Emiliano STRATICO is now Valpolicella Educator

9 April 2024

The WiSP team is proud to have a Valpolicella Educator among its contributors, but what exactly is it? A discussion with Emiliano Stratico, recently appointed to this prestigious title! Emiliano is Argentine, holding the WSET Diploma. Graduated from Sorbonne in Foreign Languages and a Master’s in pedagogy specialized in wine, he worked for 10 years for the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is responsible for promoting Argentine wine and culture in Europe and Asia. Simultaneously, he works as a trainer in top hotel schools and participates in international forums dedicated to wine and gastronomy. In 2014, Emiliano moved to Monaco where he directed Les Grands Chais Monégasques, the main distributor of fine wines and premium spirits in the Principality. Emiliano now works as an independent consultant and trainer. He is accredited to teach WSET, French Wine Scholar™, and Spanish Wine Scholar™ courses. He is also a certified trainer for Cognac and Sherry. Pedagogy holds no secrets for him!

Emiliano, can you tell us more about yourself and your professional journey for those discovering you in this article?

I specialize in teaching modules concerning Italy in the WSET Diploma courses and Wine Scholar Guild’s Italy courses. Of Italian-Argentinian nationality, I have worked in service, sales, distribution, and now I work as a teacher.

You have just been appointed as a Valpolicella Educator, can you tell us what this means?

This is a very difficult certification to obtain. There is already a selection process based on applications from candidates worldwide. This year, 17 candidates were selected to undergo this training in Verona. Only 6 candidates managed to obtain certification following the exams. I am proud to be among them. This certification allows me to have a deeper knowledge of the wines from this region, and subsequently, I will be able to organize specialized training on Valpolicella wines.

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What are the tests to become a Valpolicella Educator? How do they unfold?

Following the courses, we have to undergo 5 theoretical tests and a tasting test. The five theoretical tests cover these subjects: viticulture, winemaking, specificities of Valpolicella wines, laws and regulations, trade. You need to achieve 80% correct answers in all 5 subjects. Then, the tasting test involves blind tasting of 4 wines. You need to correctly identify at least 3 out of 4 wines (PDO, style, winemaking, etc.).

What does this certification bring to your daily life as a trainer? And to your daily life at WiSP?

Firstly, it provides me with more knowledge for conducting my courses on Italy. Then, I could organize certification courses on Valpolicella wines with the help of the Valpolicella Wines Consortium. It could be quite a first for WiSP!

Tell us about the wines of Valpolicella?

Valpolicella wines are red and primarily blends. Firstly, we have light, saline, and fruity wines which follow the trend towards lighter products consumption. On the other hand, the Superiore category offers oak-aged wines for lovers of power. And then, two unique wines from the region: two wines made from dried grapes, one dry but full-bodied, the Amarone della Valpolicella, and the other sweet, the Recioto della Valpolicella. And for those who can’t make a choice, there’s one last style in between: a light Valpolicella wine steeped in the skins of Amarone and Recioto, and this one is called Ripasso. Valpolicella wines are all red and all blends of the same grape varieties (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and others) but presented in different styles. And of course, these wines come from a magnificent terroir: a south-facing amphitheater between the Alps and the plains! A true delight! And what’s your next challenge?

My current challenge is to further develop courses on Italian wines, making them easier and accessible to everyone. My goal is for people to better appreciate the unique diversity of grape varieties and styles from the Italian peninsula.

discover Emiliano’s portrait:




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