First draw in history for this year’s IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year Award

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At a time when communication has become central to the promotion of wine in the world, this year’s Wine Communicator of the Year Award, organized by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in collaboration with Vinitaly, ended for the first time in history with a draw: the award was assigned to both wine author and American restaurateur Joseph Bastianich and Australian wine author and presenter Tyson Stelzer.

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Italian wine has been a life long passion and starting my family winery in Friuli back in 1997 was a dream realized. Now, to be recognized here in Italy in this way is a great honor for which I am extremely grateful.

At a time when communication has become central to the promotion of wine in the world, this year’s Wine Communicator of the Year Award, organized by the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) in collaboration with Vinitaly, ended for the first time in history with a draw: the award was assigned to both wine author and American restaurateur Joseph Bastianich and Australian wine author and presenter Tyson Stelzer.

Founded back in 1969, the IWSC is the premier competition of its kind aimed at promoting the quality and excellence of the world's best wines, spirits and liqueurs. With its 45 years heritage, an IWSC Award is recognised internationally as a badge of quality. In 1996, Veronafiere and Vinitaly, the world’s largest wine and spirits fair, approached the IWSC with an offer of sponsorship for a “Communicator of the Year” award. This is designed to recognise an individual or organisation whose communication skills have made an exceptional contribution in increasing public awareness and interest in wines and spirits, whether through publishing, journalism, new media, radio or television in the twelve month period leading up to awarding the prize. Recent winners have been whisky specialist Dave Broom, wine writer and presenter Olly Smith and last year’s winner, TV wine expert and writer Jane Parkinson.

The announcement is carried out each year on the occasion of the opening Gala Dinner to Vinitaly, in the historical backdrop of the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in the center of Verona. The event also acts as a closing ceremony to OperaWine, the exclusive premier event held on the same day, during which a public of international journalists and trade can brush shoulders with Italy’s 100 Best Italian Wine Producers selected for the occasion by Wine Spectator.

"Italian wine has been a life long passion and starting my family winery in Friuli back in 1997 was a dream realized. Now, to be recognized here in Italy in this way is a great honor for which I am extremely grateful”, said Joe Bastianich upon receiving the prestigious engraved Venetian blown glass trophy. Mr Bastianich partners a restaurant empire spanning the US and extending as far a Singapore and Hong Kong. He has co-authored two award winning books on Italian wine, and in its first week of release in May 2012, his highly anticipated memoir, Restaurant Man, became a New York Times best seller. Now established as a TV personality on both sides of the Atlantic, he receives the award for communicating his passion for wine and food to an ever expanding and increasingly enthusiastic audience.

Australian journalist and TV presenter Tyson Stelzer is also a wine writer with an annual readership of 4 million and the host of the ground-breaking new television series, People of the Vines. The award recognises his efforts in communicating about wine but especially in educating a new generation of consumer about the risks caused by alcohol. He sees the award not as an end point, the culmination of the work he has already accomplished, but as a new point of departure, as he explains: "this award will give me greater voice to tell the incredible stories of the world of wine. And it will raise the profile of Teen Rescue Foundation, my new charity to save under-age teens from alcohol abuse". Mr Tyson felt honoured by receiving the award but in accepting it remarked: "as a communicator I am but a voice for the great stories of the world of wine, and the true honour is deserved by those to whom these stories belong".

About:

Veronafiere is the leading organizer of trade shows in Italy including Vinitaly (http://www.vinitaly.com), the largest wine and spirits fair in the world. During its 49th edition Vinitaly counted some 4.000 exhibitors on a 100.000 square meter area and 150.000 visitors including 2.600 journalists from 46 different countries. The next edition of the fair will take place on 10 - 13 April 2016. The premier event to Vinitaly, OperaWine (http://www.vinitalyinternational.com) “Finest Italian Wines: 100 Great Producers,” will unite international wine professionals on April 9th in the heart of Verona, offering them the unique opportunity to discover and taste the wines of the 100 Best Italian Producers, as selected by Wine Spectator. Since 1998 Vinitaly International travels to several countries such as Russia, China, USA and Hong Kong thanks to its strategic arm abroad, Vinitaly International. In February 2014 Vinitaly International launched an educational project, the Vinitaly International Academy (VIA) with the aim of divulging and broadcasting the excellence and diversity of Italian wine around the globe. VIA has now also organized its very first Certification Course with the aim of creating new Ambassadors of Italian Wine in the World.

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Francesca de Stefani
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