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Allegrini 2018
VINITALY 2019

The myth of Ornellaia, the Chinese Leon Liang and Demei Li win the international Vinitaly prize

Madeline Puckette, founder of the portal “Wine Folly”, famous for her infographics on wine, awarded as “The Wine Communicator of the Year”

An icon of the great Italian wine in the world, two pioneers of wine culture in China, one of the most successful digital communication experiences in the USA: these are the winners of the International Vinitaly 2019 award, assigned to the great Bolgheri red wine Ornellaia, for its qualitative excellence, Leon Liang, one of the founders of the most important and innovative wine education school in China, Grapea, and Demei Li, the oenologist who first brought a Chinese wine to win an international award, and associate professor of Wine Tasting and Oenology at the Beijing Agriculture College, as well as Madeline Puckette, founder of the portal “Wine Folly”, famous for its infographics on wine, awarded as “The Wine Communicator of the Year”.
“Ornellaia is a name that symbolizes Made in Italy. Founded in 1982, then only recently, it has achieved excellence - we read in the motivations for the award - with a range of products of undisputed value that the whole world craves. The company’s flagship wine, Ornellaia Bolgheri Rosso, is a true Italian cult wine, as is 100% Merlot Masseto. Led by Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, managing director, and member of the Tuscan group Frescobaldi, Ornellaia contributed, together with other local companies of great fame and value, to give life to a denomination - Bolgheri - where previously there was mostly a wild and coastal Tuscany.
Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja was also able to create a real brand by transforming the estate into a treasure chest of works of art, calling every year an internationally renowned artist (in the project “Vendemmia d’Artista, which has already distributed over 2 million euro to the most ed.) to create the label and to sign a unique series of 111 large-format bottles, auctioned and disputed by enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world ”.
“Leon Liang has been a great lover and lover of Italian wine for over 10 years, which he knows well thanks to many study visits in our country. Together with Yang Lv, the only Chinese Master of Sommelier, he founded Grapea - explains Vinitaly - the most important and innovative wine school in the country. With this structure, made of a team of over 20 people who organized more than 150 seminars and wine tastings in 14 local cities in 2018, the most important international associations in the world of wine and a growing number of Italian consortia operate. Leon Liang, for this reason, is becoming an essential reference point for the wine market in China, also through his extraordinary ability to reach both the world of trade and that of Chinese end-consumers and to highlight at the same time the unique characteristics of the Italian quality product, where diversity and entrepreneurial talent merge into an extraordinary “unicum”. Leon Liang is, therefore, the most significant exponent of the revival of fine wines imported into the country and is an indispensable speaker to understand the development trends and future scenarios of wine in China”.
Demei Li is associate professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of Agriculture in Beijing and one of the visiting lecturers at the Ecole Superieur d’Agriculture in Angers, France. He is one of the most important Chinese oenologists and has been recognized several times as one of the driving forces behind the improvement of the country’s wineries. He was the first production manager (and director of the technical department) of the Franco-Chinese project Domaine Franco Chinois. He is a consultant for several wineries in China, including Helan Qingxue, Leirenshou in Ningxia, Tiansai and Zhongfei in Xinjiang. Just as she was working for Helan Qingxue, Jia Bei Lan won the International Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011, and thanks to her, a Chinese wine won the coveted award for the first time. Li has now become one of the best winemakers in China and by many is considered the Chinese equivalent of Michel Rolland. Thanks to his work as a consultant, particularly in the provinces of Ningxia and Xinjiang, Li Demei is responsible for the high standard of Chinese wines on the global market. In 2012 he won the Wine Intelligence 10-for-10 Business Award. In 2013 he was awarded the Decanter Power List and was named Top 10 Most Influential Wine Consultants by Drinks Business. As a reporter, Demei writes for many wine publications including DecanterChina.com. He was also one of the columnists for the fourth edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine”.
About Madeline Puckette, on the other hand, we talk about a “young American wine writer and blogger, she is the co-founder of WineFolly.com, a highly successful blog, which offers information and accessible content on wine for both beginners and experts thanks to an educational infographic and captivating writing. In 2013 Puckette won the title The Wine Blogger of the Year and since then published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. In 2018 his Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, The Master Guide, ranked among the top 5 food & wine pairing books sold by Amazon. In addition to the United States, the book Wine Folly was launched in Great Britain, Holland, China, Japan, and Russia. The Communicator of the year Award, established in collaboration with the Iwsc - International Wine and Spirit Competition, will be presented in London on November 13”.

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