Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.
Castello Banfi wines Producer Profile

A winery focused on continual improvements through innovation...

The post Castello Banfi: producer profile plus 14 wines tasted appeared first on Decanter.


Castello Banfi wines Producer Profile

A winery focused on continual improvements through innovation...

The post Castello Banfi: producer profile plus 14 wines tasted appeared first on Decanter.

Castello Banfi wines Producer Profile

Castello Banfi is Montalcino’s largest wine estate by far, occupying 2,870 hectares on the slopes a few kilometres to the south and southwest of the town, located in the province of Siena in Tuscany.

Banfi claims the largest contiguous vineyard in Europe: approximately 950ha of vines form a sprawling web of adjoined vineyards. The remaining two-thirds of the estate are made up of olive groves, wheat fields, plum trees, truffle stands, woodland and scrub.


See the tasting notes and scores for 14 top Banfi wines


At the heart of it all, at 280 metres, lies the ancient castle of Poggio Alle Mura. Ravaged by time – and particularly World War II – the castle was in need of repair and so, when the prestigious Poggio Alle Mura estate vineyards and castle were acquired by Banfi in 1983, the Mariani family immediately set about restoring it to its former glory.

Nowadays, the castle itself houses a glass museum and balsameria, while in its shadow you will find a hotel, two restaurants (including the one-Michelin-starred La Sala dei Grappoli) and an enoteca.

