Mariani Family of Banfi
James Mariani & Cristina Mariani-May – Co-CEOs
Dr. John F. Mariani – Chairman Emeritus
Harry F. Mariani – President Emeritus
|Banfi's Mariani Family are trailblazers in the world of wine with an enviable track record of identifying and successfully developing many high-profile wine brands, including Italy's Castello Banfi, Bolla, Fontana Candida, Sartori, Cecchi and Riunite; Chile's Concha y Toro and Emiliana; and Washington State's Pacific Rim. Three generations of the Mariani family are proud to have built Banfi Vintners into America's first name in fine imported wines.
From the Mariani family's magnificent Castello Banfi estate in Tuscany to other renowned family-owned properties in Italy, as well as internationally acclaimed estates in Chile, Argentina and Australia, Banfi Vintners delivers a diverse portfolio of world-class wines tailored to every taste and budget. The Mariani family's most recent venture, VinMotion, is the name behind three leading Pacific Northwest brands—Pacific Rim, Sweet Bliss and Rainstorm.
Founded in New York in 1919 by John Mariani Sr., Banfi is a private concern. Today, the company is run by two of John Sr.'s grandchildren—James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May—who share the title of co-CEO. Their fathers, Chairman Emeritus Dr. John F. Mariani and President Emeritus Harry F. Mariani, continue as active counsel to the executive committee and are members of the firm's advisory board. Banfi's world headquarters is a 60-room Elizabethan manor, located on a 60-acre estate and vineyard in Old Brookville, New York.
When he established the company on Spring Street in the heart of New York's Little Italy, John Mariani Sr. named the company after an aunt, Teodolinda Banfi, a woman of eclectic tastes who supervised his early education and greatly influenced his views toward fine wines. Until her retirement, she had served as head of the household staff of the late Pope Pius XI and is distinguished as the first layperson ever to hold that post.
Banfi Vintners is the sole U.S. importer of the Mariani family's internationally renowned wine estates in Italy: Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Vigne Regali Cellars of Strevi, Piedmont. Banfi also imports the wines of several other producers, including category leaders Bolla, Cecchi, Florio, Fontana Candida, Placido and Riunite; Sartori from Italy, Concha y Toro and Emiliana from Chile, and Trivento from Argentina. The company has ranked as North America's leading wine importer for more than three decades.
The award-winning wines of Castello Banfi, Tuscany's most honored vineyard estate, are exported to more than 85 countries around the world. Lauded for groundbreaking research on the Sangiovese vine to produce superior Brunello and super Tuscan wines; producing healthy, more organic wines that are low in sulfites and histamines; and developing cutting-edge winemaking techniques, Castello Banfi is the first winery in the world to be awarded international recognition for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SA8000). It is also an international leader in customer satisfaction (ISO 9001:2000). Castello Banfi is a beacon for hospitality in the region, with a full-service enoteca, glass museum, winery tours, informal taverna for lunch, fine dining at the Michelin star-rated Castello Banfi—Il Ristorante—and luxury rooms and suites at the recently opened Castello Banfi – Il Borgo.
The family's sparkling wine cellars in Strevi, Piedmont—Vigne Regali— are run in conjunction with the nearby single-vineyard estates of Principessa Gavia and Rosa Regale.
Banfi's success has enabled the Mariani family to play a broad philanthropic role through the Banfi Foundation. The Foundation provided seed money to help Catholic Relief Services build a technical school and an orphanage, as well as an 800-unit housing project in Potenza, Italy, where thousands were left homeless after a devastating earthquake in the early 1980s. It also generously endows select charities and universities around the world, and sponsors annual scholastic tours to study the food and wine culture of Italy.