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Categoria: The WineNews Corner

Verona - 08 Aprile 2009, ore 18:32

CRISTINA MARIANI, JEANNIE CHO LEE, AND LIDIA BASTIANICH RECEIVE THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL VINITALY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCTION, THE DISPERSION OF THE WINE CULTURE IN ASIA, AND THE PROMOTION OF THE ITALIAN WINE AND FOOD CULTURE IN THE U.S.

Cristina Mariani of Castello Banfi, wine and food journalist and first Master of Wine from Asia, Jeannie Cho Lee, and the chef-entrepreneur, Lidia Bastianich were latest additions to the golden list of those who have been awarded the International Vinitaly Award. They were the 2009 winners of a prize that dates back to 1996 and with the scope of giving recognition to the efforts of the entrepreneurs, journalists, and companies who have helped the wine sector at an international level.
Castello Banfi (and Cristina Mariani) won the international award because, today, it represents one of the main ambassadors of Made in Italy around the world. Leader of the Montalcino Model, and indissolubly linked to the territory that emerges with intensity with each sip of its wines, Castello Banfi has succeeded in cultivating technological innovation, with an eye on production and the safeguarding of the environment, without ever forgetting the importance of tradition.
Jeannie Cho Lee is a food and wine journalist based in Hong Kong and in 2008 became the first Master of Wine in Asia. She has collaborated with the most important names of the sector: from Wine Spectator to Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, and Revue du Vin de France. She is also part of the jury for the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge. Her professional path has not left out Italy but, rather, she has developed an important attention for Italian wines and their dispersion in Asia. This is the reason why Vinitaly decided to award her.
And a well deserved award went to Lidia Bastianich as well, the entrepreneur who began by opening her first restaurant, Buonavia, when she was 24 years old. Shortly thereafter she opened Villa Secondo (both located in Queens, New York), and then onto Felidia in Manhattan in 1981. A faithful interpreter of Italian cuisine, Bastianich has also reaped great media success in the United States with her televised cooking lessons, and various cook books, among which the much celebrated Lidias Italy. Today, this courageous and wilful woman runs six restaurants, a line of sauces named Lidias Flavors of Italy, the artistic-gastronomic travel agency Esperienze Italiane, a winery at Collio and another in the Maremma area. In short, she has dedicated her life to Italian cuisine, which has earned her the title of top ambassador for Italian food and wine.
These three winners will join the ranks of other top names in wine like Marvin Shanken, editor of Wine Spectator (awarded in 1996); Nicol Incisa of Rocchetta (1996), the inventor of Sassicaia; Corinne Mentzelopoulos (1997), the director of Chateaux Margaux; Lucio Tasca dAlmerita (1997); Robert Mondavi (1998); Pablo Alvarez (1999), the head of Vega-Sicilia; Aldo Conterno (2000); the Australian winery Penfolds of Magill (2000), Carlo Bonomi Campanini of Sella&Mosca di Alghero (2001); the winery Trapiche-Peaflor Coquito Maipu Mendoza in Argentina (2001); Fratelli Gancia & C. (2002); the German Keller (2002); Gianni Zonin (2003); Californian Kendall Jackson International (U.S., 2003); Mastroberardino Spa (2004); Spanish Segura Viudas (2004); Giorgio Lungarotti winery (2005); director Alexander Payne (2005); in 2007, Vittorio Moretti, president of the Terra Moretti group and Hannes Myburgh of South African Meerlust Estate; in 2008, journalist-writer Hugh Johnson, and the Giv-Gruppo Italiano Vini.

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