Maurizio Di Franco is a certified sommelier and a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS). Maurizio was born in the United States to first-generation Italian immigrant parents. He spent most of his life working in their family-run Italian restaurant and started tasting wine almost as soon as he could lift a glass. Slowly, he would evolve into the restaurant’s de facto wine expert, working with the wine makers and representatives of some of the best wine production from around the world. This led to a fascination and love for all things enology.
During his schooling he took many trips back to the old country to learn about his heritage and about the art of winemaking, with extended stops in Florence and his parents’ hometown of Isernia in the Molise region, and culminating in an internship for a small winery located in the rolling hills of southern Tuscany. Here he learned about all aspects of winemaking, everything from harvesting to bottling; an eye-opening experience in hard work, passion and dedication which only increased his appreciation for the craft and led to his settling in Rome and enrollment in the official sommelier program at AIS.
Maurizio is part of a new generation of sommelier, brushing off the dated stereotype of the stuffy, pretentious wine expert, believing instead that (good) wine should be fun and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of budget.