Vinitaly announces 15 Italian Wine Ambassadors in China

Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) has announced the addition of 15 new Italian Wine Ambassadors (IWA) in China after launching its first-ever certification courses in Beijing and Shanghai this year.

VIA students in Shanghai (Photo credit: Vinitaly)

Nine of the new ambassadors are from Beijing and six are from Shanghai. This is the first time that VIA held such courses outside of Italy and the US, on the back of Chinese wine drinkers’ growing interest in Italian wines.

Taught by Ian D’Agata, who has been running the course since 2015, the course focuses primarily on Italian grape varieties and wines. A total of 73 students took part in the course, and the pass rate averages between 25% and 45%, according to VIA.

The course’s final examinations include a multiple-choice test with 100 questions covering a range of 590 Italian grapes. Candidates scoring 90% across the oral and tasting components of the exam are awarded the highest Italian Wine Expert (IWE) title.

Students with a test pass rate of between 75% and 89% receive the IWA title.

Stevie Kim, VIA founder, commented, “Our objective, in the end, is to foster candidates’ curiosity about Italian wine, and furnish them with the right tools so that they can discover Italian wine by getting to know – and also travel to – the Italian territories which our wines so elegantly and distinctively speak of”.

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