Our party of 5 visited Benanti to try some of their wines. I wish I could be more positive about our experience but for the price, (they charge 45 Euro's per person) we were left disappointed. Although the wines were OK, they were not exceptional. The accompanying "brunch" was more like a small snack. We had trouble finding the winery since we had two addresses for the winery (361 Via Garibaldi on their website and 475 on their flyer) but no map or directions had been provided although we had to reserve in advance. We drove past the winery without recognizing it because the 361 (the address where the tasting was to take place) was written by hand on a small sign hidden in the bushes, and the gate to the winery was closed. The printed "361" road sign was sitting in the tasting room instead of being properly installed at the gate. There was no signage at the entrance to show that it was the Benanti property, only the hard to spot street number. One of the other attendees was trying to research wines in the area but when she questioned our hosts about how their varietals compared to competitors', our hosts were very evasive. All in all a very average experience.
We would like to thank you for the review. We take your critics seriously, because we believe that they will assist us in improving the organization & practice of the tours. However there are some points on which we would like to comment.
Firstly, before confirming a visit, we inform our visitors exactly what will we do (excursion on the vineyard, visit to the palmento), what will we eat (all ingredients of the brunch) and what will we drink (the number of labels & the name of the wines tasted). So when a wine tour is confirmed by our visitors, they know what to look forward to.
Concerning the two gate numbers: we have the official one which is the cellar (#475) and the one of the tasting area (#361). We are very sorry you missed the sign outside which we have with the text: Azienda Agricola Monte Serra - Azienda Vinicola Benanti. But, we are taking this argument very seriously and we will definitely make the signs more visible to our visitors.
The appointment for the wine tour was at 11.00 a.m. and our staff was there at 10.30 to open the gates and doing the preparations. in fact, together with your group there were two other separated groups (2 gentlemen and a sommelier from the States). The sommelier arrived 15 minutes earlier and entered through the gates. Probably you passed the gates before 10.30.
Lastly, we would like to clarify the issue of our colleague’s comment. When he was answering to the sommelier regarding our competitors, he was trying to relax the atmosphere by making a joke. Later in the conversation he named the other winery and they discussed about other labels and vineyards on the Etna. We are sorry for the misunderstanding.
We would like to thank you again for your review and hope you had a good time in Italy.