One Woman. Many Wines
Lia Tolaini Banville and her father, Pier Luigi Tolaini, started importing wines from Italy 16 years ago (2004), expanding the operation in 2016 to include wines from France, Germany and the UK. In 2011, Banville added Italian spirits to her portfolio, introduced a wholesale division and, a few years later, extended her reach to include Washington, DC and Virginia. Leading a team of 34 people, the Banville portfolio includes over 50 hand-picked domestic and international brands. The company believes that the best wines are products of great terroir with the vineyard and a sense of place adding to the quality of the wine.
Lia Tolaini Banville was born in Canada and introduced to Italy and wine at the age of 6 when she and her father visited Aunt Laura in Lucca (Tuscany). Her aunt introduced her to cooking, wine and business. Graduating from the University of Manitoba in Canada, with majors in art and economics, Banville traveled to Florence to study art but turned to wine in 2004 when she started Donna Laura Chianti wines in Castelnuovo Beradenga, in memory of her aunt.
Banville’s approach to viticulture and winemaking is very personal – she believes in nurturing and encouraging a wholesome environment shaped by her aunt with respect for the soil, vines and future of the land. Vineyard practices include green harvesting as necessary, planting cover crops to enrich the nutrients in the soil and eliminating the use of harmful chemicals to maintain a pristine, sustainable ecosystem. The winery incorporates organic principals, modern technology, limited use of sulfites and a sterile environment
At a recent Manhattan event, I was introduced to many of the delicious and remarkable wines/spirits that are part of the Banville collection. These are a few of my personal favorites.
- Casoni Amaro. Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Includes: 20 botanicals, aromatic herbs, vegetables, burnt sugar, natural aromas, alcohol and water.
In the mid-19th century, a time when Napoleon abdicated his position as the French Emperor and the Americans and the British were at war, Giuseppe Casoni began to distil liqueurs in the small town of Finale Emilia, bordering the provinces of Modena, Ferrara and Bologna, Italy.
After WWII, Enea Casoni rebuilt the distillery and in 1970 passed on the business to his son Mario, who… READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL