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Verona, April 13, 2024

Wine Power List is a ranking by the online magazine Cronache di Gusto dedicated to the 100 most influential people in Italian wine. This year is the ninth edition of the ranking. Indeed, since 2014 the editorial staff of Cronache di Gusto has published this top 100 with the presence of institutional representatives, politicians, senior bureaucrats of the Ministry of Agriculture, consortium presidents, producers, journalists, heads of organizations and associations representing wine, popularizers and many others. You can also find the rankings for previous years here. Each character is accompanied by small arrows that indicate the position compared to the previous edition of the ranking. As usual, the Top of the Top category is scheduled for four characters who go beyond the rankings and occupy a place of absolute prestige: four profiles who were at the top places in previous editions of our ranking. This year’s Wine Power List was written by Fabrizio Carrera and Emanuele Scarci.

Piero Antinori

Having a big courage for a 85-year-old is not so easy, but the Marquis has plenty of it to spare. It was thought till last summer that Antinori, once defined the succession deal using the Trust, had very little to plan now. Instead, he found the courage to sign a half-billion euro maxi loan from Intesa Sanpaolo/Pricoa/Simest to acquire the prestigious Californian winery Stag’s leap wine cellars. Its final price would be even higher than the contracted loan. Antinori is counting on the skills of CEO Renzo Cotarella, who has been with the company for 44 years. Yet, why would one get stuck in a huge (7 years long) debt when the company is doing well? “First of all, the average price of Stag’s Leap wines is over 40 dollars a bottle – the Marquis replied– then, controlling a direct import company makes us the masters of our own destiny. We will decide which wines have priority, and not the importer nor the distributor. This operation is the most important in our history.” And likely, from Italy towards abroad. Antinori and Cotarella have drawn up the business plan for Stag’s Leap (an 80-million dollars invoice) and the debt repayment. However, there is a 1.3 billion net worth in Italy as a guarantee. In Tuscany alone the group controls 1,800 hectares, and is present in areas such as Franciacorta, Barolo and Barbaresco, Umbria, Friuli, and Puglia. He is a myth.

Riccardo Cotarella

The hyper-dynamic president of Italian (and worldwide) winemakers is always on the spot. The hectic pace of his days does not stop him. The last “challenge” is agreeing to co-found Domus Artium Reserve, an exclusive lounge for bien vivre lovers, aimed at entrepreneurs, gourmands, and wine lovers. This Reserve gives the opportunity to taste the best wines in the world. Furthermore, together with the French oenologist Michel Rolland, he will produce the “Quattro mani” wine, a blend of French-Italian grapes. On the sidelines of the presentation, Cotarella said: “I could not resist the proposal to accept this challenge. My daughter will now scold me for this latest commitment.” Cotarella, born in 1948, is a consultant in over 100 companies, including abroad. He is the author of more than 600 technical reports. Last September, after a heavy-rain spring and a torrid summer, he estimated a poor harvest with a drop of -12%, and then, at the end of November, a significant decline to -23%. And he humbly said: “This harvest is an encyclopedia to be studied well, since it has confirmed to us that science is the only way to save ourselves from pathogens, like downy and powdery mildew. Yet, the vineyard is an uncovered industry, and we can do very little about the climate. The vine can resist high temperatures, but not the sun rays.” He is always on the front line.

Angelo Gaja

He was dedicated the cover of the Wine Spectator for the third time. This has never happened for any other winemaker. The title “Champion of Italian wine” says it all. Net of the fans of the American newspaper, Gaja remains a character with a very high and specific weight. The Wine Spectator shows a very long interview in which Gaja mainly talks about the relation across generations: between him and his father, and his children. Perhaps it is the first time he has done it in such a complete way, and it hadn’t been shared like this in a long time. His newspaper contributions have disappeared. There is one question he was not asked: how does one become so good? Still, a lot can be understood from other answers. The intersection among dedication, passion, and curiosity is behind everything. It is a powerful push that gives everyone a lecture. At 84, Gaja still works ten hours a day and does not want to take a break because “without work I would go crazy”. He has very clear ideas on what the market demands today, on considering elegant wines, differently between those who produce and those who buy and drink the wine. The ownership of it all was already transferred to his children. His ability to prepare for the future makes one understand the greatness of his character. Moreover, Gaja tells us that in addition to the climate, Italy’s wine industry will have to manage the generational transition of the many wineries approaching this phase. Chapeau.

