What’s On My Desk: Banfi Vintners Co-Ceo Cristina Mariani-May


Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

This week we’ve featured the desk of Cristina Mariani-May, the family proprietor of the internationally renowned Castello Banfi vineyard estate in Montalcino, Tuscany, and co-CEO of Banfi Vintners, a leading U.S. importer of fine wines. The youngest daughter of Banfi Chairman Emeritus, John F. Mariani, Jr., Ms. Mariani-May, together with her cousin James Mariani, represents the third generation of family leadership in the company founded by their grandfather, John Mariani, Sr. in 1919. Among the first of many forward-thinking initiatives introduced by Mariani-May was the creation of progressive new tracking and monitoring systems at Castello Banfi, designed to elevate performance and establish new goals in the fields of customer satisfaction, environmental responsibility and social responsibility. In 2006 those procedures paid off when Castello Banfi became the only winery in the world to achieve ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and SA 8000 certification acknowledging leadership in these areas. Here is a look at the items on this vintner’s desk. 

Framed family photos. The picture on the right is of Cristina’s husband, Marshall May, and their three young children. On the left is Cristina with her father, John F. Mariani, Jr., Chairman Emeritus of Banfi Vintners. Family is extremely important to Cristina, and Banfi Vintners is currently in its third generation of family ownership with Cristina and her cousin, James, leading as co-CEOs.

Poggio Alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino 2008. Poggio alle Mura is a special estate for Banfi and the wine is one of the first Brunellos brought into the United States. “When my father found this location in the 1970s, we knew it would be ideal because of the potential and the beauty of the Sangiovese grape for the Montalcino terroir.” The 2008 has been really well-received and was recently named “exceptional” and “one of the best wines of the vintage.”

Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui. A red sparkling wine made from Brachetto grapes grown in Northern Italy, Piedmont. It’s a festive, delicious wine with notes of strawberry and raspberry and a “slight spritz that wakes up your palate!” 

Wine Enthusiast and Forbes. Cristina often finds herself catching up on wine and business news while she’s on the road, traveling to any of the 85 countries where Castello Banfi’s wines are sold.                                                                                                                                                 

Give and Take by Adam Grant. This is a business book Cristina has been living by. “I am giving it to all our team.”

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