BIC: How do you find good producers? What are your criteria? How important are economic factors compared to your taste, your own touch and passion? You probably don’t have the time to spend months traveling through Spain, Italy and France to visit all the producers. Or do you go to trade shows?
Of course, “at the end” the profitability is decisive, but this does not mean that other important criteria such as in the cultivation of the vines or in the vinification are not equally valued. Added to this is our preference for family-run businesses, they simply suit us best. The whole team is working on the implementation of this strategy. We also visit trade fairs and tastings, but above all we use our own network in the wine world. Then it is important for all our employees, as well as for me, to always be on the move with an alert eye (and nose!), so there are always interesting new things to discover. When it comes to developing the product range from a particular region, travel is essential; we want to visit people on the ground to give us a comprehensive picture. One principle is important, it must never be about launching something new at any cost. We really have to stand behind it and look for producers with their own signature, who are also allowed to have rough edges.
BIC: Our magazine combines exclusive cars with art, design, fashion, high-quality photography and, above all, stories experienced by the readers themselves. Which of these elements appealed to you personally?
I am a big fan of cars! In addition, I am particularly fascinated by the design and art aspects at THE COLLECTIVE, as I also like to paint and find my own inspiration and also diversion there.
BIC: Which well-known wine producer would you like to have dinner with one day?
Although there would be many, Peter Sissek is one of my most exciting and trusted interlocutors. He is known as the maker of Pingus, one of Spain’s highest-rated and most expensive red wines, and for Château Rocheyron, a joint venture with Silvio, a jewel on the historic limestone plateau of Saint-Émilion. I was especially happy that Peter, as a family friend, came to our wedding in 2018 and brought Pingus for our guests to taste. In Silvio’s environment there are other versatile and interesting characters from whom I may benefit.
BIC: You’ve been a mother of twins for a few weeks now. That must have changed your life a lot. How do you feel about it?
It’s great! Much has changed so beautifully and deliberately, and it has happened at just the right time. Denz Wines was my first baby who can already walk, and now it’s my twin girls’ turn.
BIC: How much will this change your professional role as CEO of Denz Weine?
I organized myself differently and took time off until September to be there for the kids. It is important to me to take care of them, and with twins there is a lot to do. I get a lot of family support from Claudio’s mother Rita, and Claudio himself also lends a hand. In this way, I can continue to shape and support important strategic issues at Denz Weine. For me, this is not a contradiction – there may be different “Florentinas”, because I do everything with full passion.
BIC: In terms of the double burden of motherhood and career, what will be the most important thing for you in organizing your time?
The most important thing for me is that Claudio and I continue to work together as a team. We draw clear boundaries between children’s time and working time and support each other.
BIC: How can we imagine Florentina as a wine connoisseur? Is there a good wine at home every night?
For me, enjoying wine does not mean drinking wine every night. But of course I also bring wines from work, which we taste together. On weekends we like to enjoy a selected wine with friends or Silvio in peace.
BIC: Wine, along with art, watches, jewelry and cars, has also become a collectible. Major auction houses like Sotheby’s also offer wine auctions. Why do people collect wine in the first place?
I hope that wine is collected with passion and not just as an investment in the cellar. Personally, I wish that one consciously selects and enjoys the appropriate wine for the right occasion. Drinking wine also has an important cultural value, it joy of sharing, enjoying together and therefore associated with beautiful memories.
BIC: Few things are as versatile as wine. Different grape varieties from many countries make the fermented grape juice a real passion for many people. The price varies from a few francs per bottle to a seven-figure sum. But does expensive always mean good?
No, a high price is not automatically an indicator of the quality of a wine. The price depends on many factors, such as the origin and region, the vintage, the name of the winemaker and something of the most important: the quantity of bottles offered of each vintage. There are other factors, such as media presence. Some wines live from their history, the status and cult that has arisen from it. But there are very many wines that are available at an affordable price and offer excellent quality. The tastes and preferences of each wine lover are unique and subjective, so it is important to taste different wines and gain your own experience to find out what you like best.
BIC: Isn’t that also a double standard? On the one hand we see the trends towards Sustainability, Longevity and Conscious Consumption and on the other hand we declare fermented grape juice a collectible. A bottle of Romanée Conti 1945 has achieved a price of USD 558,000 US dollars at a Sotheby’s auction. How do you deal with it?
First of all, I am not a moral apostle. It is possible that there is a contradiction between the trend towards sustainability, longevity and conscious consumption on the one hand and collecting wine at astronomical prices on the other. Nevertheless, I see wine as a collector’s item, which does not exclude being responsible with it. Many wine lovers collect wine out of passion and interest in the history and culture of wine and not only because of its high prices. Therefore, in our auction house we carefully examine the history of the wine, from which source and through which hands it has passed, how it was stored and transported. The network is also enormously important for avoiding counterfeiting. All this is crucial to act responsibly and transparently in today’s world.
BIC: Would you describe yourself as a wine collector?
In terms of me personally, I would describe myself as a beginner in collecting wine. My father-in-law is an experienced collector and Claudio and I are slowly starting to build our own collection.