Verona, April 9, 2022

Wine Power List is a ranking of the online magazine Cronache di Gusto data dedicated to the 100 most influential personalities of Italian wine. It includes producers, consortium presidents, government representatives and senior bureaucrats from the Ministry of Agriculture Policies, journalists, influencers, representatives of wine organizations and many others. The 2022 edition of the Wine Power List is in its seventh edition. You will also find the rankings of all previous years. In each profile, the green or red arrows indicate the position of the previous edition of the ranking. From this year, the Top of the Top category is present for three characters who go out of the ranking and occupy a place of absolute prestige, three profiles that have often occupied the first place in previous editions. The ranking was written by Fabrizio Carrera, Emanuele Scarci and Giorgio Vaiana.

English translations by Margherita Caccamo and Elena Calabrese.

Riccardo Cotarella

President of oenologists from all over the world and of Assoenologi in Italy (moving towards reconfirmation until 2025). Furthermore, he is the winemaker of prestigious wineries or VIPs who bet on Bacchus. A tireless weaver of strategies, alliances, narratives, visions, often in the right place at the right time: an advisor taken into account by politics or lobbying, particularly powerful and jagged in the world of wine. Riccardo Cotarella is the first of the three prominent personalities of our renewed Wine Power List. Now, he is in that space that is reserved for the Top of the Top, placed on the peak of the peak, together with those number ones who, over the years, have preserved and retained prestigious positions due to their high significance. Riccardo Cotarella, now 74-year-old, has focused his whole life on wine. Born in a small town in Umbria, he celebrated his 50th year of career four years ago. He counts a long list of assignments and a longer one of consultancy. Cotarella is the winemaker of three continents. His indications on how to make wine range from Italy to almost all regions in many European countries, and then abroad going from the US to Japan, via Russia and the Middle East. Constantly traveling, always at work, he has not been on holiday for years. To him, working is having fun. He meets with ministers, wealthy entrepreneurs, various VIPs. He is the Pope’s wine consultant (yes, Pope Francis has two hectares in Castelgandolfo planted with Cabernet Franc, the only possible grape variety). He teaches proudly at the University of Tuscia, not only oenology, but also business management, as for him the two cannot be split: he is firmly convinced that an oenologist should not only know how to make wine, but also manage a winery. In addition, he has to study much more: economics, literature, science, history… since wine, for him, is a cultural product. It is almost like a book, not to read, but to drink. Still, it is a culture likewise.

Angelo Gaja

An eighty-two-year-old man of pure energy. He owns an amazing ability to make wine and knows how to read and analyze the dynamics of this world. Angelo Gaja is all of this and much more. A marketing genius, ahead of the others by default, always impeccable, with the bewitching faculty of telling and telling oneself. His iconic and sensational wines, without a retreat in terms of quality, and his inimitable ability to go in the stubborn and opposite direction, without appearing a contrary snobbish and annoying bastian. Gaja is the most famous Italian wine producer in the world. In the tiny center of Barbaresco he has created an aircraft carrier that can challenge all the seas of the globe. However the work had been started by his father Giovanni with great foresight. He knows when to slip off, so as to make his absence become a more acute presence, just like in Vinitaly, for a few years now, or like in 2022 at Opera Wine. Wine Spectator has tried to insist, but there is no way. Gaja is not on the web, there are no social networks that report the company’s deeds, much less his own. This extraordinary ability to escape fuels the myth. But there’s no way he can be imitated, he is the only Gaja. He does not give interviews unless for some prestigious names in the press, such as his fellow countryman Aldo Cazzullo of Corriere della Sera (by the way, we recommend to look up and read the one published two years ago). He has always very clear ideas about wine, although sometimes unsettling, such as those on sustainability, organic or biodynamic. It is a matter of fact that wine and those who produce it, must intrinsically respect the environment. Secondly, a more recent question of alcohol under accusation. The biggest fear is that by going at this rate, producers might have to be ashamed of making wine. Nevertheless, wine is a noble alcohol with 14 thousand years of history behind its back…

Attilio Scienza

He’s a science man, in his name and in deed. For Attilio Scienza the word pun is easy. However, there is much more to describe a character that is an absolute reference. He is the figure who probably most of all represents the scientific approach to wine at the moment. He’s strengthened by a long and articulated career through his profession as a university professor, as well as a consultant around the world. And still, as author of books and researches (more than 300 narrate his biographies) and a restless scholar who always likes to move beyond his goals. Some of his initiatives, such as that of Genome Editing, which would allow vines to overcome some difficulties, including those of climate change, are back in place: the EU is expected to express itself on new breeding techniques, or techniques that modify the genetic heritage of an organism, without creating transgenic GMOs. If the EU gives the green-light, an endless field opens up, with all due respect to those who fear any manipulation. Scienza, 77-year-old since last March, originating from Trentino even though he was born in Liguria, spent his life at the University of Milan. For a few months, he has also been the president of the National Wine Committee, an organism that has been somewhat weakened compared to a few decades ago, yet fundamental in determining certain wine policies often linked to DOCs. An assignment that increasingly sets him between the academic and the institutional world. He is also the scientific soul of Vinitaly International Academy, the school led by Stevie Kim, with whom he established an unusual but apparently effective alliance. Listening to him in a conference feels like going on a journey that spans history, geography, geology, anthropology and all the human knowledge that can revolve around wine. It is undoubtedly one of his strengths.

Paolo De Castro


Paolo De Castro’s art of mediation has perhaps reached its highest point of recent years in the past February, on the occasion of the amendments on the report in the fight against cancer by the Beca parliamentary committee. On the eve of the vote, the major wine producers (Italy, France and Spain) were nervous about the outcome of the vote, but with the 4 De Castro-Dorfmann amendments, as the Italian MEP said: “we succeeded to establish a clear difference between the abuse and moderate and responsible consumption of wine and alcoholic beverages.This was possible with over 100 marks. Furthermore, we succeeded in eliminating the pointless request to insert health warnings on bottles of wine, similar to those on packets of cigarettes”. According to De Castro, only one battle has been won, because other events are looming on the defense of moderation in alcohol consumption. Starting from the World Health Organization – whose voting will be held in May – that plans to include warnings on the label, up to the Nutriscore, that could be examined by 2022. The Nutriscore is a nutritional labeling system based on colors, developed in France, made through a series of optical traffic lights that signal any excesses of sugar, fat and salt in food. For De Castro, born in 1958, Nutriscore will be the mother of all battles. He stated: “we will have at least a part of public opinion and the French media sided in favor of optical traffic lights “. But the Italian MEP is not upset, but rather reasonably convinced that, thanks to dialogue and the game of alliances in Strasbourg, in the end reason will prevail. De Castro was elected on the lists of the Democratic Party, but, in actual fact, he is a parliamentarian perceived as transversal by entrepreneurs, associations and consortia: he does his utmost in all events where Italian interests are questioned, from Prosek to Balsamic Vinegar, only to quote the latest. He declared: “The art of mediation is linked to our role as MEP. It is necessary to be patient and have long discussions. In short, it is very different from governing or being a minister. For example, there are good ministries in Italy, but here in Strasbourg the task to accomplish is different. Here decisionism is not valid, to find common interests is necessary, as well as smoothing out roughness, and approaching positions that were initially irreconcilable. In short, a great deal of mediation and alliances needs to be done”. He is an icon.

