The origins of the Masi Prize are to be found in the reflections on the subject of regional identity shared by three Veronese friends at the end of the 1970s: Sandro Boscaini, president of Masi Agricola, the writer Cesare Marchi and the journalist Giovanni Vicentini. The awards began in 1981 with the Masi Civiltà Veneta Prize, given to personalities who had their origins in the Venetian territories and who had distinguished themselves in the fields of literature, art, journalism, science, the performing arts and business, and who had shed lustre on the achievements of the people of Venetia in the widest contexts of human activity through their work, achieving the status of standard bearers for the fundamental values of their land. The actual prize itself is very special: a barrel of Masi Amarone, one of the most emblematic products of the Venetian lands.
Over the years, two other internationally important prize categories have been added to the Masi Prize.
The International Masi Civiltà del Vino Prize turns its attention to the wider world of international winemaking and is given to the person who has done most to benefit this ancient art in a ceremony which takes place symbolically during the harvest period, the happiest and most important time for Valpolicella and for the rest of the wine world too.
The International Masi Grosso d'Oro Veneziano Prize is an international prize given to personalities who have helped spread a message of culture, solidarity and civil progress in the world. This prize is given in memory of the long centuries of peace and prosperity in the different regions on the borders of the Repubblica Serenissima and is symbolically represented by the first silver coin struck in Venice at the end of the fourteenth century and used for hundreds of years afterwards as common currency in a vast area of Mitteleuropa and the Mediterranean.