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Pietro Russo is the third Italian Master of Wine

Pietro Russo is the third Italian Master of Wine: after Gabriele Gorelli and Andrea Lonardi, with whom he shared his studies, he is the first winemaker in the country to have obtained the prestigious title from the Institute of Masters of Wine, the most authoritative and oldest wine organization in the world. “I had clear ideas from an early age about what I wanted to do when I grew up, but I never imagined I would reach this goal,” declared the newly proclaimed Master of Wine. “It was a very difficult course of study and at the same time full of satisfactions: I like to think that this is just the starting point for numerous other professional challenges”.

Master of Wine: who is Pietro Russo

Pietro Russo began his journey as a Master of Wine student in 2014: having passed the first two stages brilliantly, as a final test he presented a Research Paper entitled Comparative analysis of different tartaric stabilization techniques, including the impact of new ingredient labeling rules, for Grillo and Nero d’Avola wines from Sicily, a complex and current study in which he compared the main tartaric stabilization methods, the impact on the chemical-physical profile of the wines and on production costs. The document also discusses the possible impact of the new labeling rules on Sicilian production.

“The course of studies”, continued Pietro Russo “enriched me not only from the point of view of the knowledge acquired and the network, but also gave me the opportunity to learn a rigorous and effective working method, fundamental for making a synthesis of my skills and to understand and communicate a wine with the aim of positioning it in a qualitative and commercial context”.

Pietro Russo is the only Italian Master of Wine oenologist: from today the production chain will be able to count on a technical representative who will be able to give further visibility to Italian wine on an international level.

Pietro Russo is the third Italian Master of Wine after Gabriele Gorelli and Andrea Lonardi, with whom he shared his studies.

Born in 1985 in Marsala (Trapani), from an early age he had the opportunity to get to know the world of wine up close thanks to his grandfather, a winemaker and his father, an agri-food inspector. After his scientific high school diploma he moved to Conegliano Veneto (Treviso) where he obtained a three-year degree in Oenology and Viticulture. He then moved to Asti for his specialist studies and continued his international education with studies in Montpellier and Bordeaux, where he conducted a thesis on the terroirs of Pomerol.

After some work experiences in Languedoc, Sicily, Spain, Bordeaux, Tuscany, New Zealand, in 2010 he returned to his native land to begin his journey as oenologist for Donnafugata, one of the most important and well-known companies in the Italian and international wine scene: “Donnafugata it is an incredible training ground, where every day we are faced with ever-changing stimuli and needs and where one harvest is worth four”, says Pietro Russo.

“I am happy to have contributed to the qualitative consolidation of the company’s wines and to have actively participated in the birth and stylistic development of the wines of the Etna and Vittoria estates. The Rallo family, to whom I am grateful, gave me the opportunity to continue my studies and work daily on ambitious and innovative projects. I believe I have a strong sensitivity in perceiving the qualitative potential of a territory and in adopting a coherent and respectful technical approach in order to reveal its peculiar characteristics. I will continue to collaborate with the technical team on important projects to bring to light the still enormous growth potential of Sicily’s winemaking and its territories. Looking to the future, I will make my multidisciplinary skills available to embrace new projects and challenges in the wine sector.”

In addition to his career within Donnafugata, Pietro Russo is also a judge in numerous international wine competitions.