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Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

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Colorado
posts: 30
Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

I am thinking about going to Castello Banfi winery for their lunch tasting. It seems very expensive $85 - $100 pp depending on the number of courses and wine. This seems like a lot of money for lunch. In looking at some 5-star restaurants they are about half the price. Is it worth paying this price for the experience or is this a tourist trap?

Florence Italy
posts: 1,632
reviews: 2
1. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

Salutations, Marketmaker -

We just tried to open up the castellobanfi.it wine site to no avail, as we wanted to see the proposed menus. Honestly, the prices you mention don't seem all that much to us. How many wines? How many courses?

A visit to Banfi is not a tourist trap (we've been there, and quite liked it), though many visitors do, in fact, go there. Their wines are seriously good, and pair marvelously well with the food on offer.

Perhaps someone else can chime in and offer you some other options?

Hope this (sort of) helps.

New Jersey
posts: 2,098
reviews: 71
2. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

I think Banfi wines are pretty good, and their winery looks fantastic. I agree that the price is a bit high.

I am assuming that you are driving. If so, how about Poggio Antico? It was on my list on my trip this past December, but due to limited availability, I had to cancel and opted for Biondi Santi. Here's an email that I received about their tours, tastings, and restaurant. I think you'll find that it is more flexible than Banfi, and I think the wines are equally tasty.

From Poggio Antico:

Please be advised that should we have other requests for the same day and time, you may be joining other visitors. Therefore, in order for us to provide the very best service to all our guests, it is important to arrive on time. For your information, we do not put together more than 8-10 people at a time if they are not from the same party.

There is no charge for the cellar tour, which will be conducted in English and lasts about 30 minutes. When combined with a tasting, the tour takes about an hour. The tasting costs from 2,00 Euros to 25,00 Euros per person depending on which, and how many wines are sampled from our selection: Rosso di Montalcino, Lemartine, Madre, Brunello, Altero and Brunello Riserva. Click here for a brief description of these wines, all of which are available for purchase in the tasting room. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and cash. Shipping is available worldwide, with a few exceptions.

As for the Ristorante di Poggio Antico, I am sorry to inform you that taking advantage of the low season, we have decided to temporarily close it in order to do some renovation work. I am very happy to provide you with some alternative restaurants to choose from.

When you make your reservation make sure you mention that the suggestion comes from Poggio Antico. This might result in getting the best table possible and an even warmer service. If you prefer, we will be happy to make the reservation on your behalf.

Il Giglio

Via Soccorso Saloni, 5

53024 Montalcino (Siena)

Tel: +39 0577 846577

Email: info@gigliohotel.com

Il Grappolo Blu

Scale di Via Moglio 1

53024 Montalcino (Siena)

Tel: +39 0577 847150

Email: grappoloblu@tiscali.it

San Giorgio

Via Soccorso Saloni , 10-14

53024 Montalcino (Siena)

Tel: +39 0577 848 507

Email: info@ristorantepizzeriasangiorgio.com

Castellina in...
posts: 2,862
reviews: 8
3. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

The prices seem very high to me but I can't find the details of what you get on their website. You can compare the prices asked by Vicchiomaggio: vicchiomaggio.it/documents/EnoturismoENG2013…

Castello Banfi is very much the successful corporation and you get that feeling when visiting. Their wines are very good but also over-priced in my opinion. I have the impression that their very successful publicity machine allows them to charge pretty much what they like, and that probably applies to lunch as well. Friends of mine did a tasting there and discovered afterwards that for what they paid by the glass they could have bought whole bottles of the same wine from a nearby supermarket. So I guess it depends on how good the discussion of the wines is.

Kilauea
posts: 75
reviews: 12
4. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

We had a nice salumi plate and a flight of brunellos at Banfi ..quiet and very nice drive

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 3,530
reviews: 1
5. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

We have this argument in my house regularly as my other half reckons all the winery tastings / food options are over-priced, especially at the better known estates. Banfi is certainly a beautiful place (though not exceptionally so) but it’s a hugely commercial operation, and you could probably taste the same wines at any Montalcino enoteca for less or maybe even for free if the owners sense you’re serious about buying and it’s one of the less expensive labels. Many enotecas (and all restaurants) will also sell you a plate of good quality cold meats / cheeses / crostini, etc for far less than you pay at vineyards too. Ultimately, what you’re buying into is the “vineyard experience”, and it’s a personal matter as to whether or not you think it is a price worth paying.

6. Re: Winery Tour Lunch - worth it?

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