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Pawleys Sep 21st, 2004 11:43 AM

Banfi winery tour , is it unique?
A group of 6 of us plan to take a daytrip to the Montalcino, Montepulciano area. We have lunch reservations at Becco da Vino based on comments on this site. We were trying to decide on whether to do the tour at Banfi or just visit, taste and then to head to the Montalcino Fortezza. Does anyone have first hand experience about the tour there? We've all done a few tours in Napa, and the Chianti region. Is there something unique or special about this tour?

Pawleys Sep 21st, 2004 04:21 PM


bobthenavigator Sep 22nd, 2004 08:05 AM

We have done that--I was not very impressed. It is a very modern facility, not at all rustic nor historic. Of course, do not miss the abbey at St. Antimo, but I would do my wine tasting in Montalcino. Good choice for lunch[ Boccon di Vino]

Pawleys Sep 22nd, 2004 10:13 AM

Thanks, Bob, that's sort of what I'd figured. In that case, We'll do St Antimo after lunch, then head to Montalcino to the Fortezza in the late afternoon. Any other suggestions?

bobthenavigator Sep 22nd, 2004 11:41 AM

Yes, read VANILLA BEANS & BRODO by Isabella Dusi before you go to Montalcino. I am reading the sequel now, BEL VINO, which Isabella was kind enough to send to me since it is not for sale here yet. You can buy it thru, but read the first book.

And, try to include the Abbey at Oliveto Maggiore on one of your day trips--along with Bagno Vignoni.

Budman Sep 30th, 2004 06:36 AM

We just got back from Tuscany and did the Banfi lunch and wine tour. They have two luncheon menus - one 3 course, and the other 5 course, with accompanying wines. We did the 3 course (40 euro per person). They served a 2003 Sav Blanc with the 1st course, a 2002 Sang/Cab/Merlot with the 2nd course, and a 1999 Brunello with the 3rd course, plus coffee & grappa. Reservations required. It was nice, but overpriced (got my M/C statement and it cost me $99.00).

The wine tasting in the visitor center was free, and some of the Banfi wines were excellent. They have a nice shop there also.

Skip the wine tour. Not worth it, even though it was free. ((b))

DianeP Sep 30th, 2004 11:01 AM

Thanks for the tip about visiting Bagno Vignoni. I'm not sure what it was but I felt a sense of peace and tranquility the moment I walked into the tiny town. Took some great pics.
I also agree to skip the winery tour at Banfi. The drive there is beautiful and the tasting is great but skip the tour.
Try to visit the little town of San Quirico. (Again thanks to Bob the Navigator) We stayed in this town at Palazzo del Capitano and it was wonderful!!

bobthenavigator Sep 30th, 2004 11:12 AM

You are very welcome. We have been there 3 times--first time stayed for 3 nites. I love that entire area, but tiny Bagno hits a button with me.

Henry Sep 30th, 2004 11:36 AM

Here is a list of Brunello producers
you can call and make an appointment to tour and/or taste. They are everywhere so you can stop on the way to Montalcino, foe example from San'Antimo to Montalcino (about 7 km) you could stop at Barbi and La crociona.

Pawleys Sep 30th, 2004 12:56 PM

Thanks for all of the info. I checked the consortium's website out; but, couldn't find a map on which to locate the wineries. Do you have a suggestion Henry?

nono Sep 30th, 2004 01:10 PM

Welcome back Budman!Will you be writting a trip report soon?
sorry to hear the banfi winery tour was not so special.
did any winery impress you?Anything vey unique or special?

StephenG Sep 30th, 2004 01:52 PM

Got to disagree with Budman on lunch at Banfi. did the 5 course in 2002.
Have you priced the 1999 Brunello here in the states. with every course their was no limit on wine refills and we had excellent meal. Here in California we would have no chance of that much food and wine at any winery for $99.00 for 2. The Brunellos from Banfi outscore most California Cabs in the plus $100 category. The tour and the glass museum are a good way to work of the wine after lunch.

Patrick Sep 30th, 2004 01:54 PM

Budman, you're back! Where's the trip report? And how was the apartment at al poggiolo in Montepulciano?

Budman Sep 30th, 2004 05:00 PM

Patrick, we stayed in the Politian apartments. Trip report to follow. It was really nice.

Stephen, my wife doesn't drink wine, and for the $$$ for salami first course, soup second course, and pork chop w/a sausage 3rd course, even with the wine, not worth it, in my opinion.

Yes, the 99 brunello was nice at 35 Euro per bottle, but I didn't guzzle any of the wine during the courses. ((b))

Patrick Sep 30th, 2004 05:10 PM

No offense Budman, but I think you've certainly explained your answer. No, a trip to a winery for lunch is not worth it for someone who doesn't drink wine!
And now I'm really confused. Are you saying the Brunello wasn't included, but was 35 € extra?

Budman Sep 30th, 2004 05:48 PM

No, Brunello was included. You could buy a bottle of 99 Brunello for about 35 Euro at Banfi. I certainly wouldn't pay $100 for a bottle of 99 Brunello here in the States. ((b))

Henry Sep 30th, 2004 08:19 PM


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