Attilio Scienza

He is always busy giving conferences, bringing around young people eager to learn everything about wine, experimenting, writing books, and raising the bar for every possible consideration about wine. He makes winegrowing become winegrowing itself, that is, the evident intertwining between the vine cultivation, the grapes that become wine, and the symbiosis with culture in the broad sense. Within there is anthropology, history, geography, meteorology, religion, language and much more. He is a very strong reference for everyone. It may happen that not everyone agrees with his visions and ideas on genetics, on the use of science in the vineyards, but there is no doubt that Italian wine owes him a lot. It is interesting to read his words on the storm that has been recently hitting the wine industry. A crisis – he says – that is beyond us. And once again the analysis is clear and wants us to react, even with drastic measures. Between a changing climate and the overturned anthropology of consumption, we need to roll up our sleeves. For Scienza, knowledge and study are the basis of everything. He is now working on a sort of compendium of his forty years of activity as a professor-researcher. Six volumes broadening from myth, to climate, to terroir and so on, with updated texts to give a sense to wine and to the world that revolves around it. He is relentless.

Herbert Dorfmann

A new entry that surprisingly takes the first place. Dorfmann is a 55-year-old from Bressanone in South Tyrol, and a politician of the Sudtirolervolkspartei. He has always followed the world of wine in Brussels, so much that for some years he was also the president of the Intergroup, i.e. that body that follows accurately the issues related to the sector. His entry into the wine power list confirms on the one hand the primacy of politics among the most influential figures. But there is more. We are convinced that Dorfmann will be re-nominated for his party in the European elections next June. And knowing something about the electoral dynamics, we strongly believe that Dorfmann will be re-elected: his is an armoured constituency that the German minority compactly votes for its most accredited representatives. And he will most likely lead the group of Italian politicians into the dynamics of the European Parliament. Next five years will be crucial for the wine industry. The influence comes on the one hand, from external factors such as wars or inflation; on the other, from political choices on consumption, and the fight against damage caused by drought and climate change. On these latter aspects, Brussels’ decisions will not be irrelevant. For example, the health trends of recent years will focus directly on wine. Dorfmann will be responsible for managing these reports. He has a decisive role.

Francesco Lollobrigida


Since the post-war period we have had 42 ministers of agriculture, one every 22 months on average. Definitely too many for a strategic sector, that has always been considered in transit for the politician of the hour. The tractor demonstrations in Brussels and in some EU countries (Italy included) have dramatically raised the issue of the inadequacy of European standards, as opposed to an orderly and rational green transition. This inadequacy has also manifested itself in the wine sector, for example, with the issue of labelling and health warnings. Minister Lollobrigida had to sign a decree allowing companies to take advantage of the extension up until June 30th, to use labels already printed prior to the adoption of the new EU legislation issued last December. Reintroducing the PIT and reversing under the pressure of the tractors in Rome was the real Italian turmoil. Besides the slip-ups with a purely political nature, on a technical level, the minister continues to believe that agriculture is the main ally and not an enemy of the environment. A view different from the EU representation, that introduced unmanageable environmental constraints on a bureaucratic level. According to Lollobrigida, the CAP reform must be reviewed after the first year of unsuccessful application.

Lamberto Frescobaldi


The Marquis remains pessimistic about the evolution of the Italian competitive framework, yet meanwhile expands the boundaries of his empire. Last year he made two goals between Maremma and the United States. In Italy he acquired Poggio Verrano, a Magliano winery in Tuscany, and Domaine Roy & fils in Oregon. The latter has 40 acres, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards. “Oregon is one of the best regions in the world for Pinot Noir – said President Frescobaldi – being part of this community is a dream come true”. Two last preys were added to a small empire: Ammiraglia, Pomino, Nipozzano, Perano, Castiglioni, CastelGiocondo, Remole, Calimaia and Gorgona. Not to mention Bolgheri Ornellaia and Masseto, Tenuta Luce in Montalcino and Attems in Collio. To his brilliant entrepreneurial performance, Frescobaldi combines the activity at the top of the Italian Wine Union. The latest issue was the controversial thinning out of the DCO, to be implemented through mergers or even cancellations, where the numbers are really scarce. “Today, out of around 400 active DCOs and DCGOs – he specified – only 7 have bottled more that 500 thousand hectolitres. A reorganization would allow resources to be channelled into promotion, because times are changing at great speed.”

Luca Rigotti

The great leader of the wine cooperatives eventually shared a glimpse. “The situation is complex, especially for red wine consumption which is sinking ever lower while stocks are rising – said Luca Rigotti, president of the wine working group of Copa Cogeca, the European organization of agricultural cooperatives, in an interview – supply needs to be managed and one of the options on the table could be timed uprooting”. The toughest situation concerns some regions in Southern Italy, but France as well has financed the uprooting with public contributions. In Italy the situation is not easy: last February the wine stocks were lower than the previous year by around 11% and the musts by 31%. These figures in significant decline suggest a lower supply pressure. However the problem continues, and sales in Italy and abroad are weak. With the approaching of early clouds, less than 18 months ago Rigotti opposed a proposal from the Italian Wine Union that asked to limit production with various tools, including uprooting. Rigotti said: “It’s easy to say less grapes, let us uproot. This is not possible. Nonetheless, let us see the inventory data of the year.” Still Rigotti has made an attempt, whereas IWU shut it down: no uproot with a reward will be made, specifically not with the funds of the national support program. That is a reversal.

