Filippo Bartolotta was born in Florence, Italy in 1972. From early childhood, he was introduced to the beauty of winemaking by his Sicilian grandfather, who made his own wine in a small wine cellar below the family home and loved to involve Filippo in the process.
Filippo’s journey as a professional sommelier started with his first job at London’s Vinopolis. From there his path became more and more international, with collaborations and positions such as Decanter Magazine tasting judge. In 1999 Filippo and his partner founded Le Baccanti Tours, one of Italy’s premier travel and event agencies, and in 2006 they created Mama Florence cooking school.
As a teacher he has worked with the University of Siena, N.Y.U., the Politecnico of Milan, the Bocconi University of Milan, the Accademia of Palazzo al Piano, the Associazione Partners and Alma Graduate School University of Bologna. No matter how many people he introduces to the world of wine, Filippo’s enthusiasm for wine is the same as when he first watched his grandfather press grapes and turn it to rich red wine.
Filippo continues to cultivate his knowledge by tasting several thousand wines each year and accepting invitations to visit winemakers in their cellars for site visits and to evaluate the current and historic vintages. Filippo has been a taster for the Espresso Italian Wine Guide and for the Gazzetta Gastronomica. His unique methods and tasting style have earned him the unofficial title of “Sommelier of the Stars” as he introduces stars like Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson to the incredible world of Italian food and wine.
Filippo has organized and led events such as: “The Amazing Italian Wine Journey” Gala dinner with Chef Luciano Zazzeri at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and private events at the National Gallery-London, the Assemblée National in Paris, and the Tate Modern. He has attended meetings with amazing chefs in the White House kitchen for a discussion about food, wine and nutrition alongside Alice Waters’s of Chez Panisse.
In spring 2017, Filippo was asked to be the official sommelier for the Obama family wine tasting and dinner event during their trip to Tuscany, Italy. The event was a great success thanks to the pairing of Massimo Bottura’s incredible menù with the special Italian wines personally selected by Filippo.