Mosaico di Vita | Consorzio Vini di Romagna
October 2021 | Wine

Massimo Tortora, from Tuscany, is the new ambassador of Albana

Originally from Livorno, he conquered the 5th edition of “Master Romagna Albana” out of 17 participating sommeliers. Tortora won a very close final round, with only one point ahead of Luca Matarazzo from Campania. He dedicates his victory to Terenzio Medri. “I will make Albana known in Tuscany”, says the new ambassador. Maietta, president of Ais Italy: “Participants have all been outstanding, boasting more experience”.

Bertinoro Fc (4 October 2021) – The winner of the 5th edition of “Master Romagna Albana Docg” comes from Tuscany for the very first time. More precisely from Livorno, where he manages a restaurant. He is Massimo Tortora and last Sunday (3 October), in Bertinoro, he triumphed over his contenders and won the cash prize of € 2,000.00 from the Consorzio Vini di Romagna and conquered the title of ambassador of Albana, the main grape of Romagna and the first Italian white wine to be awarded with the DOCG recognition, back in 1987.

“Master Romagna Albana” has been organized by Ais Romagna, Comune di Bertinoro, Consorzio Vini di Romagna, Consorzio Vini di Bertinoro.

An unforgettable finale

It was a fierce competition right fron the start: the written test in the morning has seen the participation of 17 sommeliers from 7 regions of Italy. This round ended with only 4 contenders left for the finals: Luca Matarazzo (Salerno), Natalia Mochi (Montecatini), Costanzo Benedetta (Arezzo) and Massimo Tortora (Livorno). Three Tuscans, one from Campania and no one from Romagna: this was definitely a first.

The four faced various tests in front of a large audience in the Church of San Silvestro: tasting, presentation in front of two hypothetical clients, communication, service, pairing with dishes, vine history. The jury was composed of wine experts and sommeliers: Roberto Giorgini (President Ais Romagna), Antonello Maietta (President Ais Italy), Simone Lo Guercio (Best sommelier of Italy 2018 and member of Ais Italy Competitions), Giancarlo Mondini (Ais Romagna), Andrè Senoner (winner Master 2020), Mauro Sirri (Vice President Consorzio Vini di Romagna), Pierluigi Zama (President Assoenologi Romagna).

A close victory

The President of Ais Italy (Associazione Italiana sommelier) Antonello Maietta defined it a “close victory” upon announcing this year’s Master “who won by only one point”. He also added: “I would like to congratulate all participants: you have all showed an outstanding performance which has definitely given the jury a hard time in choosing the winner”.

The competition ended with Massimo Tortora triumphant over Luca Matarazzo after a very close match. Costanzo Benedetta and Natalia Mochi both placed third. The winner was awarded by Mauro Sirri together with Antonello Maietta and Roberto Giorgini.

A Special Award went to Benedetta Costanzo as the Best communicator Sommelier of Romagna Albana DOCG, as chosen by a jury of journalists and producers.

The fifth edition was dedicated to Terenzio Medri, President of Ais Italy from 2002 to 2010, as well as trustee of Ais Romagna, who passed away two years ago. Ais Romagna donated a special plaque to his wife Luciana who was present at the event.

The new Master

Best sommelier of Tuscany (2016) and recently best sommelier of Sagrantino (2020), he has crossed paths with Romagna for at least three times. Not with Albana, but with the Master del Sangiovese, earning the second place two times and gaining the third place once. But the first place came with Albana. “I must say that I did not expect it – he said – I discovered Albana at the Ais courses, I was intrigued by the first Italian white wine that gained a DOCG. I started to study it further, even including it in the wine list at my restaurant in Livorno. It is one of the great whites in our country, made from a vine that is continuously developing thanks to producers who know how to enhance its versatility through different expressions”.

As for being an ambassador: “I will make it known in Tuscany and I will organize themed events at my restaurant. I will also make myself available for initiatives promoted by Ais Romagna and the Consorzio. What will I do with the cash prize? I will invest it in wine. And most importantly, I will expand the Albana wines served in my restaurant”.

Master Romagna Albana was a part of “Vino al vino” an event promoted by Comune di Bertinoro, Consorzio Vini di Romagna, Consorzio Vini di Bertinoro and Ais Romagna.


The winners of Master Romagna Albana:

2017 Edition: Marco Casadei (Romagna);

2018 Edition: Carlo Pagano (Molise);

2019 Edition: Gilles Coffi Degboe (Romagna);

2020 Edition: Andrè Senoner (Trentino-Alto Adige).

2021 Edition: Massimo Tortora (Tuscany).