Giuseppe Blasi


Blasi leads and remains the head manager of the highly strategic department of International European Policies. This means a significant management of funds and an implementation of important and delicate regulations. To date, his character represents a continuity that Minister Lollobrigida does not want to give up.

Luigi Moio

In times of easy misunderstandings, Moio did not back down in explaining how a wine is made and the role of yeasts in a scientific and irrefutable way. There is more: he is the president of the IOV, the International Organization of Vineyards and wine, a prestige for Italy. The IOV turns one hundred years old and celebrations are expected.

Maurizio Danese

The Veronese skipper has resumed pushing the development of Veronafiere, one of the major exhibition centres: 30 million investments are foreseen for the 2024-26 plan, with a focus on the growth of wine abroad and on the buyers incoming. Danese will have to untie the knot of a partnership, after Parma’s alliance with Milan. Uphill road ahead.

Francesco Liantonio


With the openness to organic and sustainability certifications, Valoritalia has the tailwind. Liantonio is the president of this company, that already boasts the certification of two billion DCO bottles. He is also the president and CEO of Torrevento (Puglia), that is today in the Prosit group . The latter ended the 2023 with a 20-million turnover.

Paolo De Castro


We do not know yet whether he will be re-nominated as a member of the Democratic Party in the next European elections. What is certain is that over the last twenty years as a minister and as an MEP, he has been the defender and driving force behind many strategic decisions. Not all battles have been won. Still the Italian wine industry owes him a lot. Developments are awaited.

Matteo Lunelli


The bubbles are less sparkling than they used to be, however Lunelli continues his Ferrari international launch, especially with F1. Lunelli is also president of the Altagamma Foundation. In March Ferrari led Trento bio.logicA in an event dedicated to agriculture and sustainability. Super green.

Carlin Petrini

His ideal manifesto remains more valid than ever in a world dominated by wars and sudden climatic upheavals. His friendship with Pope Francis strengthens his authority. Nonetheless, he must reconcile his arguments on the defence of identities with that political side that makes him a representative for electoral purposes.

Sandro Sartor


Ruffino set foot in Bolgheri discreetly. The Tuscan winery has acquired 15 hectares of vineyards and land, with the plan to create a label and a cellar with a hosting centre. The company led by Sartor controls nine estates, six of which are in Tuscany and three in Veneto. The control is in the hands of Constellation Brands.

Marco Lupo

He is one of the department heads of MASAF, and his office is the one responsible for quality. This means a strategic asset and many funds to manage, among which those of the NRRP. Wanted by Meloni government, he takes the role of Stefano Scalera. Among the large amount of money to handle, there are 2,3 billion euros destined for an “Agrisolar Park”.

Fabio Vitale


He is the director of Agea, upon which depends the rate of farmers’ discontent with payments of community contributions, such as awards, money for quality improvement programs, and much more. There have been no significant inconveniences so far, and all this consolidates his role.

Alberto Mazzoni


He is one of the historical memories of the National Wine Committee and knows how to navigate laws and regulations like few others. The next dossiers include Franciacorta and Cirò. He is also the director of MTI, an institute that brings together the wines of the Marche DCO: counting 550 members, 23 million bottles and the management of investments for 34 million in 12 years. He is on the up.

Stefania Saccardi


The Tuscan DOC pasionaria has not lost her edge. She continued in her roles as vice president of the Region and councillor for Agriculture. The Previews of Tuscany were not shaken after the release of Brunello di Montalcino. She is now a candidate for mayor in Florence for Italia Viva party, but she is not leaving the Region.

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro


He was renewed to the presidency of EFOW, which brings together all the DCOs of five European countries (with Germany as the new entry). His work will be important to defend the wine industry from inappropriate moves by Brussels. Furthermore, he can boast the successes of Equalitas, the company controlled by Federdoc focused on sustainability.

Ettore Prandini


Coldiretti’s image was weakened by the tractor uprising. Although divided internally, the mobilization of autonomous farmers made public opinion and politicians perceive the relative fragility of the powerful consensus machine of Prandini, and of the Secretary Vincenzo Gesmundo. It has to be rebuilt.

Felice Assenza


His office is very delicate, as responsible for anti-fraud and anti-adulteration controls. 2023 ended with a decline in wine-related crimes. However, the problem persists, and the guard cannot be lowered. The defence of Made in Italy label is among his tasks. His is an uphill job that would need more support.

Renzo Cotarella


Cotarella is CEO of the Antinori group, and author of the Stag’s Leap operation. He is expanding the borders of that empire while remaining realistic. He said: “We have three thousand hectares of vineyards and about fifteen cellars, but the return on assets is low. We, on the other hand, must produce margins to sustain growth.” He stays down to earth.

