After obtaining the title of oenologist in 1968, he set up in 1979 with his brother Renzo, also an oenologist, the Azienda Vinicola Falesco S.r.l., founded with the aim of recovering the ancient vines of the territory, and in 1981 the wine and oenological consultancy company Riccardo Cotarella S.r.l., of which he is president.
Internationally renowned oenologist, Professor of Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo and Academic Aggregate of the Georgofili Academy, since 2013 he has been President of Assoenologi; in addition to the profession of oenologist, he has constantly supported the civil commitment, following the young people of the community of San Patrignano in the process of agrovinicola training, participating in the project "Wine for Life" of the Community of Sant'Egidio and following in Bethelem (Palestine) the Cremisan winery, a company run by the community of Salesians.
In 2014 he was chosen as president of the Scientific Committee for the preparation of the Italian wine pavilion at Expo 2015. Also in 2014 he was elected as PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL UNION DES OENOLOGUES. A biography of the Italian entrepreneur was published by N. D'Antonio under the title Riccardo Cotarella. Almost a portrait (2012).