The story of Donna Laura Wines is a nomadic discovery of heritage and matriarchal devotion as linear as the winding roads that weave through the hillsides and vineyards of Tuscany. The history follows vintner Lia Tolaini Banville from her birthplace in Canada to her ancestral home outside the city of Lucca, where at the age of six on her family’s annual summer holiday, Lia met her Aunt Laura who would become a driving force in in her life. Laura was mother to three rough-and-tumble boys and immediately bonded with Lia. Thus began the tradition of yearly visits where during the warm summer days and nights Laura would instill in Lia an appreciation for Italian culture, history, music and most of all art. Laura’s presence in Lia’s life would inspire her as a mother, cook, vintner and businessperson and after graduating with degrees in art and economics and starting a family of her own, Lia would continue to visit her Aunt Laura with her own children growing this family bond.
In 2004 an opportunity arose to write a new chapter in the story, this time in Castelnuovo Berardenga with the production of the Chianti wine label Donna Laura.
A loving tribute the woman whose lessons of family, tradition and honor would share double billing with Lia’s own heritage. Roman gods Venus, Bacchus and Cupid personifying Lia’s children adorn the labels of Donna Laura Wines, celebrating this legacy of devotion to family and affirming the adage ‘Chi si volta, a chi si gira, sempre a casa va finire’ – no matter where you go or turn you will always end up at home.
The approach to viticulture and winemaking at Donna Laura reflects the nurturing, wholesome environment shaped by these strong women. In the vineyards an absolute respect for the soil, vines and future of the land is cultivated through careful and constant attention. These practices include green harvesting as necessary, planting cover crops to enrich the nutrients in the soil and forgoing the use of harmful chemicals to maintain a pristine and sustainable ecosystem in optimal balance. In the winery organic principles are applied by incorporating modern technology, sparing usage of sulfites and a sterile environment all while honoring the traditions of this historic region.