Corrado Casoli


The president of the Italian wine group keeps a low profile, but the facts count more to him. His group, despite the difficulties, keeps the Italian leadership thanks to direct control of the production chain and of the markets. The large cooperative has 15 wineries in 11 regions and 1,400 hectares to count on.

Eleonora Iacovoni

A very respectable new entry in the leadership of quality: one of Masaf’s most strategic directions, that deals with supply chain contracts, support for organic production and much more. Her direction is considered a sort of treasure for the department. It is for her a prestigious role full of both honours and burdens.

Gianni Bruno


Wine Paris up, ProWein down. What about Vinitaly? He does not stand idly by. This year’s figures strengthen the idea of the Italian fair as a destination for more than a thousand buyers. The feedback from the roadshows abroad was favourable, and there is more to come. Still, the Vinitaly manager will have to deal with a rapidly changing world.

Massimo Romani

Skyrocketing interest rates are blocking the progress of Argea, one of the big names in wine controlled by the Clessidra private equity fund. Some geographies would still be required (see Tuscany). CEO Romani is taking advantage of the break to make the machine more efficient, exploit cross-selling opportunities and on-trade growth. He is on the spot.

Stevie Kim


Between the Vinitaly International Academy and the Wine2Wine event, she is a solid reference for Italian wine that wants to project itself into the world. Her fast pace in organizing events and initiatives often clashes with Italian slow pace. But despite the difficulties her role is growing. Her podcast remains a winning format.

Francesco Giovannini

He is the head of one of the most important Italian cooperatives, and ended 2023 with incredible results: 217 million euros in turnover – a record – and more than 69 million euros paid to members, or approximately 20 thousand euros per hectare to each individual member. The exports are holding up. His battleships do not fear rough seas.

Giovanni Manetti

Bertoldo’s adage applies to Chianti Classico: after the sun comes the rain. In 2023 Gallo Nero lost 11% of its bottled volume, data in line with the crisis of the red wines, but, for President Manetti, it is influenced by overstocking, especially in the USA. Chianti Classico focuses on value and not on volumes. Ipse dixit.

Alessandro Mutinelli


The top manager of Italian wine brands surprised almost everyone by managing in a year of crisis, like 2023, to gain margins and reduce debt: revenues are at 429 million and stable, and gross operating margin is at 44 million, with a +19%. Net debt is decreasing from 122 to 96 million. The stock exchange was pleased by this (IWB is listed in Milan), causing the stock to rise.

Oscar Farinetti

The founder of Eataly travels the world to hold conferences and meetings and to inspire optimism: a panacea for our pride and for those who believe in the agri-food sector. With his companies he manages about ten wineries spread between Piedmont and Sicily. His interest in the world of Bacchus is ever growing. He will bet on it again.

Fabrizio Bindocci


The decision to increase the surface area dedicated to the production of Rosso di Montalcino was very wise. The consortium shows its ability to sniff out new trends. The US market is growing and is crucial for the denomination. However, one must remain cautious and most of all look at the weather, the variable of the moment.

Silvana Ballotta


She is the managing director of Business Strategies, a hub for the integrated promotion of the Made in Italy label in the world, which sees wine as its absolute priority. Her winning idea is to combine agri-food with fashion, design and our lifestyle. 2023 ends well: she managed projects worth around 25 million euros.

Giuseppe Liberatore


As a profound connoisseur of standards, and a great high-level relationships maker, today he is the super consultant for Valoritalia, the certification titan. Among the many clouds that are gathering over wine, he is especially concerned about the new consumption trends that aim at criminalizing wine. Countermeasures are urgent.

Matteo Zoppas


The president of ICE, appointed by Giorgia Meloni, has enthusiastically embraced his latest mission: to contribute to the internationalization of Italian companies and to the attraction of investments. Close to the president of Veneto Luca Zaia as well, Zoppas was appointed to control the Mattei plan. His career is on the rise.

Livio Proietti

Just appointed by the Meloni government, he is at the helm of ISMEA, a strategic institute for agriculture. As a lawyer, he has held roles on the boards of directors of several public and private companies. Meanwhile, his expertise on European regulations could be an opportunity for managing numbers and funds. We will keep an eye on him.

Silvano Brescianini


The decision to map the individual territories within Franciacorta and, thus, verticalize production is a very prudent choice. This is one of the latest initiatives that confirm the dynamism of the consortium. 2023 ended with almost 20 million bottles produced, but the increase in value is the real highlight: +3 percent.

Federico Veronesi

Sandro Veronesi’s son, owner of Calzedonia, cultivates his passion for wine (he is a sommelier) not only with the Signorvino chain, but also with the vineyards and cellars acquired in Veneto, Lazio and Sardinia. He likes to say: “We have gone from the shelf to the vineyard, becoming even producers and more protagonists of this world”.

Antonio Rallo


The data of the DCO Sicilia reports a positive performance. However, the issue of the wine value of the main denomination of the island remains unresolved. He also has the task of giving a twist as president of the Consortium. The extraordinary results of Donnafugata, the company that he owns with his sister Josè, are worth mentioning, too.

