Up for grabs is the prestigious acknowledgment of ambassador of the first white DOCG in Italy. Curiosity: half of the participants come from Campania. Roberto Monti President of the Consorzio Vini di Romagna: "We drink Romagna, Albana in primis, and we support the territory".

There are 14 of them and they come from four territories of Italy (Campania, Emilia, Lombardy, Romagna). Saturday 10th June in Bertinoro they put themselves to the test with the white vine par excellence of Romagna: Albana . Up for grabs is the prestigious scepter of ambassador of the first DOCG obtained from a white wine in Italy (1987) .

The Master Romagna Albana DOCG has reached its seventh edition, a competition hosted for the first time in the month of June, promoted by the Consorzio Vini di Romagna for the organization of AIS Romagna and the Municipality of Bertinoro .

The event is a real tribute to Albana , a vine at the center of a real renaissance so much so that it almost reaches one million bottles produced (700,000 in 2018) with a growth in hectoliters of 31% in four years (6,867 hectoliters today). The vineyard area is 818 hectares, for an eclectic vine, produced in 5 types to be regulated by the DOCG: dry, sweet, sweet, passito, passito riserva, plus the sweet sparkling type which can be claimed in the DOC Romagna. For the past decade, experiments with sparkling wines from Albana grapes produced with the classic method have multiplied, reaffirming the extreme eclectic nature of the vine.

Participants: Campania surpasses Romagna

As anticipated, the 14 participating sommeliers come from four territories, with the curiosity of a massive presence from Campania - "holder" of the Master for the victory of Luca Matarazzo of Salerno -, a region that far exceeds Romagna for members.

In fact, half of the participants come from the Campania region: Silvano Di Giacomo (Salerno), Stella Marotta (Capaccio Paestum – Sa), Ivan Fernandez Mendana (Altavilla Silentina – Sa), Marianna Pizzipaolo (Salerno), Patrizia Sacco (Salerno), Salvatore Luigi Scala (Afragola, Naples). Three sommeliers from Romagna: Alex Cazzari (lives in Paris), Matteo Paganelli (Forlì), Marco Saiani (Conselice, Ravenna). Two from Emilia: Giorgio Salmi (Bologna) and Hsuan Tai Yi (Reggio Emilia). Two from Lombardy: Andrea Gualdoni (Agnadello, Cremona) and Andrea Russetti (Fino Mornasco, Como).

The Master Romagna Albana DOCG

The event kicks off in the morning with the written selection tests (behind closed doors) in the hall of the Historical Reserve in Bertinoro. Hence the 3 finalists who at 3.30 pm in the Palazzo Comunale will face off publicly in a challenge of presentation in front of hypothetical customers, blind tastings, food pairings, stories on old bottles, history of the grape variety and Romagna labels.

The participants were evaluated by a jury of experts, made up of representatives of national and Romagna sommeliers, the national Vice-President of Assoenologi and the President of the Consorzio Vini di Romagna.

The winner will receive 2,000 euros, together with the prestigious recognition of 'ambassador' of the vine in the period 2023/24. A further Jury made up of producers determines a Special Prize for the Best Sommelier communicator of Romagna Albana DOCG chosen from among the three finalists.

The President of the Consorzio Vini di Romagna

"The competition between Master sommeliers of Albana has now become a tradition - explains Roberto Monti , President of the Consorzio Vini di Romagna - Romagna has made great strides in recent years, especially on Albana wines, with significant growth in quality and sales which can be read in the rapid escalation of bottlings. Gradually it is discovered and rightly considered a wine of great personality and versatility, being able to combine the dry versions with first courses, fish and land menus, up to cheeses and desserts that go best with the sweet and raisin versions. But proving equally satisfying between meals, in that aperitif section that has literally bewitched the Italians, becoming the most awaited ritual of the day.”

Thus concludes the president Roberto Monti: "It is fair to say, at the gates of summer and after the wave that has swept over Romagna, that the most concrete way to support the territory is to reward its work and excellence, once again choosing – even on the Riviera – to drink Romagna. The many sommeliers who compete in this competition give us confidence that the great potential of Albana for success in the consumption of Italians and holidaymakers is being understood. We need capable and passionate communicators to take us to the finish line.”

Not only Masters in Bertinoro

The Master Romagna Albana DOCG is part of a program of 'Villages and Fortresses of Romagna' events that enliven the weekend from 9 to 11 June in Bertinoro, under the banner of shows, food and wine, culture, sport. Among the wine & food proposals we find 'Wines and flavors in the Rocca' by Ais Romagna, which on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June is also dedicating special tasting itineraries on the Albana together with local products. In Piazza della Libertà, on the same days, the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori della Romagna offers 'Wines and flavors in the street in the Borgo' with food stands and tasting stalls.