It is not easy to be born into art. There is often the risk of making choices in the wake of the family’s input, some kind of generational obligation.
But there is also the risk of retracing the steps of those who came before us without ever building a precise professional identity.
So, all these “worries” disappear while listening to Silvia Lovo’s story. Nowadays, together with her dad Salvatore and her mom Rita, she is the owner of Terre Gaie, one of the most dynamic and authoritative realities of the Colli Euganei.
Silvia debunks another cliché, the one of the inevitably spoiled only child.
“Fortunately – says Silvia – my parents never had a protective behavior towards me, the one typical of the only child, but they have always stimulated me into going out, living my experiences with determination and braveness. Since I was very young, I started traveling and actually I never stopped”.
But the vineyards often entered Silvia’s life and it was love at first sight.
“I was 6 years old – highlights Silvia – when my dad, tired of the town life, decided to move to the countryside, in the house where the very story of Terre Gaie was born, in street 28 Aprile. But well before this choice, every Saturday and Sunday we went to the countryside where the first vineyard was already present”.
It is a vineyard born from grandad Vittorio’s passion, which was the first fundamental push for the birth of Terre Gaie. “From that vineyard, in fact, we have come a long way – explains Silvia – and since 1998 what at the beginning looked more like a hobby became an out-and-out entrepreneurial project with the construction of the first few offices. Since then, every four years, like in the Olympic Games, we added a “piece” to the Terre Gaie project”. Of those pieces Silvia has always been a protagonist together with her dad Salvatore and her mom Rita.
“I truly believe that our is a concrete demonstration – highlights Silvia – of what an entrepreneurial family project means, where everyone has a precise role but this does not impede us from being constantly exchanging views.
But to understand Silvia’s passion and determination today it is fundamental to go back again.
“I graduated at the scientific high school and my goal was to enroll in Architecture – says Silvia – but dad instated on the importance of studying languages and this brought me to know the English University and so I enrolled in an MBA. It was a choice which, for some aspects, was revolutionary, because the English academic courses were truly different from ours and I have to admit that they allowed me not only to deepened my language knowledge, but also to have an international view on the world of work.
Therefore, it almost inevitable that Silvia’s first professional experiences brought her around the world.
The first occupation was in the foreign office in one of the biggest food farming companies, Bauli, where surely Silvia was able to learn the export dynamics in a leader group at an international level.
Her curiosity brought her to look for new experiences from the start and, especially, the opportunity to live abroad. “After the Bauli experience I had the opportunity to work for an important estate agent in Las Vegas, specialized in the shop sales and the I worked for Francoli USA, a well-known import society of USA Wine and Spirits”.
It is during this last experience that Silvia understands the growing opportunities of Terre Gaie. And it is in fact in the United States that Silvia’s phone call for Salvatore started from. A phone call that changed her life but which also started the Terre Gaie evolution to let it become today’s reality.
“My Dad was a little astonished – says Silvia – and maybe also a little bit scared by my phone call. I think he saw me well-introduced in a professional activity that led me away from the family company. However, he heard from my voice and from my words also my profound determination and conviction. He told me he would have talked to mom Rita. We are only 3 in our family, but all of us have always had a key role in the family choices and Terre Gaie is the fruit of an absolute and shared family choice”.
From that phone call, what looked like a dream became a reality.
“As it often occurs – highlights Silvia – dreams come true when there are all the right ingredients. Dad, also in the past, had looked for the right partners to build a strong wine company, but in the end, there was always something missing. And that something missing, and I say it without presumption, was me. The last family link which was able to conjoin that invisible chain that is however indispensable for the great outcome of a great project”.
Listening to Silvia’s story makes us understand better the profound meaning of family company. Often there is a rhetoric of the importance of the family companies that represents an extraordinary force for our country, but, at the same time, they are also very delicate realities where it is not always simple to find the adequate alchemy.
In Terre Gaie this alchemy can be perceived from the very first minute and it has a precise name: role’s respect, investments in human resources, great professional competence and bravery.
Silvia is absolute guarantor of all of this. She never puts herself before the well-being of the company and this is rare in the wine view of our world where the producer’s ego often prevails instead of giving value to the company in its whole.
“I love coming to work every morning – highlights Sivlia – and I don’t say that as a rhetoric but because I believe it. Every day we try and reach a new block to our project and I think that creativity is a very important element in the growth of a wine company”.
Silvia is also a true lover of her territory, another key ingredient of Terre Gaie’s identity.
“To us, the Colli Euganei were, before being a working place, – says Silvia – a life choice. A choice that we renovate every day with conviction. I think that Colli Euganei represent at best the most authentic sense of a beautiful place where you can live well. The beauty of this territory keeps amazing me and there is not a day in which I do not discover some angle of this territory that takes my breath away. I often find myself contemplating this territory without even realizing it. I truly think to be a lucky woman for being able to live in a place with such values with my family.
Silvia is married and she has two children, Vittoria and Alberto, 9 and 5 years old.
Would you like for them to enter Terre Gaie and give their contribution?
“The only thing I wish for my kids – answers Silvia peremptory – is for them to follow the path they love the most. I would be glad, for example, if they became artists because that would mean that they were able to not sacrifice anything to follow their true passion”
“This doesn’t change the fact – adds Silvia – that since they were very young we introduced them in the company, in the vineyards and in the cellar. It happened more than once that, even if they were so young, they attended dinners or lunches with our importer. But if one day they will enter the company it will only be their choice, came from a natural process never forced”.
This is Silvia once again, a strong, authentic woman who loves what she does and loves being surrounded by people able to help the company in the best way.
“To me the team work is fundamental – highlights Silvia – and I learned it from my dad Salvatore who has always invested in human resources, often very young human resources, to whom he gave the opportunity of growing in the company”.
How does Silvia see Terre Gaie’s future?
“I see Terre Gaie as a reality that keeps growing both in the production level and in the market. Of course, it will be more internationalized but always strong in the Italian market. And in this last account, my dream is to be able to finally build a bridge with the biggest European tourists’ wellness area, the one in Abano Terme. Wine and wellness are an extraordinary binomial and I think that when we will be able to capitalize this relationship it will be an extraordinary advantage for everyone and for the Colli Eugani territory which will benefit from it all”.
A dream, surely a dream, but knowing Silvia and her family we are sure they will do everything in their power to make it come true.