Sandro Boscaini


Has he won or lost the battle with Renzo Rosso? The president of Masi Agricola managed to get rid of the inconvenient minority shareholder (with 10%) but at a high price. However, he will now be able to better plan the recovery from the crisis that in 2023 caused revenues to fall by 11% to 66.4 million. The profit was only 0.7 million. Good luck.

Andrea Rocchi

He too newly appointed by the Meloni government, he is the new director of CREA (Council for Agricultural Research and Analysis of Agricultural Economics), that is, the knuckle of everything that represents innovation and the use of technology. There is a lot to do and Rocchi should be given the tools from the government to achieve the aims.

Roberta Corrà


In 2023, the Italian wine group recorded growing revenues and declining volumes, by investing 10 million euros in renovating cellar structures and technologies. The definitive data for the year are not yet available. We will see. She was reconfirmed to lead of Italia del Vino consortium, which brings together 25 companies.

Pierangelo Tommasi

Dario Tommasi’s grandson follows in his footsteps. The family’s shopping started across Valpolicella, Soave and Lugana, and then spread throughout Italy: in Maremma with the Poggio al Tufo company, in Manduria in Puglia and in the Oltrepò Pavia area. It is present in Montalcino, Basilicata, Umbria and Sicily. The latest achievement was a winery in Friuli.

Luca Zaia


With the end of his office (in a year), Venetian wines will lose a great supporter. Zaia and his administration have always supported the requests of the consortia, for better or for worse. So much so that even in 2023 the Region maintained its export record, with an almost 3 billion euros turnover. He is a great representative.

Daniele Cernilli


His specific importance both consolidates and grows. In the liquid times of posts, photos, reels and everything that is social, Doctor Wine’s role – as he often signs his editorials – has not been undermined. He remains a steady reference for those who make wine, for those who drink wines and for those who work there. Plus, many road shows are added to his essential guide.

Angiolino Maule


He has the merit for giving a lucid and realistic reading of the recent episodes of Report, that have caused much havoc in the world of wine. Some of his words should be listened to without ideological barriers. VinNatur, the movement he founded, and that brings together quite a few winemakers, shows no signs of slowing down.

Carlo Ferrini

One of the most appreciated winemakers and, to date, also a producer across Tuscany and Etna. His wines know how to faithfully reflect the territory and reach high levels of delight. He decided to reduce his consultancy to give more food for thought to his work. This is no small thing in times when everyone is jostling for more.

Massimo Tuzzi


The top manager has reviewed the management and financial organization of Franciacorta Terra Moretti, guiding it out of the shallows. Last year the wine group achieved revenue growth of over 7% to 90 million euros, and a gross operating margin of 19.5 million. What is the target? Reaching 100 million. A true skipper.

Luca Pizzighella


Signorvino opens his gates abroad with restaurants in Prague and Paris. Last year, 8 new restaurants were inaugurated for a total of 36. The commercial chain led by Pizzighella ended 2023 with a turnover of 72 million euros, +31% compared to 2022. Catering drives the wine shop with a mix 70% against 30%.

Stefano Fambri

He is one of the helmsmen of the Mezzacorona battleship. He is a 52-year-old from Trentino, and the new director of the Trento Doc Institute. He takes over from Enrico Zanoni. He has the difficult task of improving the performance of one of the most suitable territories for the Metodo Classico, in competition with other areas of Northern Italy. Even so, Fambri is a fan of challenges.

Maurizio Zanella


“The more you know about nature, the less surprised you are and the more you lead changes. Anyone who thinks they have already arrived is over before they even leave.” He declared to a newspaper in his area and in these words there is a bit of his vision of the world. The rest is shown by his delicious and iconic wines. He should be consulted more often.

Monica Larner


According to recent news she will also cover Greek wines for Wine Advocate, the newspaper founded by Robert Parker, that remains a guidebook for winelovers all over the world. Her evaluations of Italian wines are eagerly awaited, and are highly taken into account by those who buy and/or drink wine. We expect another high score.

Luca Sammartino


The specific importance of the Sicilian Agriculture Councillor is increasing. Being in politics for a year and a half, he has been at the head of the island’s agricultural policies. He has a good ability to listen to the world of wine, but he has to face the problems between drought and efficiency in spending community funds must be addressed. Favourable developments are expected.

Gabriele Gorelli


He is no longer the only Italian Master of Wine, but he is very happy about it, and this gives him credit. In fact, it is known that he greatly helped two other friends to obtain the coveted British recognition. Being even more around the world, and popular with companies, consortia and wine competitions, he is always affable and professional.

Hans Terzer


The kellermeister of the San Michele Appiano winery is a charismatic figure of South Tyrolean wine. He is responsible for many of the successes of this cooperative, that ended 2023 with an almost 30 million euros in turnover for a production of almost 3 million bottles. There are 317 members who manage 385 hectares of vineyards. A real case history.