Luigi Moio


He has the scientific vision of wine undoubtedly. He is a University lecturer, producer, author of books and of numerous researches. But above all, from July 12, 2021, he has been president of the OIV, the International Organization of vineyard and wine based in France (recently transferred from Paris to Dijon): a sort of UN of the sector. All this is what Luigi Moio is about. He possesses such a prestigious role that its specific relevance soars, with the result that its name and surname bounce on the podium of this ranking. It is the third time that an Italian has become president of the OIV. It happened in the 1960s with Pier Giovanni Garoglio and twenty years later with Mario Fregoni. An unsurprising election that saw the 48 member countries of the OIV take sides in the choice of their president between Moio and an Australian candidate. Moio, who is going to be sixty-two years old by the end of June, was born in Mondragone in the province of Caserta, and grew up among the rows of vines of the family business. At forty he became full professor at the Federico II University of Naples. In the same year, he founded his Quintodecimo cellar in Mirabella Eclano, in the province of Avellino. What about his idea of wine? Reading reports and interviews, he carries the strong desire to put grapes under the spotlight, and to connect winegrowing and enology in a sort of single discipline, because everything must be functional to wine. He often talks about balance as an essential factor in multiple aspects that deal with this world. All in harmony with the environment and with a concept of “light enology”, the definition he uses. All of this, without neglecting the aspect of the terroir, since the interaction between climate, soil, plant and man is very deep. The man here only plays the role of a process assistant, although always fundamental. On his table there are at least three dossiers: one on labeling, where Moio reiterates on all occasions that wine is a single-ingredient product. Then there is the issue of alcohol removal that will be addressed necessarily. Finally, the cancer plan, whose matter is postponed. Nevertheless, other issues are not missing: starting from the US to be recovered within the Organization, to climate change, to China that, unlike the United States, is asking to join the OIV. So much of the rest of the world is preparing to produce wine. However, nothing, according to Moio’s thoughts, will be able to undermine the primacy of Italy and countries such as France and Spain and the whole Mediterranean area. Moio is the author of the book “Il Profumo del Vino [The scent of Wine]”, with over 40 thousand sold copies. A big goal achieved for one specialist volume. He is working hard on a second book. More will be found out.

Giuseppe Blasi


Around here it is said that “no leaf moves that Blasi does not want it to”. Giuseppe Blasi, born in 1961, is the head of the department of European and international policies and rural development. His business flows between Rome and Brussels. Although, to tell the truth, the latter has really become his home, especially after the charge he received in 2020. For everyone at the ministry, Blasi is considered a sort of “human library”, a long-standing historical memory. He has seen many ministers moving on to agriculture as well as the world of Italian agri-food grow, year by year. Therefore, he is the main interlocutor of politicians who settled in XX Settembre street. In any case, undeniably, he is the one who has a complete vision of things to be done, of the issues to be addressed and of the projects to be developed. And his “power”, if we can define it that way, has grown due to (or as well as) a political party that recently has been a little absent around here. He has always struggled, coping with things and pushing them forward. From his rooms, or rather under his watchful and attentive eyes, pass all the sector contributions that Europe “turns” to Italy. We are talking about billions of euros. Just to name one, he monitored the Italian RDPs with an endowment in 2021-2022 of € 3.91 billion of the Feasr quota, that reaches € 6.91 billion with national co-financing. Blasi checks on them one by one, before affixing his signature, a sort of seal. Funds upon transversal financing, now also those of the NRP (even if not directly), as well as everything concerning irrigation or forestry interventions. In the Ministry, he is the one who, thanks to competence and ability, has built an important image of respect and experience. Born in 1961 in Serra Sant’Abbondio, in the province of Perugia, owning a degree in Agricultural Sciences achieved at the University of Perugia in 1985, he crossed the threshold of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies in 1988, when he took up the position of inspector. He was also general director of rural development, head of the technical secretariat of the minister and of the secretariat of the undersecretary of state. For a short period, in 2000, he held the position of head of the cabinet of the president of Abruzzo, Giovanni Pace. Giuseppe Blasi is an expert in programming and in management of interventions co-financed with Community funds in agriculture (FEAGA and FEASR) and he is the coordinator of various international cooperation programs between institutions co-financed by the European Commission; he is also the Italian delegate to the Agricultural Structures and Rural Development Committee of the same EU Commission. Blasi’s latest victory is to have made Italy the European leader of sustainable wine. In fact, with a decree signed by Blasi himself, a new fundamental chapter of growth was launched for wine, the first agri-food sector of the Old Continent to adopt a public standard on sustainability.

Gian Marco Centinaio

The undersecretary for agricultural policies with responsibility for wine has been pointed out, without exaggeration, in various issues that have affected his first year of work. Centinaio, 50-year-old from Pavia, was Minister of Agricultural Policies from June 2018 to September 2019. He spoke on the refunds by the end of the first lockdown, arguing that “First of all, the priority is to help producers of quality wines who, due to the closures of restaurants and bars, have suffered most of all “. Then defending the DOCs, which are the architrave of the success of Italian food & wine: “Denominations are increasingly under attack. The goal is to set up a task force that involves as well the Mise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of Health ”. It was clear again on the occasion of the European duel with the Croatian Prosek, and in the defense of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena from the Slovenian attack: “We will go all the way, if necessary, up to the European Court of Justice”. Eventually, in recent weeks, he expressed himself, on the approval of the national certification specification for the sustainability of the wine sector: “We have finally brought home a measure that was expected by the supply-chain, which will allow Italian wine to have an additional quality certification that will translate into greater value “. He is a friend of wine.

Piero Antinori


A year on shields for Piero Antinori. Last year the group increased revenues by 20% compared to the previous year, surpassing even 2019. It is estimated that in 2021 the Tuscan company achieved consolidated revenues of around 260 million, a gross operating margin of 45% of turnover. In the 2021 turnover rankings, Antinori was overtaken by the Botter-Mondo Del Vino group and by Italian Wine Brands, that made important acquirements. However, there is no question on profitability: Antinori remains at the top, excluding Tenuta San Guido. However, the latter has a different target: it produces wines of a very high average price, whereas Antinori possesses many high-quality products, but whose average price is 10 euros. Starting from 2022 Marchesi Antinori will also consolidate the Friulian Jermann winery, acquired last year at a high price. Antinori’s next challenge is production autonomy: reaching 100% of owned grapes by the Santa Cristina estate. A goal that can be achieved in 2-3 years for Reds and rosés, whereas on Whites Santa Cristina is really a challenge. The goal, on the other hand, is not feasible on Pinot Grigio where Antinori has no production. On the financial front, the Tuscan company remains very liquid and does not hide the fact that it keeps awaiting. He is the King of Diamonds.

Lamberto Frescobaldi


The president of the Tuscan group is among the favorites in the race for presidency of the Italian Wines Union, after Ernesto Abbona’s management. The return of a Tuscan after eighteen years at the helm of the UIV. Frescobaldi continues its Tuscan campaign by collecting estates. The latest is the acquisition of Corte della Flora in the Nobile di Montepulciano. This joins the others of the group, including: Nipozzano, CastelGiocondo, Pomino, Ammiraglia, Castiglioni, Remole, Masseto and Luce. All in Tuscany, except for the Friulian Attems. In 2021 the group improved the turnover achieved in 2019 with 126.5 million, 65% for exports and over 10 million sold bottles. Frescobaldi is in the Top 7 of Italian private wineries for turnover. The entrepreneur has a strong cash generation that would allow him to acquire more frequently. He always replies: “We are constantly waiting to see if there are any opportunities”. He recognizes that the company is healthy and that it could do more. He has always made good investments without getting too caught up in his heart. The investments in classic Chianti proved to be excellent, whereas those made in Bolgheri and Montalcino were very good. It has also recently implemented a “ferocious” cost control that has made the company even more efficient. He is definitely a responsible President.

