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Our Story

The story of Donna Laura

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 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 at Tolaini Winery in Castelnuovo Berardenga with the production of Lia’s own wine label Donna Laura. A loving tribute to 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, e chi si gira, sempre a casa va finire’ – no matter where you go or turn you will always end up at home.

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