Priscilla Incisa
della Rocchetta


Tenuta San Guido is the Sassicaia. And Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta, together with her cousins, is the representative of the tradition started by the genie of Mario (and Giacomo Tachis) and continued with Nicolò. The company is among those with record turnover figures and margins. It is a great success for the image of Italian wine in the world.

Elvira Bortolomiol


General rehearsals were made for the renewal of the top management of the Prosecco DCO Valdobbiadene Consortium. The collection of applications is underway. In these three years, President Bortolomiol has quelled the animosity of her base, but now a new cycle is starting. Meanwhile, she has been selected at the top of the Prosecco System, created to oppose counterfeiting.

Matteo Ascheri


The president of the Barolo Barbaresco Consortium is at the end of his office. Still, in six years he has governed a difficult but developmental phase of the nine denominations, that account for over 10 thousand hectares and 65 million bottles. Overall, productions held up in a difficult phase for red wines. And a hectare of Barolo has jumped up to 3-4 million.

Matilde Poggi


She leads almost seven thousand winemakers spread across Europe. Her work is increasingly focused on Brussels because that is where the most important decisions on the supply chain are made. The world she represents is not always compatible with that of large companies, and that is where the real challenge lies. The next few years will be crucial.

Albiera Antinori


The entrepreneur is president of Marchesi Antinori and of the Federvini wine group. In the company she has always dealt with marketing and communications, “because they help to create the added value of products and territories” she said. Antinori is also president of the Bolgheri DCO, in her second mandate.

Michele Bernetti

The special award of “Winery of the Year” in the Gambero Rosso Guide and the Tre Bicchieri for the new wine “Historical 2018” (Verdicchio aged for 5 years) are not by chance. The success of Umani Ronchi and its owner Bernetti is identified with the boom of Verdicchio and Rosso Conero. Bernetti is also president of the IMT.

Gino Colangelo


If you want to make yourself known to America’s most prestigious industry insiders and influencers, you need to get in touch with his agency, Colangelo & Partners, based in New York. Over the years he has reinforced an effective and punctual know-how. The many Italian consortia that believed in it know something about it. He is a reliable figure.

Chiara Lungarotti


At the head of one of the most beautiful Italian companies in the heart of Umbria, that has always believed in wine tourism. See under: museum in Torgiano. The performance of a difficult year like 2023 was good as well. An approximate 10-million turnover, up by 4.5%, exports at 45% and around 2.5 million produced bottles.

Donato Lanati


Defining him only as a winemaker is hard. He is actually a scholar, a supporter of clean and honest wine. He loves making wines that reflect the characteristics of the territory. He recently said: “I am against blends, the wine tanks that cross Italy from south to north. I am for pure wines, for native vines.” A true guru.

Riccardo Pasqua

2023 was a year played on defence, in which the Veronese winery achieved a turnover of 61 million euros, down by 4.6% in 2022. The destocking effect prevailed mainly in the USA. Despite this difficult scenario, the top manager persisted with the company strategy of reinforcing the premium line.

Enrico Zanoni


The titan from Trentino (60 million bottles) has slowed down, but remains a solid reality under the leadership of CEO Zanoni. The sparkling wine lines are leading, with the premium brand Altemasi Trentodoc, Cesarini Sforza Spumanti and Kessler Sekt. In the 2022/23 budget, Cavit achieved revenues worth 267.1 million euros, +0.9%.

Stefano Zanette


A sharp stop was given to the Prosecco DCO marathon. In 2023 it lost 20 million bottles and stopped at 615 million units. Was it an economic crash or loss of appeal? This is yet to be understood. Meanwhile, the president of the Zanette Consortium plans 4 UGA, just to postpone them in view of the May-June elections and a coveted fifth mandate.

Marco Montanaro

It is not easy to meet the new general director of Federvini at wine events. He is not an expert in wine and spirits; still he has always dealt with international relations and lobbying, specifically in Brussels, where he worked for various multinationals for 20 years. This is what Federvini needs for the EU choices.

Sandro Camilli


With over 40 thousand members, he leads the Italian Sommelier Association and the balance sheet of his first year of presidency always records great participation and good organizing ability. The Vitae guide has a good following in times when similar publications show difficulties. The members are very much stable.

Marco Mensurati

From being La Repubblica’s leading journalist to the management of Gambero Rosso, Mensurati brings with him his long experience as a reporter. He is drawing heavily on his background in his new role. There is less self-referential information, and more analysis. He is a breath of fresh air that we believe will influence the guides as well.

Lorenzo Tersi


The president of LT Wine&Food is one of the most influential wine consultants. As the director of some recent deals, he is now suffering a slowdown in mergers & acquisitions after the surge in interest rates. He will take part at Vinitaly in a conference of Crédit Agricole and Prosecco DCO on the theme “Wine companies: M&A and extraordinary finance”.

