Rivella, 66, first began working with Banfi as a wine consultant in 1961. In 1977, he left his consulting business to work full-time with the owners of Banfi, brothers John and Harry Mariani, and started the company's program in Tuscany's Montalcino region. Banfi harvested its first Brunello in 1978, producing a small offering of 2,500 cases. Now Banfi produces about 40,000 cases of Brunello from its 7,100-acre estate, which is dedicated to single-vineyard wines -- the most famous being the Brunello di Montalcino Poggio all'Oro Riserva
Just as John and Harry Mariani have stayed active in the company after retiring, Rivella will remain on the board of directors and act as technical consultant. Rivella and the Mariani family are in the process of searching for a new managing director; no decision had been reached as of press time.
Rivella, who has worked in the wine business for almost 40 years, is looking forward to a different lifestyle. "I have worked very hard these last 20 years, and I have achieved at Banfi what I dreamed to do with my life," said Rivella. "I had 20 years to learn and accumulate experience."
For more on Castello Banfi:
Richer, Fruitier Brunellos May Be on the Way
New Wine From New Italian DOC
1988 Brunello Riserva