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Gabriele Gorelli the first Italian Master of Wine

Gabriele Gorelli the first Italian Master of Wine

He is from Montalcino a polyglot, kind, intelligent, a great worker and communicator, he knows and understands wine … the first Italian Master of Wine Gabriele Gorelli


Brookshow and Gorelli Brunello nel cuore book

Brookshow – Gabriele Gorelli, Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Fabrizio Bindocci: book “Brunello nel cuore”

by Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Upon receiving the message of congratulations from Violante and me he replies <<Dear friends, I know you have always believed strongly in me. This encourages me and makes me proud of the Tuscan and Italian entrepreneurial structure. It has been difficult, very difficult. I still cannot believe it … Thank you so much , G.>> Just a few words that transmit the great tension, still not assimilated, with respect to a trail that has been demanding more than expected and the subsequent great emotion. Practically under shock, for the success, chased for 5 years and that all of Italy has been waiting for, for at least thirty.



It really seemed like a running joke, among the 418 Master of Wine there were wine experts from 32 nations but nobody from Italy. Practically a stamp of our wine provincialism manifested far too often: let us remember the embarrassing occasion of the tem contest for sommeliers on October 12th 2019 at the Castle of Chambord in France, where our team were last out of 27 nations taking part. Two times in a row this happened.

Benvenuto Brunello: the ceremony behind the scenes with Gabriele Gorelli

Benvenuto Brunello: the ceremony behind the scenes with Gabriele Gorelli

Our wine experts are technically very strong and when they go abroad they are like fireworks. Think of Matteo Montone, from Milan living in London who won the title of Best Young Sommelier in the World in 2019 and, last summer became part of the Court of Master Sommelier. In this association too there are 267 members from all over the world, only two are Italians, both work abroad though.
The most sensational case however is Paolo Basso who won the title of Best Sommelier in the World ASI in 2013 competing for Switzerland.
Gabriele Gorelli seems to defeat this cliché of provincial Italians in their homeland able to bloom only abroad. In fact Gabriele is a young DOCG born and bred among the Brunello vineyards, his grandfather had a small piece of land, and he has never changed is residency.


Gabriele Gorelli MW guides the wine tasting of DOC Orcia wines in San Giovanni d'Asso - 2019

Gabriele Gorelli MW guides the wine tasting of DOC Orcia wines in San Giovanni d’Asso – 2019


The exam to become Master of Wine is divided into 3 parts to be tackled with the help of a Master of Wine tutor: they can be repeated twice until a maximum of 5 attempts after which one is definitively rejected. It is a costly journey (our Gabriele has invested 38.000€) in money and time because many trips are necessary to get to know the entire worldwide winemaking reality. The first exam is a practical one and regards a blind tasting of 12 wines to be described in writing. Then follows a theory test regarding productive and commercial aspects, and finally a presentation in 10.000 words on an unprecedented subject fruit of personal research. Gabriele Gorelli chose quercitin, a precipitate of bottled wine that Californians have known for a long time and now is becoming a problem also in the European wine making districts because it is connected to the climate changes. A new subject that perfectly nailed it with the sensibility of the Masters of Wine, for whom the interest in wine is not so much hedonistic but more connected to the market. In other words they are able to taste with the same commitment a wine in a can and a First Growth-Premier Cru from Bordeaux.

Gabriele Gorelli MW with the DOC Orcia wine producers in San Giovanni d'Asso - 2019

Gabriele Gorelli MW with the DOC Orcia wine producers in San Giovanni d’Asso – 2019

So a MW might mistake the place of origin of Chardonnay but immediately understands the price point and the best market.

The Court of Master Sommelier is situated in London and was founded in 1953. Great journalists such as Jancis Robinson are members but especially buyers for monopolies airlines, GDO, importers … so people who have the keys to the wine market. Among them one of my German importers, Frank Roeder, ex pilot from Lufthansa.



Gabriele Gorelli is 36 years old, graduated in languages and then enrolled at university in the Facoltà di Scienze dalla Comunicazione. He is an excellent graphic artist an exceptional communicator and most of all extremely reliable and able to work all night or to unload a whole van of brochures to respect the delivery program. During my experience as Vice President of the Consorzio del Brunello, I collaborated a great deal with his agency Brookshow&Gorelli (agency for graphics, visual communication, traditional and digital, publicity) and creating innovative and courageous projects. They created the website for the Consorzio del Brunello, the technical part of Benvenuto Brunello, the brochures and the books with which the wines from Montalcino are presented all over the world. Gabriele has won the contest for the logo Scd “Stem cell differentiation” that went into space with Samantha Cristoforetti. <<Ok I admit it, as a child I too dreamt of becoming an astronaut. Even though my model for a career was represented by Archimedes (Gyro Gearloose in the Disney cartoon), the inventor>>.
Now he is the first Italian Master of Wine and hope to become an institutional figure for Italian wine: a sort of spokesman for our oenology in the major markets abroad. He would be very useful if in this role so let’s hope that ICE, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Regione Toscana will be ready to make the most of this opportunity just as our French cousins do.