Alison Napjus


She is the narrator of the Italian wine successes on the pages of the most important magazine in the world: the Wine Spectator. She has an important role in the selection of Italian wineries for Opera Wine. She is also part of that team that awarded an Italian wine, Argiano’s Brunello di Montalcino, a 100/100.

Daniela Mastroberardino


In her first office year, the president of the Women of Wine association carried out a work in firm continuity with what her predecessors did: both culture and promotion, training and internationalisation. Mastroberardino is administrator and export manager of Terredora, one of the largest wineries in Irpinia, in the South, with 200 hectares.

Dominga Cotarella


The entrepreneur is the commercial soul of the former Falesco winery, that passed to the Cotarella family on the occasion of the generational handover to the 3 cousins (Dominga with Marta and Enrica). The company has an approximate 15 million in turnover. In the five-year period 2018/22 they achieved an average profit of 1.4 million. She is also president of Terranostra.

Graziana Grassini


She went from the National Wine Committee to super consultancy, and is always on point for punctuality, reliability and professionalism. Now she has also achieved a success in Sicily, and keeps track of the technical features of the company Baglio di Pianetto, on the outskirts of Palermo, and owned by the Marzotto family. More winning moves are awaited.

Edoardo Freddi


As an expert in export management, he has entered a partnership with Marilisa Allegrini. She relies, after the split from her grandchildren, on the Valpolicella wines of Villa della Torre and on the Tuscan estates of Poggio al Tesoro and San Paolo. Edoardo Freddi International declares for 2023 86 million in managed turnover (+6%) and 35 million bottles.

Luciano Ferraro


Thanks to him, Corriere della Sera hired James Suckling who is one of the most important wine influencers especially in Asia. Together they sign the publication on the most important Italian winemakers. As deputy editor of the Milanese newspaper he follows the events of Italian wine more and more frequently.

Marcello Meregalli


The Monza group is just a breath away from reaching 100 million in revenues (99.4 specifically). He is specialized in the distribution of wine&spirits. Last year the business was led by Visconti43, a company launched by CEO Marcello Meregalli with the purpose of enhancing small productions, family cellars and native vines.

Walter Massa

The area of Monleale, in the southern part of Piedmont, has become particularly trendy and attracts famous wine names. What for though? Because of Timorasso, a forgotten grape variety rediscovered thanks to this producer, with whom it is possible to obtain great whites. More generally, his ideas often make a dent. He is worth listening to.

Lorenzo Cesconi

He is the head of FIVI, the Italian Federation of independent winemakers, that counts 1,700 members. Recently, he has had quite a few shocks to manage such as, for instance, a series of resignations of members of the board of directors. This is not a good sign; however the role of this organization is destined to grow in the future.

Nicola D’Auria


The president of the Wine Tourism Movement (one-thousand-member wineries) is always on the frontline. The Wine Tourism Report estimates that, before Covid, the sector involved 15 million wine tourists for a turnover of 2.65 billion euros. Large numbers are no longer achievable now, but quality and organization must be improved.

Lorenzo Cafissi

Wine is one of the biggest projects in Italy for Carrefour’s beverage manager. The pilot test of “Terre d’Italia”, the bistro-shop in Piazza De Angeli in Milan, was interesting. Starting from this year, the Milanese team is responsible for purchasing Italian wine for Carrefour Europe and, from next year, for Carrefour worldwide as well. We will keep track of him.

Mariacristina Castelletta

For almost two years she has been leading a consortium whose wines are favoured by climate change. The growth of hectares (440 in total) and bottles produced (3.2 million) was slow but steady. The Alta Langa, with 150 members, is one of those territories that is carving out an increasingly interesting space for itself in the world of the metodo classico.

Denis Pantini


He is an interpreter of wine trends in the world. The director of Wine Monitor Nomisma will speak at Vinitaly at the XX Wine Tourism Observatory for Città del Vino, at the Federvini conference, about scenarios and new trends. He will also show a research for Foragri on new professional skills for wine companies. A reference.

Valentino Sciotti


The entrepreneur from Abruzzo continues his race on foreign markets, where he generates 96% of his turnover. The Fantini wine group winery has just received the Best producer Italy 2024 award from the German magazine Mundus Vini. The 2023 balance sheet is not yet available, but in 2022 it achieved 90-million worth of revenues, and a profit of 6.3-million.

Domenico Zonin


The wine crisis, including Prosecco, makes the relaunch of Gambellara harder. Domenico Zonin (and his two brothers) and the Benetton shareholder 21 Invest have radically changed the frontline of Zonin 1821. The first results brought a decrease in financial debt in 2022. The 2023 data is not available yet. He has a lot to work on.

