Allegrini 2024

Farewell to Ezio Rivella, the first oenologist-manager of Italian wine, one of the “fathers” of modern oenology

He was a pioneer, from his Piedmont origins to the epic Banfi, the first Italian to lead world oenologists and who brought our wines to world fame

2024 has begun by bringing sad news to Italian wine of the passing of one of the personalities who had the greatest impact on its history and success. Ezio Rivella, Cavaliere del Lavoro, the first oenologist-manager of Italian wine, passed away last night in Rome. The figure of oenologist-manager was created by him and thanks to his magnificent entrepreneurial vision, he was universally acknowledged one of the “fathers” of modern oenology. He was president of the Italian Wine Technicians Association for many years, and the first Italian at the helm of the World Association of Oenologists, as well as founder of the Oenological Studies Center. Between the 1990s and the early 2000s, he was president of the National DOC Wines Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture, vice-president of the Office International de la Vigne e du Vin in Paris, and led the Wine Union-Italian Confederation of Vines and Wine. He was born in Castagnole Lanze, 90 years ago, in 1933. His deep love for wine immediately made him one of the most famous oenologists in Italy. He began his activity in Piedmont as technical director, as well as the business of cooperative wineries, setting up an engineering and wine consultancy company before anyone else had thought of it. Then, the epic Banfi story, with the Italian-American Mariani family and one of the largest investments of all time in the history of the wine world. Starting in the 1970s, it led to creating, from scratch, of one of the leading Italian wine companies and of Brunello di Montalcino, bringing our wines to markets all over the world and laid the foundations for their fortune. After that, nothing was the same as before, and as Rivella himself liked to define it, the “new” wine world was born. A pioneer, and for the moment, no other words need be added.

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