Wine Communicator of the Year 2017 2

Wine Communicator of the Year 2017

Wine Communicator of the Year 2017

  • Fattorini builds on global success of The Wine Show’s first series with new award
  • Named Wine Communicator of the Year, Fattorini will be at Vinitaly, Verona, on 9 April to share his knowledge in a special masterclass, A Story Book of Wine                                                                                                                          

IWSC, the world’s oldest and most prestigious tasting competition for wines and spirits from around the globe, has completed its search for the planet’s best wine communicator, naming The Wine Show presenter Joe Fattorini as its winner for 2017.

Fattorini was picked as the outstanding candidate from a prestigious shortlist for his work on The Wine Show, on which he is now wowing audiences worldwide following the show’s phenomenal success since hitting screens last spring.

The show – which has now been broadcast in 109 countries – has attracted a cult following, largely thanks to Fattorini’s infectious enthusiasm and insatiable appetite to share his knowledge with a mass audience of wine lovers, as well as for his adventurous reporting on all things weird and wonderful from the world of wine.

Since first broadcasting in spring last year, viewers have watched Fattorini learning about the ritual of kissing vines in South Africa, the defences of a vineyard in the war-torn Middle East and the many strange rituals of winemakers the world over.

He has also used his starring role in the show to lead entertaining on-screen tastings with fellow presenters and self-confessed wine novices Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys, as well as to interact with millions of fans via social media following each broadcast.

Richard Stoppard, Chief Operating Officer of IWSC, said Fattorini had impressed judges with his energy, enthusiasm and ability to present wine as both exciting and engaging to a global audience, irrespective of their previous level of knowledge.

Joe Fattorini

“Joe’s work on The Wine Show has shown him to be a great voice for the wine industry and a champion for democratising the world of wine for the public,” explained Stoppard.

2016 winner Joe Wadsack, who was part of a judging panel including IWSC representatives, journalists and senior figures from the wine industry*, described Fattorini as “astonishing”. He added: “Joe is a born communicator and is taking huge risks to make wine interesting and relevant to a mass audience.”

Among his broadcasts, Fattorini has investigated how one French wine maker risked his life working for the Resistance during the Second World War, and has even interviewed one winemaker who puts on a wetsuit every time he visits his cellar – because it’s underwater.

More importantly, he has helped and encouraged viewers to try wines from all round the world, with his Wine of the Week recommendations proving to be one of the most popular features of the show’s website,

Manager of International Office of Veronafiere, Janina Mathiasz said, ““Vinitaly is delighted that Joe Fattorini will be crowned IWSC Wine Communicator of the Year in front of our global audience of leading wine producers, retailers, buyers and aficionados. We are the most prestigious and largest wine show in the world and are thrilled that Joe will be joining us for a masterclass on 9 April.”

Joe Fattorini will be providing exclusive insights into the world of wine during his masterclass, A Story Book of Wine, on 9 April 2017 at Vinitaly.

Celebrating his award, Yorkshire-based Fattorini – who prior to starring on The Wine Show spent 15 years as the weekly wine critic for The Herald newspaper in Scotland – said: “It is a great honour to receive this award, which represents the work of the remarkable team who made The Wine Show happen, from the investors who risked their money and the directors and producers who risked their reputations, to the tireless technical team and the wine makers who welcomed us and told us their stories.

“The Wine Show is something special. It’s bought a new approach to wine to audiences in 109 countries. I’ve had tweets from Brazil, Nepal, Israel, Canada, Australia and the USA, and there’s even an Arab prince who tells all his friends to watch.

“We’ve built a unique relationship with wine lovers. Not just on the screen, but in direct relationships through the programme’s website and social media channels.”

Also shortlisted for this year’s award were:

Ian D’Agata:

Director of the International Wine Academy, which opened in Rome in 2002 as a club and meeting place for wine lovers, D’Agata has written about wine for 25 years. He is the writer of all things Italy for Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, the author of numerous volumes on Italian wines, and a regular contributor to several magazines on the subject. D’Agata is regularly invited all over the world to lecture on wine appreciation and to organise tastings for importers and estates.

Mariano Braga:

Celebrated wine strategist Braga has previously been named as one of IWSC’s most influential wine bloggers on the globe, having been the first Spanish-speaking journalist to be named on the list. He is a former chair of Wine Marketing at Gato Dumas School of Sommeliers and editor of WINE +, the magazine of the Wine Club in Argentina and Uruguay.

Olly Smith:

Olly is a multi-award-winning wine expert, TV personality, author and columnist. His finely tuned taste buds, boundless knowledge and infectious enthusiasm know no bounds. He is honoured to be listed in Debrett’s 500 2015 – amongst the 500 most influential people in the UK. In 2015, he was appointed the UK’s Drinks Ambassador to China as part of the Food is Great campaign. He visited Beijing and Shanghai in November 2015 promoting British food and drink to the Chinese market as the UK’s official spokesperson.

Ben Stephenson:

Ben is the managing director and founder of the award-winning Hangingditch wine merchants in Manchester, which opened almost ten years ago and is modelled on the vino-teca concept. A pioneer in helping customers to choose wine by style descriptors such as ‘rich & powerful’ or ‘light & juicy’, instead of by region or country, his masterclasses regularly sell out and he produces popular weekly customer e-shots packed with information and recommendations.

“It takes a special communicator to make it onto our shortlist,” added Stoppard, “and the global wine industry is blessed by having special and knowledgeable commentators like Ian, Mariano, Olly and Ben.

“We congratulate all four of them for having played a major role in keeping wine front of mind throughout 2016 and breaking down barriers by helping people to navigate one of the world’s most fantastic industries. We look forward to hearing even more from them in 2017 and beyond.”