Each autumn for the past 32 years, Masi, one of the largest and most prestigious vineyards of the Valpolicella area and pioneer of Amarone, has awarded prizes to high profile figures from the Veneto region and around the world.
This year there were seven winners altogether in the three traditional categories, including a group of three self-defined archaeologists and vine pioneers who won the Civiltà del Vino award for their Vineyards of Venice project. The trio consists of the Bisol wine family most famous for making Prosecco but who also run a historic walled vineyard on the island of Mazzorbo, Frenchman Michel Thoulouze, who fell in love with the island of Sant’Erasmo and now lives there, making a delicious white wine, called Orto and Flavio Franceschet who’s dedicated to promoting traditional vines and methods.
Prizes in the Civiltà Veneto category were awarded to three of the region’s most inspiring movers and shakers: Giovanni Bonotto, whose Slow Factory uses traditional methods to make high quality fabrics that are much in demand by the likes of Chanel, Dior, Armani and even Victoria Beckham; Giacomo Rizzolatti, a leading neuro-scientist whose discovery of mirror neurons gives a scientific explanation to the human phenomenon of empathy and the political historian and writer Sergio Romano, for his insights into international affairs both historical and current.
Finally, the Grosso D’Oro Veneziano award for an outstanding international figure, went to Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian writer and cartoonist well-known for her humorous autobiographical work Persepolis. As is customary, the seven winners each chalked their signature onto a huge celebratory barrel of Amarone at the Masi wine cellar.