Giovanni Mantovani


He has been Veronafiere manager for 31 years and general manager for 21. Now the top manager is about to leave concomitance with the imminent renewal of the board of directors. The news is yet to be official, but in the meantime Mantovani has become president of the Veronese Community Foundation. With the new statute, the appointment of the new head of the company must be expressed unanimously by the Board of Directors. It is therefore bound to the approval of the main shareholders. Mantovani was the main creator of Veronafiere’s success. First of all, he brought the group’s revenues from 44 million euros in 2001, to 105 in 2019. Furthermore, the internationalization process, that is not just the growth of incoming, is indisputable. Furthermore, Mantovani has launched numerous start-ups and organized several events. These occurred in the wine field (and not only), like in Brazil with Wine South America (September 21/23) and in China with Wine to Asia in Shenzhen (May 7/9). The pandemic then slowed the expansion process. Vinitaly, besides competing with the German ProWein, is unquestionably the Italian wine fair that international buyers and retailers cannot miss. Sold out is expected for the 54th edition, with 4,000 exhibitors and 60 involved countries. For the promotion program an investment of 3 million is planned.

Ettore Prandini

Only these two years of pandemic slowed Coldiretti’s war machine. For the time being, the agricultural world is defending itself over the problems arising from the boom of energy and production costs. The hyperactivism of the top management of Farmers Union continued in the palaces more than in the squares. The powerful organization, with Prandini on the dashboard, continues to have a great impact on the decisions of the Ministry of Agricultural Policies, today Patuanelli, but previously Bellanova and Centinaio. They had a voice from the labeling of origin, to the price of milk up to EU funds to agriculture and VAT rates. Politicians listen to Coldiretti a lot, not only for the 1.6 millions of declared adherents but, moreover, for Coldiretti’s ability to orchestrate a thumping communication with journalists and the media. Prandini has strengthened the role of the Italian Supply Chain, the so-called “meeting place between agricultural producers and industry” and with the support of large companies. In recent years, the Italian chain has overshadowed Federalimentare, the industrial organization of Confindustria, opening up a privileged corridor with the institutions.

Carlin Petrini


If anyone thought that in recent years wine and everything that revolves around it was less interesting for Carlo Petrini, the founder and international president of Slow Food, then they had to change their mind. That is because with Slow Wine Fair, the organization based in Bra, the scene has been taken up again. Petrini himself has begun to speak on the subject about wine. In an article written for Repubblica last March, Petrini explained: “It is exciting to note that the fact that herbicide has been used or not between the branches is increasingly important. As well as the attention that the winemaker puts to preserve the vitality of the soils by rejecting chemical fertilizers “. Furthermore, the international crisis has suddenly rekindled aspects that are very close to Slow Food, from food sovereignty to the protection of local economies. All issues that will no longer be possible to ignore. All this today gives a new appearance to the ideas of Carlin Petrini, who traces a scenario on world enology that “will no longer be dominated only and exclusively by brands, or by the struggle over prices. A different sensitivity will enter the game both among enthusiasts and producers ”. Who wants to contradict him?

Francesco Liantonio


He is: producer and owner of one of the most important wineries in Southern Italy; vice president of Federdoc; CEO of one of the companies specializing in major acquisitions of wineries scattered throughout the peninsula. But above all, he is president of Valoritalia, meaning 85 percent certification of all denominations DOCG, DOC and IGT. The quotes of Francesco Liantonio are definitely in demand. Those who know him appreciate his affable manners, the good relations in the buildings that matter, the diplomatic tact, and the large amount of work he can manage. Starting from the colossus Valoritalia and the management of 250 employees, 1,200 collaborators and a turnover of over 35 million. This means controlling the lots of one billion bottles, indeed a huge power. Liantonio is right beside Sergio Dagnino in the Prosit project, a company that is acquiring majority stakes in quite a few wineries, from Veneto to Abruzzo, from Tuscany to Puglia. Then there is Torrevento, the family business in Corato: 600 hectares of vineyards, of which over a third are owned, recent acquisitions in southern Puglia and ten million bottles. What else?


Luca Rigotti

He has been recently appointed to the presidency of the wine working group of Copa Cogeca, a European agri-food representative organization. In Italy he is wine coordinator of Alleanza agri-food cooperatives. Rigotti, 56 years old, has been president of the Mezzacorona Group since 2012. Yet, here he plays a precise role as he represents the world of social wineries. The wine of Cooperation is worth 58 percent of national production volume and exportation is worth about 2 billion.The total turnover is approximately 4.8 billion.


Riccardo Ricci Curbastro

He is president of FederDoc in his eighth term and it is claimed that he shall not run again at the helm of a federation, that brings together the vast majority of Italian denominations. He gets the credit for having kept the group together by defending the interests of the Italian DOCs. Today he is also president of Equalitas, a rapidly growing organization that focuses on the sustainability of wineries. It is an assignment that he will continue to play. He will be for sure seen again in relevant contexts.


Stefano Patuanelli

He is a 48-year-old construction engineer. His arrival at the Ministry of Agricultural Policies has created many concerns among the experts. He came from the Ministry of Economic Development. He entrusted the delegation of wine to the undersecretary Gian Marco Centinaio and kept the supervised entities for himself, including Agea and Pac, animal husbandry and the dairy sector. Last November he announced that France could take a step back on Nutriscore adoption, but the unlikely news is yet to be confirmed. A figure of transaction.


Matilde Poggi


After nine years she left the presidency of the Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers (FIVI), yet she stays in the same field, as since 2021 she is at the head of all European winemakers (CEVI). It is the first time where an Italian is at the helm of an organization that can do a lot to protect the category. We are convinced that Poggi will give a great contribution encouraged by the results obtained in Italy. The FIVI today cannot be ignored in the tables that matter. However we do register some fibrillations within the association that do not do well.


Oscar Farinetti


For the patron of Eataly, the health emergency represented a difficult moment both in Italy and abroad. However, he remains one of the most influential players for Italian wine, especially abroad, thanks also to the fact that he is a producer who owns numerous wineries. His storytelling ability continues to be very high, as well as his ability of vision. His idea of transforming Italy into a great country, where everything that comes from the land is organic, is very suggestive. We should start taking that under consideration. It is not impossible to do so.


Francesco Saverio Abate

Francesco Saverio Abate is the head of the Department of Competitive Policies and Agri-food Quality. A department of those where politics wants to stick the nose in very often. It is all about appointments, funds for the promotion of which wine is a great beneficiary, especially in countries outside the European Union. Additionally, the management of the national wine committee, the supply chain contracts, and much more. They are all delicate and complex matters. Abate plays the role of unraveling the skeins and finding the right balance.


Matteo Lunelli


“Reaction is my jam” could be the summary of the latest evolution of Matteo Lunelli, director of the Lunelli-Ferrari group. In reality, he is an all-round planner, in everyday life as well as during an emergency. After the perfect storm of 2020, with a cost for the group of 20 million revenues out of 107, this year should approach the levels of 2019. In the meantime, with Ferrari Trento he has become sponsor of Circus Formula 1 and has brandished the Italian soft drink Cedral Tassoni. The Bisol tangle is left to unravel. Indeed a top manager.


Vittorio Cino

The general manager of Federvini is a long-time professional specialized in lobbying, public affairs and community relations. With his arrival, communication with the outside world has improved with a greater grip in the institutional areas that matter. Among those, for example, the lobbying work on MEPs called to vote on the De Castro-Dorfmann amendments and the report on the fight against cancer of the Beca parliamentary committee. Or more, the request to have a member of his own in the Comité Vins. He marked a regeneration.


