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Italy’s best Sommelier 2023? He is Cristian Maitan, 28, from Treviso. Boom of courses in Italy

It was decreed by the Italian Sommelier Association. Camilli, president Ais: “he will be one of the ambassadors of our wine in the world”
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Italy’s best sommelier elected: he is Cristian Maitan from Veneto, Italy

He is 28 years old, comes from Treviso and works in his family’s restaurant (the Nuovo Ranch in Ponte di Piave): Cristian Maitan has been elected Best Sommelier of Italy 2023. He was decreed yesterday in Genoa by the Italian Sommelier Association (Ais) with the Trentodoc Award: “from today I am an ambassador of Trentodoc and it is a role I am proud of. Trentino is a territory that fascinates me and its communication starts from there, from that beauty”, Maitan commented. The final, on board the ship Msc World Europa, in Ais Convention No. 55, the biennial event dedicated to the promotion of wine culture in Italy, this year open, for the first time, to the public. Cristian Maitan prevailed over nine professionals from all over Italy: André Senoner from Laion (Bolzano), Marco Casadei (Forlì), Vincenzo Galati from Genoa, Ilaria Lorini from Barberino-Tavernelle (Florence), Stella Marotta from Capaccio Paestum (Salerno), Massimo Tortora from Livorno, Pietro Sangiorgio from Merate (Lecco), Artur Vaso from Brescia, and Simone Vergamini from San Ginese di Compito Capannori (Lucca).
The Best Sommelier of Italy was awarded by Sandro Camilli, president of Ais, Sabrina Schench, head of the Trentodoc Institute, and the Best Sommelier of Italy Ais 2022, Alessandro Nigro Imperiale; the runner-up was Marco Casadei (Ais Romagna), and in third place was Massimo Tortora (Ais Toscana). The sommeliers were examined by a technical jury, made up of the best sommeliers from past years, and another jury composed of journalists and referees from the Ais Sommelier Education Area. Hailing from Treviso, Cristian Maitan, 28, is a sommelier for Ais Veneto and works in his family’s restaurant, Nuovo Ranch in Ponte di Piave: in 2018 he won the title of best Sommelier Ais Veneto. The first runner-up is awarded the title and diploma of Best Sommelier of Italy 2023, as well as the Trentodoc Prize, consisting of a €6,500 scholarship and a Trentodoc jéroboam; the second runner-up is awarded a €3,500 scholarship and a Trentodoc jéroboam; and the third runner-up is awarded a €1,500 scholarship and a Trentodoc magnum.
The Best Sommelier of Italy - Trentodoc Award is the competition, organized by Ais, in collaboration with the Trentodoc Institute, with the aim of contributing to enhancing the figure of the sommelier and increasing the knowledge and popularization of one of the most prestigious Italian wine producers. “The competition”, says Ais president Sandro Camilli, “that decrees the best Sommelier of Italy is one of the most important Ais events. Sommeliers who have reached this point are true ambassadors around Italy and the world of this extraordinary product that is wine. Candidates must demonstrate their knowledge in viticulture, enology, tasting, organoleptic analysis and wine decanting, as well as communication tests. The boys and girls who enroll in our courses see a real employment prospect: with the title of sommelier, one does not just receive a diploma, but learns a well-rounded profession”. 
 “As the Italian Association of Sommeliers (Ais) we tell of a sector in continuous expansion: in this first half of 2023 alone we have enrolled 15,000 new boys and girls in sommelier courses, a figure that demonstrates the great interest in the world of wine and, above all, the importance of training. In hospitality facilities”, continued Ais president Sandro Camilli, “there is a great shortage of wait staff and qualified professional figures precisely to spread, promote and enhance this precious product, which is a pillar of the agri-food sector of our economy. Therefore, our goal is to train enthusiasts to spread the culture of wine in accommodations around the world. The sommelier course is seen by young people precisely as a possibility for future employment”.

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