Rome, September 3 - Paolo Vagaggini of Siena has been named a finalist in American journal Wine Enthusiast's competition for its 2013 Wine Star award. The award, considered one of the highest accolades in the industry, is exciting news for the Tuscan. Vagaggini says he is proud to be nominated, but also proud for any recognition he can bring to Italy. He has been nominated in the category of winemaker of the year. "A prolific oenologist and one of the world"s leading experts on Sangiovese, Vagaggini works with about a third of Montalcino's wineries, including Biondi Santi, Eredi Fuligni and Poggio Antico," the magazine says in its online announcement of the finalists. "With 30 years of winemaking experience under his belt, he also consults for wineries in Montepulciano and Chianti Classico". Vagaggini's competition for the award, which will awarded on Dec. 31 in New York City, include wine specialists from France, Australia, Spain, and California. "Just being one of the top five recognized winemakers in the world is for me an enormous satisfaction," says Vagaggini. "But it is also a huge recognition for our country where the winemaking tradition is rooted in thousands of years and often underestimated".