Angelo Frascarelli

In 2021 he became president of ISMEA, the Institute of Services for the Agricultural Food Market. He is associate professor at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Perugia. ISMEA is a coveted place, a privileged observatory to understand the dynamics of the Italian Agri-Food world. These offices are a sort of “vault” of the ministry thanks to numerous funds to manage. But the most knowledgeable say that Frascarelli owns what it takes to carry on the work done by his predecessor, Enrico Corali.


Sergio Dagnino

The second life of the former CEO of Caviro passes through Prosit, a company of the private equity fund Made in Italy Fund. He possesses the Cantina of Montalcino (bought twice), Torrevento from Puglia, Nestore Bosco from Abruzzo, Collalbrigo from Veneto and a share of Votto Vines, an American wine importer. What about Dagnino’s project? Combining family-run wineries with quality regional products. The Americans have the role of selling them. Will it work throughout an investment of 3-4 years? He goes from Tavernello to private equity.


Felice Assenza

He is fresh out of his appointment as head of the Central Inspectorate department of quality protection and fraud repression of agri-food products, previously in the hands of Stefano Vaccari, who became general director of CREA. His role is as important and strategic as delicate. It will not be easy to get rid of the “ghost” of Vaccari that still lingers in these parts. It will be challenging especially at this time, when Italy is very active in the field of agri-food controls. No one in the world does as many controls as we do.


Alberto Mazzoni

One of the most experienced directors of the wine consortium and certainly the longest-lived, with his 22 years of Institute for the protection of wines. He is a profound connoisseur of associative and promotional mechanisms, and is also one of the (reconfirmed) members of the National DOP and PGI Wine Committee. The IMT is credited to have given great impulse to the associationism of a small region, until representing a large part of the wine sector (652 members and 89% of the bottled product). Then it came to visibility, also internationally, for many of its 16 DOCs.


Luigi Polizzi


Luigi Polizzi has been a general manager since January 2021 under the new structure that is underway at the ministry of agricultural policies. He takes the place of Felice Assenza. He spent 13 years in Brussels, a long experience that allowed him to know deeply the dynamics of Community policies. This is definitely an uncommon skill. He deals with international agreements in the agricultural field, and manages funds for over 3 billion euros where wine has a significant share. He is playing a delicate and important role.


Stefania Saccardi

The tireless vice-president of the Tuscany Region and councilor for agriculture, has mediated until the end to avoid the defection of the Brunello Consortium from the Previews of Tuscany. The latest edition, made last March, according to the organizers, was celebrated without loss of interest by the media. Saccardi has always declared that she wants to recover the participation of Brunello, whereas the consortia push for a change. The councilor is always at the forefront of supporting Tuscan food & wine. Definitely passionate.


Corrado Casoli


He is the president of the leading company in terms of turnover, Cantine Riunite & Civ and of the Italian Wines Group that, together, achieved sales of € 581.3 million in 2020. The bottles are close to 210 million. Cantine Riunite & Civ is a giant cooperative made up of about 1,500 winemakers partners who work 4,600 hectares of vineyards. Furthermore, there are the wineries scattered throughout Italy from North to South, 15 brands that bring together the diversity of Italian drinking. A reality sensitive to quality and the desire to grow abroad with big numbers.


Francesco Giovannini


The numbers are more than comforting. Despite the health emergency, the results of the Mezzacorona group for the past year seal a good performance. The turnover is close to 197 million with +1.5 percent, and the net profit grows by over 30 percent to reach 3.2 million Euros. 67 million and a half were paid to the shareholders, in practice almost 19 thousand euros per hectare. The USA is the first market and export for beyond 80 percent. Francesco Giovannini, general manager, can be more than satisfied.


Gianni Bruno


Manager of the old guard of Veronafiere (for 35 years) and commercial director of Wine & Food for a decade. The restart of Fieragricola was positive, despite the delay from January to March. The prospects for Vinitaly are excellent: it precedes the German ProWein by over a month with numbers that reward the management tenacity. Above all, the numbers of foreign buyers are convincing the strategic variable: 680, of which 130 are from the United States. The incoming is worth an investment of 3 million. The rest of the spaces are sold out.


Giuseppe Liberatore

He is the general manager of Valoritalia with a long-standing curriculum. After being one of the key figures in the relaunch of Chianti Classico, whose Consortium he directed for a long time, today he leads an 85 percent certification battleship of the Italian denominations. A long, complex job that requires competence, speed and precision. In the next few plans, an internationalization project will be launched to accompany increasingly Italian companies abroad. Furthermore, there is great attention to the organic sector.


Stevie Kim

Tireless, incredibly fast, she gets wine oriented more and more, and can be considered as Vinitaly’s bridge to the rest of the world. With an Anglo-Saxon mentality, sometimes unsettling for us Italians. Stevie Kim continues to have a great merit: to have created a great team of ambassadors of Italian wine in the world with her Vinitaly International Academy. This creature of her grows, is appreciated and is becoming an essential reference. Of course, she has to deal with certain Italian slownesses but she does not give up.


Angiolino Maule


In the galaxy of so-called naturalist producers, occasionally overwhelmed by too many certainties, he is the only one who speaks clearly. He does not get afraid of comparisons and does not shy away from the most complex questions. And moreover, he follows consistently, sometimes strewn with doubts, his project to produce wine without compromising with the environment. His experience as a winemaker shows that it is possible to do well in spite of complicated circumstances, just like hail that destroys the harvest. Obviously, there is always the VinNatur fair, an unmissable event.


Massimo Romani

The CEO of Botter and Mondodelvino manages the private player no. 1 (with revenues of around 350 million) headed by the Clessidra private equity fund. The goal is to grow further, perhaps in the DOC of Central Italy. Romani was co-opted by the Botter family and then confirmed by the new ownership. But now he has to combine the objectives of an investment fund with those of the world of wine. Although, as may happen in this type of investments, Clessidra has essentially acquired plants and not vineyards and buildings.


Beniamino Garofalo

The former CEO of Ferrari Trento entered Santa Margherita on tiptoe, after Ettore Nicoletto’s departure, who had been managing for 16 years. Despite the pandemic, he has achieved excellent results, along with an all-time high industrial margin and a strengthened corporate heritage. After announcing a relaunch of investments, Garofalo has made a double acquisition: one in Maremma, Cantina Pieve Vecchia, and one in the USA, Roco Winery. But Garofalo and the Marzotto family aim much higher. Top manager on the rise.


Carlo Ferro

The sixty-year-old president of the Ice Agency contributed to the restart of the internationalization process of companies after Covid. He is courted by the exhibition agencies: his interest translates into incoming buyers and success of events. Surprising indiscretions were revealed on a letter sent by the Confindustria Trade Fairs Committee (which was not denied) to Minister Luigi Di Maio, in which the president Massimo Goldoni complained about Ferro’s over-leading role compared to Ice’s institutional task. This was a big hit.


Giovanni Manetti

Chianti Classico is split in 11 and Manetti is its helmsman. The research for value passes from the traceability of the wine as well as from the quality. The president of the Gallo Nero Consortium has launched the challenge towards the division of the territory into 11 Uga, homogeneous restricted areas to be reported on the label with the area. For now, just for the Grand Selection. According to Manetti, it is necessary to convey more territory into the bottle and give more value to the winemakers. The performance of Chianti Classico is among the best in 2021 and in the first two months of 2022. Definitely a navigator.