Alessandro Torcoli

Civiltà del Bere celebrated the fifty-year anniversary since the beginning of its publications. This is a record for trade magazines in a difficult time for paper-based publications. The credit must be given to its director, for keeping up even with the online newspaper and with always engaging events. Happy birthday.

Giancarlo Gariglio


Slow Wine is a Guide that often likes to go to the opposite direction. It is about small winemakers, and micro-territories that indeed contribute significantly to creating the great reputation of Italian wine. Its editor interprets its thoughts perfectly. Slow Food tells about a possible future in uncertain times.

Alessio Planeta

When thinking of Planeta you immediately think of native Sicilian wines, and those produced from international vines filtered by their methods. The Menfi winery produces 2.3 million bottles. CEO Alessio Planeta was awarded the title of “Winemaker of the Year” by the American magazine Wine Enthusiast. He is the fourth Italian to be awarded that title. Nice Shot.

Giovanni Busi


Chianti shows up at Vinitaly with a completely renovated maxi stand and with 30 companies. This is a response to the crisis that has been tormenting Chianti for a couple of years, and which has seen a decrease from 96 to 77 million in bottlings. The president of the Busi Consortium does not give up, and continues to lead the road shows, from China to South America.

Andrea Farinetti


He is tireless and passionate about the management of the many wineries he owns, from Fontanafredda to Borgogno, and from Vigne di Zamò to Carranco. He is working hard to move companies in a practical way towards sustainability and environmental respect. The distribution company is doing well, too.

Raimondo Romani

He deals with wine lovers through wine auctions of the most prestigious labels. Raimondo Romani, CEO of Gelardini & Romani, will lead a simulation at Vinitaly on the 30 most prestigious wine labels in Italy. Wines from native grapes, such as Nebbiolo and Sangiovese, are in great shape. Do not forget about the debut of Nerello Mascalese.

Andrea Lonardi

He is the second Italian Master of Wine. He is a Veronese with a high-profile background in business management, specifically in marketing. He cut his teeth in important companies like Bertani Domains. His exit from the latter was announced, to dedicate himself to other ambitious professional projects. He is worth bet on.

Marzia Varvaglione


She represents the wine and hospitality of Puglia. She is someone who does not like to complain, but instead prefers to plan and manage a present that has a lot to say. This is what this young producer represents, with a company that boasts multiple generations and has a growing reputation and propensity to export. Next stop is including more wine tourism.

Alessandra Piubello

She is one of the editors for Guida Oro I Vini di Veronelli, with a fairly respectable cursus honorum. She takes part in collaborations with several specialized magazines, and in international clubs of wine expert. As a very professional and punctual figure, she is tirelessly present at events, wine previews and tastings.

Mario Piccini


The volcanic entrepreneur from Chianti is also aiming at Prosecco: he has taken over 35% of the Treviso-based Vinicola Cide, a bottler of private brands of Prosecco. The latter is very suited to the German market, so much so that it controls the Cide Gmbh distributor which has taken the name of Tenute Piccini 1882. A further 55% will arrive by April 2025 with a worth of 2 million.

Christian Marchesini


He has got the courage of transparency and the strength to change. At Amarone Opera Prima, the president of the Marchesini Consortium clearly spoke: “It is no longer possible to focus on volumes only: Amarone must grow in value”. As a matter of fact, in the last two years the king of Venetian wines has lost 17% of his bottling, however bulk prices have heavily increased.

Barrett Wisman

He is a New Yorker who moved to Rome with a passion for music, wine and business. He is the director of Domus Artium Reserve, an exclusive club across Italy and France. It is open to wealthy wine lovers who love tasting top wines and starred dishes. The model is the Napa Valley Reserve Club that has a turnover of 150 million dollars. He is a true model.

Clemens Lageder

He is not only one of the best biodynamic wine producers, who is always ready to take a step forward unlike others. Above all, there is Summa, an event that started quietly over 20 years ago and has now become a staple for the best Italian wine. This year, over 110 companies will be taking part. It is not a bad achievement.

Bernardino Sani

The magician of Argiano did a great job. From the unusable cellar purchased in 2013, and from the neglected vineyards, he produced the best wine in the world according to Wine Spectator: the Brunello di Montalcino Vigna del Suolo 2018. The CEO Sani, in agreement with the Brazilian owner André Esteves, is now aiming at Sicily and Piedmont.

Giampiero Bertolini


The Descours family is always capable to invest in wine and new acquisitions. For Biondi Santi, 2023 should have ended with growth (also thanks to the acquisition of Isole Olena) despite the slowdown in demand is hitting the premium range. Yet, CEO Bertolini stays quite optimistic.

Renzo Rosso


Mr Diesel left the shareholding of Masi Agricola after a long fight with the Boscaini brothers (the repeat of the 2020 EcoNaturaSì event). The Brave Wine Holding holds financial control of the Barolo winemaker Josetta Saffirio, with a 40% stake in the Etna DCO Benanti winery. Will he keep expanding? Gian Burrasca.