Montalcino: Castello Banfi and Jazz&Wine

The Jazz&Wine festival in July is held in the Castello Banfi Wine Resort

The Jazz&Wine festival in July has been taking place for close to one quarter of a century in the beautiful Tuscan town of Montalcino, known the world over for its wines. Held this year in the exclusive settings of the medieval Fortress of the town and in Banfi’s 12th century Poggio alle Mura Castle, it again provided very special shows for six evening as the audience sipped their glasses of wine sitting at their tables facing the stage. Performances of this festival are so popular that more-often-than-not they are sold out or overbooked.

The festival was the brainchild of Giampiero Rubei, founder of the Alexanderplatz, the temple of jazz in Rome since it was established in 1984. Today the yearly summer Jazz&Wine festival is directed by his son Paolo who has managed to hold it for 24 consecutive years. It did not even cease during the coronavirus pandemic and those who attend the evenings in these two spectacular locations spoke of truly unforgettable experiences.

American owned Castello Banfi, known for their high-quality Brunello wines, immediately backed the idea of such a festival believing from the outset that the concept would be a winner because one requires the same values and culture to appreciate both jazz and wine.

Rubei’s innovative intuition of uniting the passion for quality music with the passion for quality wine was also well received by the Montalcino territory and authorities. Over the years its success has continued to grow with the festival bringing some of the greatest Italian and international musicians to perform in Montalcino and many young promising artists as well. “This is also thanks to the Alexanderplatz club which gives us constant knowledge of what is happening in the jazz world and has allowed us to always propose new and interesting artists”, Paolo Rubei said.

Cristina Mariani-May is the third-generation owner of Castello Banfi and shares the same dedication and vision that her dad and uncle had when they arrived in Montalcino and decided to embark on their American dream in Italy. The Banfi acquisitions and project to create quality wine began in 1978. The estate today is the largest in the area with its 2,830 hectares of which approximately one third are under vine. But Banfi is not only vineyards. Its agricultural project also includes olive trees, plum trees, grain fields and forest.

For Mariani-May the Jazz&Wine festival stemmed from the desire to “bring together the passion of live music, that is also so international, and the cultures of different places, with the sensory experience of the wine.” She added that it was also something intended for the territory and community, “to elevate Montalcino into the recognition of the world hospitality of wine culture”.

Now everyone is looking forward to next year’s special edition when the Jazz&Wine festival will celebrate 25 years. Rubei would not provide details yet but admitted plans are already underway and there will be some surprises.

Meanwhile an innovative augmented reality project was launched this week using the Banfi Experience App which will offer a virtual immersive experience into the whole world of Castello Banfi. Customers are now able to visit the vineyards and the cellar comfortably from their homes thousands of kilometres away. They are also able to enjoy the exciting moments of the grapes picking and selection at any time during the year.

“We are particularly proud of this ambitious project, which will allow the world of wine to be experienced at 360° during the whole year”, said Rodlfo Maralli, Sales&Marketing Director of Banfi.