Leading Italian academic Attilio Scienza appointed Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy

Vinitaly International Academy’s recent evolution called for an academic guarantor that was found in Prof. Attilio Scienza, esteemed Italian scientist in the field of vine genetics. Scienza will act as the new Chief Scientist, ensuring academic integrity to the program.

Italian scholar Attilio Scienza is the recently appointed Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA). After a major restyling, VIA now offers a complete educational path on Italian wines. The new ecosystem also features new faculty: MW Sarah Heller and VIA Italian Wine Expert Henry Davar (See press release). Furthermore, the main Italian associations in the industry will also take an active part in the VIA ecosystem as members of the Institutional Advisory Board. To live up to the reputation of such prestigious wine professionals and to continue spreading the gospel of Italian wine abroad, it was only natural for Vinitaly International to fill in the position of VIA’s academic guarantor with one of the most well-regarded Italian wine scientists.

Left to right: Giovanni Mantovani (CEO of Veronafiere); Stevie Kim (Managing Director of Vinitaly International); Attilio Scienza (newly-appointed Chief Scientist of the Vinitaly International Academy)

Attilio Scienza is one of the leading experts in viticultural sciences, agronomy, physiology, and vine genetics. He has been teaching viticultural sciences in the Department of Agriculture of the University of Milan since  1987. He is the author of over 350 academic publications in journals, text books, and monographs and is also widely published in Italian and English on cultural and historical topics related to viticulture and the vine. He was awarded the Premio Internazionale Morsiani (in 2006) and the OIV Award for viticulture (in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012).

On the new appointment, Scienza commented: “It is a challenge, one of the many challenges that should be taken in life. It is also a great honor to communicate the values of wine and of the Italian wine territories abroad. It is certainly a challenge because new stimuli and approaches are needed to communicate who we are and what we do. But it is also a great honor because, after all, developing our market on new markets means that we need to be persuasive in what we narrate.”

The role of the Chief Scientist is to act as a conduit between the world of wine education in Italy and the one abroad; it will also be key to ensure highest educational standards are met. Scienza’s stature in the the field of viticultural sciences and his decades-long teaching experience will ensure the program’s academic integrity. Scienza will also interact with the VIA Faculty, by providing feedback and input in the program. Stevie Kim, Managing Director of Vinitaly International and Founder of VIA, speaks highly of Prof. Attilio Scienza and of the new ecosystem and program: “I was profoundly struck by Prof. Scienza’s deep and wide-ranging knowledge of wine—not just the science behind it, but also the cultural and historical value of wine in Italy, and wine marketing of all things! He is truly a Renaissance man. He is also very passionate about Italian wine education, and more importantly, very humble and incredibly generous about sharing his knowledge. I look forward to working with Prof. Scienza to bring the Vinitaly International Academy project to the next level with the goal of making it the gold standard for Italian wine education.”

In the new VIA ecosystem, a crucial role will also be played by the major Italian associations, that will become members of the Institutional Advisory Board: FederDOC (Confederazione Nazionale Consorzi Volontari per la tutela delle denominazioni dei vini italiani) or the association which looks after the certification of wine appellations in Italy; FEDERVINI, an industrial association including larger producers of wine, spirits, vinegar and other wine-related products; FIVI (Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti), the independent wine producers’ association; and UIV (Unione Italiana Vini), a category-specific association of winery owners instituted in 1895 that combines all the various companies pertaining to the sector (individual wine growers, more structured wineries, wine cooperatives and industries).

The re-styled VIA Certification Course taught by Sarah Heller and Henry Davar will debut in Hong Kong from November 4th to 8th, prior to the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, where Vinitaly organises the Italian pavilion. Wine professionals interested in applying have time until August 15th and can find additional information and the application form at the following link: https://vinitalyinternational.com/wordpress/?page_id=1785.


The grand Vinitaly 2019 will be held from April 7th to the 10th. Every year, Vinitaly counts more than 4,000 exhibitors on a 100,000+ square meter area and 130,000 visitors from over 140 different countries with more than 30,000 top international buyers. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (https://vinitalyinternational.com/wordpress/?page_id=646) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” which will be held on the 6th of April, one day prior to Vinitaly will unite international wine professionals in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA this year launched the seventh edition of its Certification Course and today counts 151 Italian Wine Ambassadors and 11 Italian Wine Experts.