Gabriele Papa Pagliardini

The director of AGEA, Agency for agricultural disbursements, is going through a difficult time. Not only the shortage of staff, but also a complex management of the agricultural funding system. However, there is also a beginning of the use of digital technologies which shows the potential to cut red tape and payment times. AGEA, however, is only the final part of a longer chain, made up of EU regulations, national choices and ministerial decrees up to the implementation of the PSR programs by the regions.


Stefano Zanette


The president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, 61 years old, has been through all sorts of problems. There was a period when Prosecco producers were pointed out as environmental poisoners, as accused of spraying pesticides even near homes and schools. Then, the green turning point of the Consortium was achieved: a Halt on glyphosate, and from this year on to the environmental sustainability of Equalitas. On the commercial front, Prosecco became a worldwide success with 628 million bottles in 2021. The idea of Rosé fits perfectly. Sparkling.


Matteo Ascheri


2021 was a positive year for the Consortium for the Protection of Barolo Barbaresco Alba Langhe and Dogliani. The 15 percent more of wines produced and a total of 65 million bottles reassures everyone. Ascheri was also the main character of a stance on the management of Piemonte Land for a better representation of the consortia. The results are awaited. Moreover, in a few days the consortium will be heading to Los Angeles for a huge event that will bring Piedmontese red wines to the West Coast. The wind is in its sails.


Fabrizio Bindocci

Brunello di Montalcino is experiencing a golden age. This has certainly seen a relevant influence by the past vintages. Still, it is undeniable that the credit also goes to the governance of the consortium under Fabrizio Bindocci’s leadership. To him, the courage to detach himself from the Tuscan previews must be recognized, as well as to continue in solitude in the events dedicated to journalists. Someone has had doubts about it, however time is proving him right. Production is growing, exports are booming, just like the value. Things could not be better…


Silvano Brescianini


His role at the helm of the Franciacorta consortium should be reconfirmed in a few weeks. Changing of guard instead will be made for management, since Giuseppe Salvioni will leave office. A more than satisfactory production: Franciacorta bottles exceeded 20 million in 2021 and 2022 seems to be promising. Exports still remain a bit low, around 10 percent. 2022 will also see the comeback of events, a field where the Consortium is very performant. Furthermore, there is an agreement with Michelin. Not bad at all.


Oreste Gerini


Oreste Gerini, from Tuscany, is the general manager of the promotion of agri-food quality, with a past at the direction of ICQRF, better known as the “repression of fraud”. It is the operational arm of the department headed by Francesco Saverio Abate. Starting from the fundings for organic farming, passing through supply chain projects, until the promotion. Eventually, also the protection and promotion of PDO, IGP and STG products. This does not concern only the Italian market, but also the European and International one. Very decisive.


Ruenza Santandrea


A woman at the helm of a consortium with a great unexpressed potential: Romagna wines that range between hills and coast, including white grape varieties, such as Albana and red Sangiovese. Ruenza Santandrea is no longer running the guide of the alliance among cooperatives, however her energetic attitude is felt here too. The first aim is to bring order to a very articulated product specification, then to give value to wine and to combine it with culture. Today the consortium brings together 116 wineries. For sure, the results will not be late in showing up.


Igor Boccardo

The CEO of Genagricola is perhaps the top manager who will make Generali assume an adequate weight in the wine business as well. Boccardo, with a degree in chemistry and an experience of 15 years in consumer goods, gave a steering to the strategy of the Tenute del Leone Alato (spin off of Genagricola) which owns 5 estates. Recently he has signed a distribution agreement with the Sardinian Cantina Dettori and the Apulian Cantina Fiorentino. The acquisition of cellars seems to be an obligatory route. He has some stories to write.


Luca Zaia


A great paladin of Venetian wine, the governor continues to endorse the requests of the Consortia when they ask for both effusive and restrictive measures. He has carefully followed the growth of Veronafiere and Vinitaly and, after the elections in 2020, he had proposed the creation of an imaginative Venetian exhibition center pulled from Verona and with Padua, Vicenza and Longarone. The proposal remained a dead letter. Zaia was not spotted in the tough confrontation of last year between the shareholders of Veronafiere. He is at an alternating current.


Alessandro Mutinelli

Alessandro Mutinelli is the wine top manager of 2021 and certainly the CEO of Italian wine brands. The company, listed on the Milan stock exchange, acquired the entire capital of Enoitalia from the Pizzolo family. The same that claims to be the second largest producer of Prosecco, as well as a big name in sparkling and still wines. Mutinelli points out that IWB is the first private wine group in terms of size, with associated revenues of 409 million euros. In addition, last December he took a bite of US importer Enovation Brands. A definite sprinter.


Antonio Rallo


The president of DOC Sicilia has the great merit of having managed the complicated introduction of anti-counterfeiting bands on all labels bearing the denomination mark. Although there is some discontent, this is physiological. The wind is also favorable on the number of bottles produced. It counts more than one hundred million. Promotion abroad is doing well, however the one on the island is neglected, as it was a bit taken for granted. Meanwhile, the issue of the average value of Sicilian wine remains unsolved. Still too low. It will take time.


Silvana Ballotta


At the helm of Business Strategies, Silvana Ballotta has the privilege of feeling the pulse of the ability of Italian wine to be around the world. Her company has a very respectable know-how in internationalization processes. Competence, experience, professionalism and vision are the strengths. But today BS is also forced to bear with a global climate in rapid change, and perhaps for the worse. Nevertheless, we are sure that Ballotta will have the ability to reserve new beautiful surprises for us by expanding her goals.


Albiera Antinori

She is the new head of the Federvini wines group, but above all the president of the Bolgheri Consortium. A seat of power from which she recently celebrated the results of a relatively young DOC (less than 30 years) that she managed to obtain, placing it at the top of the main international rankings. Moreover, the appeal to the institutions for a less suffocating bureaucracy must be considered. Eventually, the proposal to join in the continuous path of sustainability, which is the principle that unites producers, without any distinction. She is ecumenical.


Roberta Corrà


The CEO of the Italian Wines Group led the cooperative group out of the perfect storm. In 2021, the consolidated revenues bounded back to 422 million, higher than the 406 in 2019. In spite of the fact that in the year of the pandemic the decline was contained by -3.2%, perhaps due to the fragmentation of exports in 88 countries. Today exports represent 70% of turnover. GIV controls 14 private wineries and boasts 14 main brands. Last year Corrà was co-opted at the top of Italia del Vino. A definite cooperator.


Daniele Cernilli


He has always been one of the greatest tasters in Italy and in Europe. He is respected by many producers, so much that his authority has remained unaltered over time, and his publishing activities have not encountered any hitches. Even in the last two years led by the health emergency, he has remained on track with his leadership and accompanying activities. His roadshows around the world are always well-attended by both wineries and customers. The last significant blow was the consultancy for the NaturaSì group to spread the culture of wine.


Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja

After a year of purgatory, due to the pandemic, the CEO of Frescobaldi, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, brings the Tuscan company back to heaven. In 2021 he saw a double-digit growth and revenues higher than 2019. The party continues even in this glimpse of 2022, despite the chaos of customs and transport in the United States, which is the first foreign market. Geddes decided to quit the Russian market, except for customers who pay in advance and in euros/dollars. The company has a significant financial lung. Constantly hunting.


Carlo Ferrini


In praise of subtraction. He is one of the most popular winemakers in Italy and abroad, author of prestigious wines, and today a producer himself, with Podere Giodo between Montalcino and Etna, the number of some consultations were reduced. A commendable choice at a time when everyone is rushing to increase job opportunities. His ability to interpret the various terroirs remains solid, drawing the best out of the grapes and making very good white and red wines. In the family business, the increasing presence of the daughter Bianca should be identified.


