Wine Expert

Wine and Food Festival, San Diego Bay, Winemaker Cristina Mariani-May, Cristina

Family Proprietor
Castello Banfi

Family travels for a child can mean adventure and relaxation, but for a young Cristina Mariani-May, it meant informal job training. From the age of 7, she traveled to some of the world’s renowned wine regions with her father, John Mariani, family proprietor of US wine importer Banfi Vintners and the premier Tuscan wine estate Castello Banfi.

Captivated by the travel bug, she rounded her undergraduate education with a year at Georgetown University’s campus in Florence, Italy to study art history, another family passion. After earning her MBA at Columbia University, Cristina returned to the wine world and today, along with her cousin and co-CEO, James Mariani, represents the third generation of family leadership at Banfi, which was founded by their grandfather in 1919.

When not traveling to wine venues across Europe, Asia and North America to promote the wines of Castello Banfi, she divides her time between the Tuscan estate’s medieval castle and Banfi Vintner’s corporate headquarters in her native Long Island New York. Now she looks forward to starting to travel with her own three young children.