Antonello Maietta

Associazione Italiana Sommeliers

Headquarters: viale Monza 9, Milano
Tel. +39 02 2846237

Among the many talents of Antonello Maietta, president at Associazione Italiana Sommelier since 2010, there’s communication, even if through a simple glass of wine. Maietta, born in Rimini and raised in Porto Venere, Liguria, is charismatic and, through Ais, has always focused on one essential element: training. Indeed, it’s impossible to communicate in a powerful, precise manner without the necessary training.

Born in 1960, a sommelier since the age of 19, when graduating from Ais wasn’t that common, Maietta is the kind of person who believes wine is not just a product, a business card presenting Italy around the world, but a channel for culture. A way of creating culture.

Indeed the goal of Associazione sommelier goal goes beyond organising the three levels of the professional course. It encloses various events and activities that go beyond the simple technical tasting of a wine. For instance there are dinners and events with producers, winery tours, congresses, just to mention some activities that go “beyond the glass”.

Knowledge as a premise for communicating. After all sommeliers have evolved in their role. They’re no longer an “expert waiter” who serves wine in a restaurant: they transform emotions. Through their professionalism they must guide guests in an experience that goes beyond the perfect wine and food match. This is why they need culture, knowledge, research, And they must keep up to date, even in terms of trends.

Maietta knows this well: he’s frank and resolved, he doesn’t hide behind small talk. As he pointed out in recent years, sommeliers had clammed up in a way, hiding in a sort of golden world, with no confrontation with the past. He said himself how this had been a mistake. Luckily, there’s been a change of direction, which has increased the relationship with the wine industry, starting from its foundations, that is to say producers.

For years now Antonello Maietta has represented Associazione Italiana Sommelier, which now represents some 40 thousand members across the country, with a widespread and high quality presence. He has also completely renewed Vitae, the guide published by Ais, so that it would be up to date. Training is more than studying and learning notions of oenology. Or closing yourself in a room to find the scents in a wine. Training about opening to the world of wine, with passion and curiosity. Just like Maietta, after all. 

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Raffaele Foglia

A journalist for La Provincia di Como, sommelier and craft beer lover. He believes every glass of wine has a story worth telling. He's part of the wine editorial staff at Identità Golose