Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) aims to be the gold standard of Italian wine education. VIA offers a complete educational path with standardized courses that will teach professionals and educators to master the diversity of Italian wine in a rigorous, organized manner. VIA’s main objective is to foster a global network of highly qualified professionals such as Italian Wine Ambassadors and Italian Wine Experts: in turn, they will support and promote Italian wine throughout the world. VIA’s ecosystem comprising the main institutional bodies and associations in the Italian wine industry strives to be the conduit between the leading players in the Italian wine scene and international professionals.
VIA was originally launched in February 2014 in the shape of Executive Wine Seminars to accompany Vinitaly International’s events abroad. The Executive Wine Seminars continue to be an integral part of Vinitaly International's guided tasting program, both during Vinitaly in Verona and during its stops abroad. The VIA wine Certification Course as we know it today started in April 2015 as a five-day intensive training to teach a chosen international group of wine educators, journalists, and trade a highly specialized curriculum of Italian wine.
VIA's makeover started in June 2018 with the appointment of new Faculty members, Sarah Heller MW and Henry Davar, who started to work on reformatting the Italian Wine Ambassador course under the scientific mentorship of vine genetics academic Prof. Attilio Scienza (appointed VIA Chief Scientist). VIA also forms an Institutional Advisory Board, inviting leading Italian wine associations to be part of the conversation: Federdoc, Federvini, Unione Italiana Vini, and FIVI Vignaioli Indipendenti have provided guidance and support to VIA’s educational mission.
Prof. ATTILIO SCIENZAChief Scientist, Vinitaly International Academy
Attilio Scienza is a full professor at the University of Milan in the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences where he teaches courses on genetic improvements to the vine; he also teaches Viticulture in the Master’s program of the University of Turin in Asti. He has been the lead for many national research projects in the field of physiology, agricultural techniques, and vine genetics.
He is the author of over 350 publications on vine and viticulture in national and international journals, conference proceedings, text books, and monographs. He also authored 23 books in Italian and English on cultural topics related to wine. From 1985 to 1991, he was the Director of the Istituto Agrario di S. Michele all’Adige (the research and training institute part of the Edmund Mach Foundation). He is a member of the Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino and of the Accademia dei Georgofili. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and writing, including the AEI Prize for scientific research (1991), the international Premio Morsiani (2006), and the OIV Prizein viticulture for the best scientific book on vine topics and viticulture (2003, 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2012).
Since June 2018, Prof. Scienza collaborates with Vinitaly International as the Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy.
In lieu of the official supporters, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the individual wineries for sending their wines for the flagship edition. VIA Verona 2021 marks the 18th edition of the Italian Wine Ambassador certification course launched initially in 2015. VIA has since educated over 900 students from 40 countries/regions. The global VIA community now includes 15 certified Italian Wine Experts and 220 certified Italian Wine Ambassadors. Among them, 43 have also achieved the official Italian wine educator status, and as such are entitled to organize and teach the intermediate Italian Wine Maestro course in their home country. In the VIA Verona 2021 class, we will host 60 wine professionals from 11 countries and showcase the best Italy has to offer to the wine world. None of this is possible without the wines sponsored by valued Italian wine producers. These are challenging times and we appreciate all wine producers for all their support.