 1956 after a two-year tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Europe. Harry came on staff in 1959. "When I was graduated from Colgate University," he says, "my father offered his congratulations and told me to take a week off before reporting to the warehouse. He believed in brief vacations."
John, Sr., not only found his sons to be great assets to the business but worthy successors. He turned the firm over to them in 1963.
John Mariani, Sr., died on December 24, 1972. The preeminence of Banfi in the wine world today is a fitting tribute to his memory. '


Banfi Società Agricola S.r.l.
Castello di Poggio alle Mura s.n.c. - 53024 Montalcino (SI)

Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino | Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino | Costa del Municipio, 1, 53024 Montalcino (Siena)

Member companies of the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino [1]


Map of the Brunello di Montalcino region | Member companies of the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino


A     B     C     D         F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     Z

Sant'Angelo Scalo

| Castello Banfi - Il Borgo | Castello di Poggio alle Mura - S. Angelo Scalo-53024 Montalcino - Siena

Caffe' Sant'Angelo di Bucci Daniela
8, Via Grossetana
SI Montalcino
340 8305269


Set in 7100 hectares of land in the Montalcino area, Castello Banfi il Borgo is one of the most important wine producers in Tuscany. The family-owned vineyard estate boasts a glass museum, enoteca, and two restaurants: the informal Castello Banfi – La Taverna, and the Michelin-starred Castello Banfi – Il Ristorante.
The castle at the heart of Castello Banfi's Poggio aIle Mura estate is an impressive medieval fortress that overlooks the estate's vineyards. The 2900 hectare Castello Banfi estate is a constellation of single vineyards. These include Poggio all'Oro, Tavernelle, Mandrielle, Belnero, Colvecchio, Fontanelle, Serena and San Angelo Wines: ExcelsuS Sant’Antimo DOC, SummuS Sant’Antimo DOC, Cum Laude Sant’Antimo DOC, Poggio all’Oro Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva, Poggio alle Mura Gran Cru Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Colvecchio Syrah Sant’Antimo DOC, Tavernelle Cabernet Sauvignon Sant’Antimo DOC, Mandrielle Merlot Sant’Antimo DOC, San Angelo Pinot Grigio Toscana IGT, Serena Sauvignon Blanc Sant’Antimo DOC, Fontanelle Chardonnay Sant’Antimo DOC, FloruS Moscadello di Montalcino DOC Late Harvest.


Banfi, Castello di Poggio alle Mura



Celebrare il dolce far niente

Podere Santa Pia




Brunello di Montalcino vineti e Monte Amiata   Montalcino vineyard - panoramio   Tenuta Il Poggione Sant'Angelo in Colle

Brunello di Montalcino vineti e Monte Amiata


  Brunello di Montalcino vineyards, Montalcino   Tenuta Il Poggione Sant'Angelo in Colle
Sant'Angelo in Colle   Montalcino, Poggio alle Mura, Cimitero   Castello Banfi, Montalcino

Sant'Angelo in Colle



Poggio alle Mura, Cimitero


  Castello Banfi, Montalcino