Alison Napjus

Alison Napjus and Bruce Sanderson are the backbone of Wine Spectator in Italy. However, while Sanderson has been following Piedmont and Tuscany for many years, which are the most famous regions in the rest of the world, including the USA, Napjus follows the rest of Italy which is improving a lot in quality wines. This is also demonstrated by the increase of some south center companies to Opera Wine. It is pointless to say how important it is still to be reviewed on Wine Spectator. A good article opens the doors of the most important foreign market for Italian wine.


Monica Larner


The Italian correspondent of The Wine Advocate, the magazine founded by Robert Parker and today owned by the Michelin group, is always on the spot, a true bible for wine lovers from all over the world. Everyone is looking for her and everyone would like her to taste their wines. This says a lot about Monica Larner. A review from her can greatly increase the reputation of a wine. The score of 100/100 assigned to two Brunello di Montalcino 2016 did not go unnoticed: Madonna delle Grazie by Il Marroneto and Gianni Brunelli – Le Chiuse di Sotto.


Paolo Panerai


The journalist-founder of Class Editori continues his passionate double game between publishing and wine with the estates inTuscany and Sicily. Wine is perhaps more profitable than publishing, which is going through a historical crisis at a general level. The publisher also controls Gambero Rosso, the multimedia and multi-channel platform of food & wine made in Italy, which has just entered a partnership with Krombacher, leader of the production of premium beer in Germany. Several events in Italy and abroad are scheduled already. A figure split between journalism and wine glass.


Hans Terzer

A turnover that grows by 5 percent with over 2 million bottles sold where Italy is the main market, while the 30 percent of the numbers of Cantina di San Michele Appiano are destined for exports. This latter is the largest social cooperative in Alto Adige, with 320 winegrowing members and 385 hectares of cultivated land. The encouraging goals are also due to Hans Terzer, the winemaker and strategist of the company. 2022 should be another year of growth and the aim is to reach a turnover of 23.6 million euros. Definitely dynamic.


Roberto Luongo

This has been an important year for Roberto Luongo, general manager of ICE, the agency for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian companies. Luongo, appointed CEO in 2018, ends his office this year. His reconfirmation appears to be taken for granted thanks to his over 40 years of experience: this grew within the organism that favors the consolidation and the economic-commercial development of our companies on foreign markets. He knows the markets worldwide and knows how to manage promotion strategies excellently.


Lorenzo Tersi


In the era of corporate finance, specialists emerge. Tersi, at the helm of LT Wine & Food Advisory, is the leading consultant for wine: he has carried out M&A operations and has foreseen the arrival of financial investments in the wine business. He is a member of the board of directors of Masi and consultant of the Consortia of Chianti, Bolgheri and Morellino di Scansano. “There is enormous liquidity looking for opportunities, but the supply of wineries is not adequate. However, in the two-year time 2022/23 numerous M&A operations will be carried out “. A true visionary.


Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta


The 98/100 awarded by Monica Larner to the 2019 vintage of Sassicaia has shaken everyone’s mind. The wine is already nowhere to be found. We may not reach the 2015 and 2016 levels, with two spectacular vintages, still we are close. Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta, Niccolò’s daughter, is increasingly at the helm of Tenuta San Guido and can count on a close-knit team and a highly efficient general manager like Carlo Paoli. The real challenge consists in maintaining these standards of great excellence envied by the whole world.


Enrico Gobino

He has been the marketing director of Mondodelvino for 14 years, and maintained the same position even after the purchase of the company of the Martini family by Botter. Gobino, 41 years old, states that little has changed and that the production and organizational structure was left unchanged: the two companies are separate, except for the ownership. There is no definitive data yet, but in 2021 Mondodelvino gained double-digit sales compared to the previous year. However, focusing more on value than on volumes, almost untouched. A real communicator.


Ian D’Agata

He is one of the Italian wine critics who can boast an international reputation. He has been for a short time now Editor-in-Chief of “TerroirSense Wine Review”. a website in English and Chinese through which Ian D’Agata contributes to letting the best Italian brands be known in the world of wine lovers, telling about terroir, grape varieties and producers. His Best Italian Wines, a classification that ranks the best wines, collects a certain resonance. The last one of 2021 awarded five Brunellos in the first six places. Bewitched by Montalcino.


Graziana Grassini

Graziana Grassini, biologist and oenologist of several Italian wineries (and also a consultant for Sassicaia) scores two important hits. Since last autumn she has joined the National Wine Committee, as appointed by the minister. Moreover, since last year she has also been a consultant for Casanova di Neri, one of the most famous companies in Montalcino. Tuscan from Follonica, today she moves from North to South, always on tiptoe, yet very practical in making the wineries achieve satisfactory results. We expect further progress.


Massimo Tuzzi

From Prosecco to Franciacorta. The former CEO of Zonin was called to unravel the skein of Terra Moretti. A complex task that concerns the Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi brands, as well as the Tuscan ones of Petra, Teruzzi e La Badiola, and the Sardinian wines of Sella & Mosca. The manager, 49 years old in June, immediately gave a managerial turn to an all too familiar structure. The first results are positive, but the challenge continues. Financial balance and the replacement of the Chinese partner are also under Tuzzi’s lens.


Sandro Gini


Soave is looking for a relaunch through UGA, the additional geographical units that have been active since 2018. There are 33 but not all companies have made use of them to date. Sandro Gini, president reconfirmed last year as the head of the Consortium, has clear ideas about the future of the denomination; nonetheless, he needs to deal with a vast territory, no less than 7 thousand hectares, and a production of about 50 million bottles (with a slight increase on the previous year), while the average value is perhaps growing too slowly. There is still work to be done.


Elvira Bortolomiol

A woman in the presidency to mend the frayed relationships in one of the most contentious consortiums in Italy. And with the establishment of Bortolomiol at the top of the Conegliano Prosecco Valdobbiadene Consortium, for the first time under female leadership, the general manager Diego Tomasi has arrived too, in a vacant position for years due to the game of crossed vetoes. The new president comes from a family that contributed to the Prosecco boom around the world. Now she aims to protect and enhance that territory as a UNESCO heritage. A definite peacemaker.


Toni Scilla

For just over a year he has held the position of Sicilian Councilor for Agriculture, and therefore manages the wine policies of one of the leading regions in Italy. The island, for example, is the one with the highest endowment of EU funds. He has taken his assignment to heart and is working to ease access to financial support, still while paying close attention to the world of wine. There is an open dialogue with the regional institute for wine and oil (IRVO), as well as his direction in the management of the Sicilian DOC anti-counterfeiting labels.


Chiara Lungarotti

In the Umbria of wine, the flag of Lungarotti waves strongly. This is due to the attention to the environment and biodiversity, to the 250 hectares of vineyards between Torgiano and Montefalco, a respectable turnover of nearly 10 million, and an export worth over 40 percent of revenues, which are the essential numbers. Wine tourism is also a very strong asset that continues to be successful. Furthermore, she is always carried on the shields by Wine Spectator. Meanwhile the generational transition is appearing to be able to guarantee continuity to a successful story.


Paolo Castelletti


The CEO of Unione Italiana Vini is the director of a widespread association that ranges from Roman tables to Brussels and Strasbourg. The mastery of the subject is an essential element in daily operations, as it is the ability to lobby. In this regard, the operation of moral suasion should be remembered, conducted by Castelletti on Italian MEPs called to comment on the De Castro-Dorfmann amendments, to the Beca report on the European Union’s Beating Cancer Plan. Not a full but still an important victory.