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<h3 style="text-align: left"><strong>Banfi factbox:</strong></h3>
<p style="text-align: left"><strong>Founded</strong>: 1978<br />
<strong>Production</strong>: approximately 10 million bottles annually<br />
<strong>Key wines</strong>: Poggio Alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino Riserva; Brunello di Montalcino; Cuvée Aurora Alta Langa; Summus Toscana</p>
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<p>Banfi Vintners was founded by Giovanni F. Mariani Sr in New York in 1919, naming it after his mother’s family name. Prohibition came into effect the following year but the company survived by importing Italian delicacies and producing medicinal bitters. As soon as the repeal was announced, Mariani began seeking out new agencies, and Banfi Vintners soon became a successful wine importer specialising in Italian, German and French wines.</p>
<p>In 1963 Mariani handed the company over to his two sons, John Jr. and Harry, who had joined the company several years earlier. His daughter Joan had also worked for the company in the 1950s, until she married.</p>
<p>Banfi Vintners shot to success in 1969 thanks to the popularity of Riunite Lambrusco, which the company introduced to the USA.</p>
<p>The company was pivotal in introducing American consumers to ‘new’ Italian wines. It already imported Castello Poggio Alle Mura’s wines (the estate it would later acquire in 1983), one of the very few in Montalcino that produced enough volume to export, and in 1978 John Jr. and Harry founded the Castello Banfi estate in Montalcino. A year later, they also acquired the 50ha Bruzzone estate in Strevi, Piedmont.</p>
<p>Banfi is now headed by cousins Cristina Mariani-May (John’s daughter) and James Mariani (Harry’s son), the third generation of the family.</p>
<p>The company today has holdings not only in Montalcino and <a href="https://www.decanter.com/wine/wine-regions/piedmont-wine-region/"><strong>Piedmont</strong></a>, but also in Bolgheri, Maremma and Chianti Classico, enabling it to produce a representative slice of Tuscan &#8211; and Piedmontese &#8211; oeno culture. Its wines are now exported to over 90 countries around the world.</p>
<h3>The Banfi projects</h3>
<p>Castello Banfi’s success brought opportunities to experiment, and so it began a series of groundbreaking studies and projects. The first, initiated in the 1980s, was to research the 650 or so <a href="https://www.decanter.com/wine/grape-varieties/sangiovese/"><strong>Sangiovese</strong> </a>clones found in the surrounding area, with the aim of identifying the best clones to be used for future replanting. This proved to be a laborious but rewarding project which continued through the 1990s and into the 2000s.</p>
<p>Banfi also turned its attention to the vessels used for ageing its wines. Timbers from the forests of Allier, Nevers, Fontainebleau and Tronçais in France were identified as the ideal oak for Banfi’s barriques, while Slavonian oak would continue to be used for larger barrels.</p>
<p>Cut into staves, the wood is stacked outside for three years (rather than the traditional two years) in a heptagonal structure to allow for even weathering, before undergoing a slow, light toasting process. Banfi specifies a custom size for its barriques of 350l rather than the typical 225l, constraining the influence of the wood by reducing the percentage of wine in contact with its surface area.</p>
<div id="attachment_455485" style="width: 640px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-455485" class="size-large wp-image-455485" src="https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-630x417.jpg" alt="Banfi Horizon Vinification Centre" width="630" height="417" srcset="https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-630x417.jpg 630w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-300x198.jpg 300w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-135x89.jpg 135w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-320x212.jpg 320w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-620x410.jpg 620w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-920x609.jpg 920w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre-1220x807.jpg 1220w, https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2021/03/Banfi-Horizon-Vinification-Centre.jpg 1300w" sizes="(max-width: 630px) 100vw, 630px" /><p id="caption-attachment-455485" class="wp-caption-text">Banfi&#8217;s Horizon vinification centre uses custom tanks incorporating both wood and stainless steel. Credit: banfi.it</p></div>
<p>‘After carefully studying the soils of our estate, researching the best local clones of Sangiovese to match with those soils, and then studying different woods and barrel types, we are able to highlight the optimal expression of Sangiovese. What we needed was to find a fermentation process that could further build on these strengths,’ said Mariani-May in a <a href="https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/castello-banfi-an-artisans-approach-32393/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>previous interview with Decanter</strong></a>.</p>
<p>This fermentation process was an initiative instigated by Mariani-May, dubbed Horizon &#8211; a vinification centre within the winery to handle some of Banfi’s finest wines.</p>
<p>The hand-picked grapes are sorted both in the vineyard and then on sorting tables in the winery, before being placed into unique composite fermenting vessels. A combination of stainless steel base and head, and a central band of replaceable oak staves, these vessels enable the best of both worlds for Banfi: the temperature control and fresh flavours of stainless steel, and the aeration and rounded character of oak.</p>
<p>This is intended to produce softer, less astringent wines, ensuring they are more accessible early in their lifespan &#8211; perfect for appealing to Banfi&#8217;s export markets. Twenty-four of these vessels came on-stream in 2007 after seven years of trials, and are used for fermenting several of the estate’s wines, including its Brunellos.</p>
<h3>Innovation</h3>
<p>In 1995, Banfi introduced the first SuperTuscan from Montalcino, Summus, a blend of Sangiovese, <a href="https://www.decanter.com/wine/grape-varieties/cabernet-sauvignon/"><strong>Cabernet Sauvignon</strong></a> and <a href="https://www.decanter.com/wine/grape-varieties/shiraz-syrah/"><strong>Syrah</strong></a>.</p>
<p>In 2001 Banfi took part in a project to resurrect the &#8216;forgotten&#8217; grape, Alberossa, and along with three other wineries succeeded in getting it added it to the list of permitted varieties under the Monferrato DOC regulations. This resulted in the rare varietal Alberossa, La Lus, released in 2006, which has proven a surprising hit with consumers.</p>
<p>Banfi has been innovating since its earliest days. It&#8217;s testament to its continual drive for quality that, despite its size, it is willing to undergo such projects.</p>
<p>
"}

Tasting notes and scores for the range of Banfi wines:

{}
{"wineId":"47269","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47270","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47268","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47271","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47265","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47263","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47273","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47267","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47299","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47264","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"44284","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47266","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47272","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{"wineId":"47274","displayCase":"standard","paywall":true}
{}

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The post Castello Banfi: producer profile plus 14 wines tasted appeared first on Decanter.


Read full article on decanter.com


Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

Laurel Gray Vineyards

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