Mototsugu (Moto) Hayashi, born in Nagoya Japan, currently lives in Milan Italy, is a Japanese sommelier awarded ‘The best in Italy’ twice in his career.
In October 2009 he was awarded the 2009 Espresso prize for the Best Sommelier of the year. It was the first time for an Asian sommelier to receive such a prize.
In May 2012 he has won the Italian wine Oscar (Oscar del Vino) in the category of the best sommelier in the restaurants. Oscar del Vino is one of the most authoritative awards in the Italian wine industry with each category (18 in total) judged by a panel of experts in the respective fields. The title of ‘best sommelier’ is annually given to the most prominent and active sommelier. This award was the result of high reputation of his art of serving wine at Ristorante dal Pescatore.
In 2007 Moto started working as a chief sommelier at Ristorante dal Pescatore, Italy’s longest standing Michelin three stars restaurant in Mantova. The world-renowned restaurant serves top quality traditional Italian cuisine.
In August 2013 he resigned his job at Ristorante dal Pescatore and set up his own wine importing business Vino Hayashi Italian office in Milan. While he pursues the art of hospitality at a restaurant as a sommelier, he also makes efforts to discover and introduce superb wineries to his Japanese clients. ‘Magnificent wineries are all over in Italy but many of them are still little known to Japanese.’ he says. His exhaustive research and frequent visits to the wineries are all to deliver the best quality wines to his Japanese customers.
He emphasizes that ‘among the wineries which are not distributed in Japan, I choose ones that I really wish my clients to taste and enjoy. For the selection, I bring myself to the wineries to understand and confirm the quality of the vineyards and the callers with my own eyes, and listen to the stories from the local wine makers. As a result, not to mention that we sell high quality wines, we introduce only the wine producers who are engaged in wine making seriously and sincerely.’
In 2014 Vino Hayashi has launched a new section in their business, namely Italian wine distance learning. ‘Together with my brother, I have established our company Vino Hayashi and have worked as a wine importer for five years. Since I wish my clients to have structured knowledge of Italian wine to appreciate them with greater enjoyment, I have come up with one idea; what about providing some distance-learning materials together with the actual wines, including my personal experiences and practical knowledge which I have acquired over ten years living in Italy? For its planning and editing, I have referred to the viewpoint of my brother Koji Hayashi who has visited the wineries for five years with me, and also the opinions from two stuffs working for VinoHayashi, both have been in Italy and are qualified sommeliers. It would be my great pleasure if it could be a help to enhance the experience of wines even more.’