Thursday, June 15, 2023
Today we had booked in advance a wine tour and 4-course lunch with wine pairings at the Banfi Winery. It was an hour and a half drive from our B&B to the winery.
We arrived early so we parked our vehicles and had time to look around the castle.
The Castello Banfi was originally the castle of Poggio alle Mura and was reconstructed in 1438. It was dated back much farther, between the 9th and 13th centuries. They also believed it once was a settlement of the ancient Etruscans because excavations have found some stone urns and ceramic vases that dated to that time period, so even further!
It was damaged during WWII and when it became part of the Banfi estate in 1983 it was restored to its beauty. The estate had a hotel, 2 restaurants (one with a Michelin star), an enoteca (wine shop), the Balsameria, and a glass museum.
The hotel and restaurants were very expensive. One night at the hotel would be over $1,000.00. Definitely out of our budget. But the grounds were beautiful and the buildings elegant, even in the wine cellars!
We met our guide and followed her to the Balsameria!
When we walked in the Balsameria building we could smell the balsamic vinegar!
The balsamic vinegar barrels are made from different wood and as the vinegar ages it goes from a larger barrel to a smaller barrel. The order of the barrels were oak, chestnut, cherry, ash, and lastly mulberry. The entire process took 12 years. We had some of this balsamic vinegar at our lunch wine tasting and it was delicious. A small bottle sold for fifty Euros ($56.20)!!!
We then went to our vehicles and followed our guide to head to the processing plant and wine cellars. The view from the estate was beautiful.
Brothers John and Harry Mariani founded Banfi in 1978. Banfi got its name from the brothers great Aunt’s name. The estate included 7,100 acres of land. One third was single vineyards and the rest was made up of olive groves, fruit trees (mainly plums), woods and scrub.
It took about fifteen minutes to get to the plant and cellars.
When we got to the winery processing area we were quite impressed with its state of the art technology.
There were 7,000 customized barrels here. We saw beautiful chandeliers and glass displays as we walked among the wine barrels.
After our tour we drove back to Castello Banfi for our 4-course tasting menu in the La Taverna restaurant. It was located under the vaulted arches of the former barrel cellar of the castle.
When we walked out of the restaurant we saw a lot of classic convertible cars lined up along the entryway of the estate.
After our day at the Banfi Winery we drove back to Torraccia di Chiusi and read and/or relaxed by the pool.
We enjoyed the evening with some wine, cheese, and snacks together.