Outspoken, decisive and full of interesting ideas and insights. It is a real satisfaction to chat with Gigi Rizzi, owner of the Veronese company Seiterre. We met him at the launch of the Gigi Rizzi Collection, which is dedicated to him. He, who looks more like a farmer than a wine trader, tells us how this wine collection is a reflection and turning point in his wine journey, which began when he was very young.
How was the Gigi Rizzi Collection born?
A life devoted to the vineyards and the cellar was the inspiration behind the creation of the Gigi Rizzi Collection, a limited edition. I have been involved with wine for fifty years, from the vineyards to the cellar, and I am 65 years old. I grew up in a household where this activity was something we all did on a daily basis. Ever since I was a little child, I have assisted my parents in filling the tanks and barrels of bulk wine that they sell to consumers. So I liked the idea of leaving a legacy. It’s almost as if I declared, “In my perspective, wine is created this way: this is my signature”.
How many wines does this collection consist of?
Seiterre’s slogan is “From the land to the table”. This collection will deliver six wines to the tables, each symbolic of a location, much as our organization encompasses six distinct regions with a strong wine vocation. At the moment we have launched three: a Lugana Superiore, a Sangiovese and a Vermentino della Maremma.
Can you tell us about these three first wines?
Launched in the summer of 2021, our Lugana is a wine that is now generating a lot of attention from both the general public and wine reviewers. It is a representation of the region where one of our first vineyards is situated, in Veneto near to Lake Garda. In fact, this Lugana won the Mundus Vini, Berliner Gold Medal, Grand CPncours Brussels Gold Medal and Decanter Silver Medal.
Our Sangiovese Maremma, launched in December 2021, is the result of a marriage we made with the Maremma, and precisely with 200 hectares in the province of Grosseto.
Maremma’s climate is ideal for the growth of vineyards, and Tuscany is a generous region. Here, however, we had many problems due to the lack of water and we managed to bring it by building a 5 km pipeline with the help of a geologist.
Maremma is known for its red wines, but we wanted to show that superb white wines can still be produced. Thus was born the third wine of the line: a Vermentino, which we presented during Vinitaly 2022, and which has already had excellent results.
What will be the next three wines?
I can only reveal that the next wine will be a Piedmontese Dolcetto. It is already in barriques and it will be launched very soon. I chose it simply because I really like this wine and it represents the fourth territory where we have chosen to invest as a company.
What is the goal of this line?
The Gigi Rizzi Collection was created to elevate the image of our company. We operate 36 wine stores whose primary business is bulk wine; nonetheless, this does not preclude us from producing good wine. We have thought of a collection that includes the best of what we are capable of producing in addition to a nationally well-liked product like the cask, which manages to be an outstanding wine all the same but at a lesser price since the costs are lower.
For this reason we have given it an elegant packaging, which alternates between gold and black. We named it Collection because we wanted to recall the idea of a collection of works of art: making wine is an art for us. Everything is contained in a phrase: “My story, my life in a glass of wine” (slogan phrase of the Collection and present on the packaging).
What have you learned from Covid-19?
We have clearly realized that the ultimate customer must remain our priority. Having wine stores where customers could buy directly prevented us from huge losses in turnover that other firms experienced during the epidemic. Furthermore, we recognized that the emphasis today must shift to the overseas market. As a company we have just started a journey in this direction.