Farewell to Ezio Rivella, one of the fathers of Italian wine and among the architects of the success of Brunello di Montalcino, who passed away at almost 91 years of age. Born in Piedmont in Castagnole Lanze (Asti), he was one of the first to hold the role of winemaker-manager in the sector in Italy, at the time of the foundation of Castello Banfi. Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv), the Brunello di Montalcino wine consortium, Mister Amarone Sandro Boscaini and Banfi pay their tribute to his memory.
The life of Ezio Rivella
Born in Castagnole Lanze (Asti), Ezio Rivella was one of the best known and most influential figures in the world of wine. In 1985 he was named Knight of Merit for Work for his commitment to the activities of Castello Banfi, a company that has become the world leader in Brunello di Montalcino.
He founded the Center for Oenological Studies and was the president of the Association of Italian Wine Technicians as well as leading the World Association of Oenologists. From 1993 to 1998 he was also the president of the National Committee for DOC wines at the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies of Italy.
In 1998 he was then elected vice-president of the Office international de la vigne et du vin in Paris and in 2001 president of the Unione Italiana Vini. From 2010 to 2012 he held the position of president of the Brunello di Montalcino wine consortium.
Uiv and the Brunello di Montalcino wine consortium pay their tribute to his memory
“The Denomination is like a bicycle: if there isn’t a good rider on it, it’s of no use”. Unione Italiana Vini (Uiv) thus remembers – in his words – the Cavaliere del Lavoro Ezio Rivella, Uiv president from 2001 to 2004 and former president of the National Wine Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture.
“Ezio Rivella – underlines the current Uiv president, Lamberto Frescobaldi – was much more than an oenologist for the world of wine. Worth remembering is his pioneering contribution to the promotion of Italian wine abroad but also his commitment to protecting the companies and denominations of our country. A man who lived for the world of wine, becoming one of the main protagonists of the growth of Made in Italy winemaking in the world”.
And the Brunello di Montalcino wine consortium, again through the words of its current number one, Fabrizio Bindocci, recalls:
“Ezio Rivella was one of the figures who contributed most to the success of Brunello di Montalcino in Italy and around the world. Founder with the Italian-American Mariani family of Castello Banfi and among the first to hold the role of winemaker-manager in the sector, Rivella worked with dedication to the qualitative and identity growth of the Brunello brand, also holding the position of president of the Consortium from 2010 to 2012. We remember him with affection and gratitude.”
“Rivella – concludes Bindocci – deserves the credit of having brought Brunello di Montalcino outside the national borders by opening the doors of the US market and making it a wine known and established worldwide, thus also contributing to its commercial success”.
Banfi’s greeting to one of its founders
It is with immense sadness that we join the family’s grief over the death of Ezio Rivella”, , begins Banfi’s memory of one of the fathers of the winery of Montalcino and Brunello.
“Maker, together with John and Harry Mariani, for the foundation of Banfi, Ezio Rivella, with his visionary mindset, was the first modern wine manager. Since the late 80s, he has laboriously attempted to renovate and establish Italian wine on the international markets”.
“We owe him some of the most important insights that have led Banfi, together with the whole territory of Montalcino, to be what they are today. His innovative and pioneering ideas were decisive for Banfi’s successes and the growth and affirmation of Made in Italy’s winemaking worldwide. Banfi would not be what he is now without his fundamental contribution, and we like to think that the wine world, without his actions, ideas, and intuitions, would be very different from what it is now”.
“Thank you for everything, Cavaliere. We will treasure your teachings and raise your Banfi even higher”.
And Rodolfo Maralli, president of the Board of Directors of Banfi and sales & marketing director, recalls Ezio Rivella on his Linkedin profile:
“He was my mentor, the one who welcomed me into this fantastic world of wine. If today Italian wine is so recognized and appreciated in international markets it is also thanks to his incredible intuitions, his vision and his charisma. Thank you Cavaliere”.
Masi Foundation remembers Ezio Rivella with the words of Mister Amarone Sandro Boscaini
Sandro Boscaini, vice-president of the Masi Foundation, conveying the condolences of the president Isabella Bossi Fedrigotti, of the entire Foundation Council, of the members of the Jury and of all the collaborators of Masi Agricola, remembers his friend Ezio Rivella “one of the few men of wine who they honored him with high technical expertise, promoted him around the world as a shrewd and successful entrepreneur and codified and protected in the most prestigious national and international institutional bodies”.
These are the moving words of Mister Amarone, who adds:
“The world of wine owes and will miss him so much, together with his long experience, his gentlemanly style, his frankness and generosity towards his many colleagues and friends. He contributed with a few others to the renaissance of Italian wine in the 1970s and he was responsible for the international relaunch of Brunello di Montalcino”.
Ezio Rivella was one of the first recipients of the prize dedicated to the Civilization of Wine by Masi Foundation in 1998 and since then he has always been a participant and supporter of the Masi Foundation’s initiatives, as well as being the speaker of the Jury specifically established to identify and honor the most significant personalities international in the world of wine.