Andrea Lonardi, joins the American Erin Jolley in becoming a new Master of Wine. He is Italy’s second person to gain this distinction, two years after his friend, Gabriele Gorelli.
Lonardi combined studying for the exams with his day job as chief operating officer of Angelini Estates, where he is responsible for six estates: Bertani, Val di Suga, Tenuta Trerose, San Leonino, Fazi Battaglia and Tenute San Sisto.
While the Angelini group produces a wide range of wines including Chianti, Brunello di Montacino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Verdicchio and Friuli whites, working at Bertani, Lonardi has taken a particular interest in revolutionising the quality and character of Valpolicella.
Gorelli and Lonardi are members of a growing young group of Italians who see MW studies as being an invaluable way of learning about the global wine industry while focusing on developing and promoting the best possible expressions of their own country’s terroirs and grape varieties.
Reacting to the news of Lonardi’s MW, Stevie Kim, founder of the rigorous Vinitaly International Academy, said “Italians have often been accused of being individualistic, and perhaps this was the reason why there hadn’t been an Italian MW until 2021.” Lonardi, she says, helped to beak this model. He “led a very compact and disciplined study group [dubbed the] ‘Three Musketeers’ (himself, Gabriele Gorelli, Pietro Russo) into the finish line together because they understood they couldn’t cross the finish line by themselves. “L’unione fa la forza” – strength in numbers - and I hope they can become a role model for many younger generations to come.”