Antonio Galloni


He is always a reference, especially in the US market. His work is on digital information and reviews with very high numbers of subscribers, that touches dozens and dozens of countries worldwide. With his Vinous, which in 2023 will celebrate ten years from its foundation, he constantly explains, thanks to a close-knit team of expert collaborators, the best Italian wines. Some say he’s a bit too Barolo oriented and that he only cares about niche wines. It will be a matter of taste.


Gino Colangelo

Gino Colangelo is the owner of one of the most relevant public relations agencies in New York, today among those most courted by Italian wineries and consortia. It may be because he appreciates quality wine, or rather because he has Italian origins. In any case, today Gino is a reference for those who want to be known in the US markets. He has closed important agreements with some Italian consortia. In 2020 and again this year he was the organizing partner of the most important Barolo events. We bet that his role is destined to grow further.


Christian Marchesini

A 2021 to be framed for wine in Valpolicella and for Marchesini, 48 years old and agricultural expert, who has been president, since 2020, of the Valpolicella Consortium. Thanks to the halt imposed by the Consortium on the growth of vineyards and the cut in yields, the Denomination was restored into a double-digit growth, also due to the favorable market trend. The relaunch of the identity wine, Valpolicella, remains on the table. Marchesini stated that value, quality and relaunch of Valpolicella will be at the center of the Consortium’s policy again this year. Very sentimental.


Gabriele Gorelli

A passionate and competent globetrotter. After a long time, Italy has its first Master of Wine and this explains Gabriele Gorelli’s presence in our Wine Power List. His approach, when he talks about wines, may appear rather stiff, but this comes from the Anglo-Saxon style of his training school. He is one of the few who sees the Italy of Wine from the outside and knows that this is the right place. Today he is requested to give value and a new reading to our productions. The future is on his side.


Michele Zanardo

It is true that since last year he has no longer been the president of the National Wine Committee. Now he is “just” deputy vice president. However, who knows more tells us that a lot of operational work is done by him, while supporting the president Attilio Scienza. An oenologist from Veneto, he has been a member of the Committee since 2008, and therefore deeply knows all the dynamics of the organism that chooses the fate of many consortia and related specifications. Furthermore, he is president of the Appeal Committee that judges appeals for rejected aspiring DOC wines.


Donato Lanati


Enosis, the research center, today with eighteen employees, created by Donato Lanati in 1990, continues its scientific work in supporting wine relentlessly. Today the biggest worries concern climate change, while trying not to neglect quality and sustainability. Wines overwhelmed by heat no longer have harmony and only have astringent tannins. We need to batten down the hatches, perhaps by studying the brightness closer, that is to say not the color but the light that a wine gives us. It is one of the parameters of his studies.


Marco Sabellico


Marco Sabellico is one of the three editors of Gambero Rosso: the most widespread and sought after Italian wine guide by wine producers. The Tre Bicchieri areas will not have the makings and will no longer move the sales bar of yore; however they are improving the reputation of a winery. What Marco Sabellico is carrying out together with Beppe Carrus and Gianni Fabrizio is constantly a work of great value. The various road shows are working so well abroad that they are becoming relevant showcases for Italian wine.


James Suckling


With 100 points awarded to Ricasoli’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Ceniprimo 2018, James Suckling turned the spotlight on a terroir of Tuscany (which had never had such a high score) but also on himself. A smart way to make the headlines. From Hong Kong, where he has now been living for a few years, he talks through social media about an intense activity of wine courses for rich Chinese people. Still, he is followed a bit by the whole world. A ranking on influencers placed him in third place. Not bad at all.


Nicola D’Auria

Another two years of institutional commitment are there for the national president of the Wine Tourism Movement. D’Auria will now have the challenging task to guide his association into the delicate phase of rebirth and resumption of wine tourism. The law that just passed made his life a little easier. Yet, he now needs to be able to manage nationwide events that can attract wine tourists and satisfy winery owners. The conditions are all there, from Cantine Aperte to Vigneti Aperti.


Lorenzo Cesconi

His debut was not the best. Lorenzo Cesconi, a Trentino producer, has been the president of the Italian Federation of Independent Winegrowers (FIVI) for a few weeks. However, a few days after establishing he had to handle the grain of Walter Massa, a Piedmontese producer, who left his position as a member of the board with some controversial aftermath. If there is a firmness problem inside FIVI, it will be sorted out in the coming weeks. He uses conciliatory tones and has already set to work for the future of 1,400 members.


Luca Gardini


A reckless genius. Exaggerating is his watchword. Many say that his work has lost its authority but in reality it has not. Luca Gardini continues to shuffle the cards on several occasions. He is loved and hated. His work as a wine critic and taster always represents a launching pad. Maybe not everyone appreciated the idea of giving scores over 100/100 and some criticize him because he always deals with only a limited circle of labels. Yet, for example, Corriere della Sera is always there to support him.


Dominga Cotarella


To hand over the company to the children of the family while still in full operation is a very rare case in the world of wine, but Riccardo Cotarella and his brother Renzo must be acknowledged for making the right move. The Cotarella family is a company now led by Dominga and her cousins Enrica and Marta. Although the road is cleared and already built, the Cotarella sisters – as they like to call themselves – are working with great dedication to increase their turnover and reputation. The admirable initiative of the Intrecci school should be taken into account, too.


Maurizio Danese

During the pandemic era, the president of Veronafiere and of the Italian Fairs Association managed two tough fishes to fry in the best possible way. A Danish 60-year-old man has made a suffocating pressure on the Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia to obtain (by way of derogation from the de minimis on State aid) funds for the exhibitions. For Veronafiere, he managed the subscription of a capital increase of 30 million euros, reaching an agreement with the second partner of the Cariverona Foundation. In the 6 years of his office he shared the international growth of Vinitaly. A skipper.


Kerin O’Keefe

She is the Italian reporter of Wine Enthusiast, one of the most influential wine magazines in the world; therefore she plays an essential role in promoting Italian wine. Those who follow her argue that she is good at dealing with things that other people either snub or do not know and this gives her a great merit, as she gives space to a less granted Italy of wine. The perception of her magazine also increases thanks to the awards that each year she assigns to wineries and wines considered to be the best at that time. She is someone to keep an eye on.


Walter Massa


He is one of the most lucid and visionary producers on the Italian scene. He has removed from oblivion a vine that has disappeared, such as Timorasso, but this time he is mentioned due to the leaving from his position as a member of the board of directors of FIVI, a creature that he had helped to raise. Different views had risen, and he preferred to leave the scene. Still, it would be a shame not to take into consideration many of his ideas about the future of wine and how to communicate it. His genius should not be wasted.


Renzo Rosso

Mr Diesel has decided to speed up on wine. To go beyond the small DieselFarm and the 7.5% stake in Masi Agricola. The latest investment (estimated at at least 5 million euros), however, was sterilized by the Boscaini family’s syndicate pact; this intended to extinguish any temptation to control of the entrepreneur, who comes from Vicenza and who in 2021 realized in fashion, with Only The Brave, 1.5 billion euros in revenues and 354 million Mol. Some rumors point out Rosso to be determined to make a dimensional leap through acquisitions. Wine in jeans.


Gaja Gaja

She is more and more present with her siblings Rossana and Giovanni to represent the Gaja winery on public occasions and in some extremely rare tasting events. All three equally entered this ranking to represent the new generation of a winery that owns an immense reputation. We imagine that the father Angelo is a bit bulky, but little by little he is willing to have an open dialogue on future choices and strategies on big and small matters. For example, opening the cellar to visitors. It had never happened before the intervention of his children, who get the credit for it.


