Just like the premium Italian wine Riccadonna that she has been showcasing around Australia and New Zealand, brand ambassador Martina Doglio Cotto sparkles with passion and love of authentic food.

Indeed, during her 10-year experience in the wine and cuisine field, there was little limit to what she could achieve.

Born 33 years ago in the northwestern town of Asti, one of Italy’s wine capitals, she was trained as sommelier by the highly regarded Italian Sommelier Association and now leads exclusive wine tours throughout Italy and Europe, promotes local small producers and conducts cooking classes featuring organic produce. To crown it all, she earned a master in Journalism and a degree in Biology, and has lately become a representative for Slow Food Italia.

Since the start of her career, she has identified environmental sustainability, food and tourism as her key interests, with wine serving as a link. Her career has led her to be appointed by Campari Group as brand ambassador for Riccadonna, their historical range of qualitative dry and sweet sparkling wines. As part of the project, she has spent one month sharing her wealth of knowledge throughout Australasia.

Representing the Italian excellence abroad is a great honour and a likewise great responsibility, one of the best things that I’ve done in my life so far.

What’s more, New Zealanders’ openness, enthusiasm and curiosity made working with them a real pleasure,” said Doglio Cotto.  “It’s not possible to talk about wines without mentioning their land of origin, Piedmont in this case, an amazing territory with strong culinary roots. When I showcase the best pairings to go with the Riccadonna range, I like to give people this personal, all-round view.”

The series includes Riccadonna Asti, a sweet sparkling moscato with low alcohol, Riccadonna Ruby and Riccadonna Prosecco, a trendy and versatile white sparkling wine.

“Instead of focusing on Italian traditional delicacies, for this tour we decided to suggest clever food pairings with local produce. Prosecco, for example, is a perfect match with fish and fresh oysters. I’ve tried to offer general guidelines, because everyone should feel free to experiment and each wine has its own occasion,” said Doglio Cotto, according to whom the Italian food culture retains a strong competitive advantage.

“Compared to other outstanding food traditions, ours can count on its unbeatable sensorial immediacy. It’s a slap of flavour, an emotional journey able to surround and involve all senses at once. This is why, just like slow food, I see slow tourism as a marvellous opportunity, a new way of exchanging outstanding experiences and discovering all the best another country has to offer” said Doglio Cotto.

Her work for Belladonna is not over yet. Indeed, it has just begun. “For the next future, I want to make more people fall in love with this premium brand and debunk all the myths that surround sparkling wines, often seen as a lower quality choice. That’s not Belladonna’s case,” she said.