In 1978 John and Harry Mariani, owners of the U.S. wine importer Banfi Vintners, established the award winning vineyard estate and winery Castello Banfi in the Brunello region of Tuscany. A constellation of single vineyards located on ideal sites cover about one third of the 7,100 acre (2,830 hectares) estate. The remaining land consists of bucolic meadows, olive and plum groves, and woodland. Central to the property is a medieval castle that functions as a hospitality center, hosting visitors at a full service restaurant, enoteca and museum dedicated to the history of glass and its relation to wine.
Learn More About Other Red Blends
Red wines are certainly not limited to Cabernet and Pinot Noir - or even Nebbiolo and Grenache. There are a multitude of grape varieties throughout the world, however, in a Darwinian sense, survival of the fittest only brings us wines made from grapes that can adapt to changing climates and winemaking techniques.
Notable Facts Our "other red wines" primarily consists of a multitude of different blends, such as Argentina blends - Malbec-based blends, often with Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah Australian blends - Usually Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends Tuscan blends - Super Tuscans are often blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or others. Excellent and interesting blends in this category, however, come from just about everywhere, including Portugal, South Africa and Greece.
Some of the red single varietals you'll find in our other red wine category include: Carignan, a Spanish grape found in Spain (under the name Cariñena) and in many of the blends in the Rhone and Languedoc-Rousillon
Aglianico, a varietal from Southern Italy that makes some big and bold reds.
Montelpulciano d'Abruzzo, which is the grape Montelpulciano, from Abruzzo. A very easy-drinking wine from Central Italy.
Learn More About Tuscany, Italy
One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.