Alessandro Torcoli

Civiltà del bere is the longest-running Italian specialized magazine dedicated to wine. In times of digital information, print media is experiencing a phase of decline. However, the magazine directed by Alessandro Torcoli manages to diversify by always offering his readers high value content, without worrying about current events at all costs. Torcoli is also involved in organizing events in Milan and, on a personal level, is committed to pursuing authoritative goals such as obtaining the title of Master of Wine. We are confident.


Luciano Ferraro

Corriere della Sera moves when there is something relevant to tell about wine. And the signature belongs to him. Luciano Ferraro, promoted a few weeks ago to deputy director (congratulations!), has now consolidated his role as wine writer for the most important Italian newspaper, which also publishes a guide every year. He is often involved in demonstrations or presentations, and what was just a passion is now assuming the shape of a profession. Too bad that other generalist newspapers do not act the same.


Antonello Maietta


For almost 12 years as president of the Italian Sommelier Association, he is now the face of a profession that counts 40,000 members. He has always aimed with AIS to a full training for aspiring sommelier: it is impossible to talk about wine without a strict preparation. We will find out whether he is going to succeed or not, but it is worth the message. Born in 1960, sommelier at 19 but a failed economist, Maietta has totally renewed “Vitae”, the guide published by AIS, which exceeds 2,000 pages and reviews over 2,000 wineries. The establishment ad hoc.


Massimo Sagna


New generations are coming but Massimo Sagna is not changing. His sons Leonardo and Carlo Alberto joined the company but the independent distributor keeps not falling for easy fashions. After 94 years, the Turin-based company from Revigliasco continues to handle small volumes of prestigious and sought-after labels such as timeless French brands. Since 1988 he has been the exclusive distributor of the Maison Louis Roederer as well as of Romanée Conti. He possesses Delamain Cognac, Bas Armagnac Dartigalongue and Graham’s. An immutable figure.


James Miles

The brilliant co-founder in 2020 of Liv-ex (London International Vintners Exchange) is the reference financial marketplace for collectors and investors of fine wines. From here exchanges pass by, among 550 customers who buy and sell fine wines, with 100 million euros in value of the daily offer. The Liv-ex classification divides the 16 thousand wine labels from around the world, based on the average trading prices on Liv-ex and the presence of Italian labels is growing strongly. It is all about finance & wine.


Giampiero Bertolini

The top manager is the director that filmed the relaunch of the iconic Biondi Santi. A development plan focused on vineyards but that ranges from commercial development to marketing. The French shareholder Christopher Descours has covered his shoulders with huge reserves that guarantee a long investment phase. Bertolini was surprised by the speedy reaction of the market, yet the commercial distribution in 52 countries is also beneficial. The move to have increased the price of wines by bringing out the potential of the cellar is memorable. He is a leader.


Giancarlo Gariglio

He remained the only curator of the Slow Wine guide after Fabio Giavedoni’s decision to leave. But 2022 is a year of new prospects for him. First of all because Slow Food launched its first wine fair in Bologna, and his role was decisive in defining the organizational aspects. The guide now, after quite a few years, remains a reference for many companies that have appreciated the cut of the narrative. It is mostly centered on the territories, on the stories of the producers and on the most identifying wines.


Heini Zachariassen

Vivino’s guru founded the e-commerce platform to figure out which wines to buy. The peak of success was reached during the first lockdown: in 2020 Vivino had a turnover of 265 million dollars. The Vivino community counts 30 million users. It is a reference also for Italian wineries. Last summer, Zachariassen was replaced as CEO by Olivier Grémillon, while remaining on the board and maintaining the role of chief marketing evangelist of the company. A true prophet.


Valentino Sciotti


The founder of Fantini Group is aiming at 100 million euros made in turnover, up from 91 last year, with 28 million bottles. Without the pandemic he would have already reached it. The company owns a particular business model: agronomists and oenologists follow 12 wineries in Southern and Central Italy. To these, he recently added the Spanish Finca Fella. At the same time, Sciotti manages to match the interests of small winemakers with the short-term objectives of the current private equity fund: yesterday Nb Reinassance’s, today Platinum’s. A federator.


Piero Mastroberardino


After his office as president of the Federvini wines group, he was reappointed at the top of the Istituto Grandi Marchi. In the winery Mastroberardino he created the Serre di Mulino a Vento wine to rebuild the bond of young people with the territory. In Cilento, in collaboration with the municipality of Pollica, an area has been identified, at 500 meters above sea level, for a vineyard plant, entirely dedicated to the Aglianico grape variety. A testing on high-altitude to seek the freshness of the mountain. Never been untamable.


Valentino Di Campli


We follow a path already traced by Burgundy. This is what the president of the Abruzzo Wines Consortium candidly said to journalists about the architecture designed to redefine the articulations of regional, and municipal, denominations. The declared goal is to gain value and to double the importance weight of the DOC. Di Campli added that credibility towards the consumer is also linked, for example, to bringing back on the label the different territories from which Montepulciano is produced. Honesty in charge.


Pietro Mattioni

The blessed of Prosecco is named Mattioni. Once arrived at the court of Zonin in November 2020, the CEO fully grasped the recovery of the market with the Prosecco boom. This latter constitutes a significant part of the turnover of Zonin1821. The former Campari manager, with the role of awakening a group at stake, has almost completely redone the front line of managers. The results of the first year of management are not known, still they can only be positive. The challenge of profitability is in the two-year period of 2022/23. The start was launched.


Pierpaolo Penco

Penco, 54 years old from Milan, is an all-round wine consultant to keep an eye on. He deals with strategy, marketing and communication for wineries and consortia. He is responsible for training in “Wine Business” at the MIB Trieste school of management, with the task of coordinating the teaching and tutoring of courses for the wine and agri-food sector. Furthermore, he is the Italy country manager of Wine Intelligence, for which he carries out branding and market analysis projects for international operators. A know-it-all man.


Ettore Nicoletto

What is happening to Nicoletto? After joining Angelini Wines & Estates (formerly Bertani) two years ago and the promises of growth, including acquisitions, have almost disappeared. Let’s be clear, the former Santa Margherita top manager has restructured a group, which has been standing still for some time and has strengthened the management. However, we could expect Angelini’s financial resources to allow a quick purchase campaign. Starting with sparkling wines, as stated by Nicoletto. Instead, in 2021 only the relaunch of existing activities was witnessed. He seems undertone.


Marco Simonit


The inventor of the most famous pruning school in Italy is increasingly looking abroad. Today Simonit & Sirch, or the Vine Master Pruners, are present in 14 countries and are also consultants for about 150 wineries. However, there is a strong belief that the center of gravity of the business has shifted across borders. Perhaps, due to the poor awareness of producers in giving the right value to vineyard management. Online lessons through the Academy, the first digital platform dedicated to training on pruning, are still always a reference.


Gabriele Villa

Esselunga is perhaps the commercial chain that has most valued the wine bat in the supermarket over the years. Dozens of meters of shelves with wines from all regions. The current general manager Gabriele Villa, who has been in Esselunga for 38 years now, and who was a commercial director before taking up the current position, was among the promoters. Based on Nielsen data, it is conservatively estimated that Esselunga (with a turnover of 8.4 billion) has a 14% share in wine and sparkling wine sales. Therefore, over 200 million sales a year. A true bacchus.

The Wine Power List by - De Gustibus Italia - P.IVA 05540860821
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