Interview with Algodon Wine Estates' New Brand Ambassador, Sommelier & International Wine Sales Manager, Matteo Cecchetto

Interview with Algodon Wine Estates' New Brand Ambassador, Sommelier & International Wine Sales Manager, Matteo Cecchetto

December 16, 2014

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Algodon Group is pleased to introduce our new Brand Ambassador, Sommelier & International Wine Sales Manager, Matteo Cecchetto.  Mr. Cecchetto will serve as corporate liaison with the U.K., Europe and U.S. markets as our brand presence continues to grow in these markets in the years ahead.  He is an internationally qualified sommelier, and has extensive experience in wines sales and spirits throughout the world.  In the following Q&A, he shares with us his thoughts on the future of Algodon Wines, and tells us a little about the experiences in his life that led him to his new role at Algodon Group.

You originally hail from the Italian village “Valdobbiadene”, which is famous for its Prosecco, and you were born into a winemaking family.  In what ways did this influence your decision to become a sommelier?  What attracted you to the career?

It had an important influence, of course.  As a boy, I was initially more attracted to a career as a pilot, flying planes, space flights, which is totally different from the world of wines. However, I became more practical as I grew older.  In Valdobbiadene – Prosecco, the wine industry was one of the few local industries with the potential for real growth.  As I was born into my family’s wine business, it was the perfect road to take for me because it was already in my blood.  In fact, I was very lucky because in addition to the growing wine industry in Valdobbiadene, it was also booming all over the world, and still is. 

I am attracted to the high-end aspect of this business.  Fine wines are commonly associated with the good things in life, and a luxury lifestyle.  Consumers are attracted to the associated social status of luxury and so forth.  Most of these consumers need a guide that they can trust, an expert to lead them into this fantastic world.  That is the role of the sommelier. 

What is required to become an International Sommelier and where did you study?

It requires passion, patience, hard work, focus, and persistence.  We sommeliers must keep our knowledge always up to date; we must continuously taste wines and participate at Seminars, Wine Tours and anything related to wines, as well as spirits. I studied in Italy at one of the world’s most respected sommelier associations called AIS, or the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (Italian Sommelier Association). It was very challenging, but once you achieve your diploma, you are then recognized internationally since the school is the foundation of the Worldwide Sommelier Association, covering more than 15 countries. 

Prior to joining Algodon, you served as sommelier at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, UAE.  Where else have you worked, and how do you feel these past experiences have prepared you for your new role at Algodon?

I worked in Emirates Towers as Sommelier at the Best Steakhouse in Dubai and one of the best wine bars, called The Agency. I was sommelier and assistant manager. Aside from that, I also founded with a couple of friends a company called M&M, which is also the name of our wine label. We were selling wines in Italy and I was in charge of the export. Before that I worked as Corporate Sommelier in Maldives, where I oversaw all the aspects of beverage business for 5 Resorts. My career began when I worked for a winery back in Italy, located within the most famous Prosecco’s area, Valdobbiadene. For ten years there I was able to experience all aspects of how to produce, advertise and sell wine with that company, called Bortolomiol.

Do not forget that my family produces wine too, since I was young.  I grew up around wine. It has been in my blood since I can remember.  Having grown up in the industry, I have firsthand knowledge of the entire process, from farm to table.  I have experience in how to cultivate the grapes, make the wine, bottle and store it, market it and sell it, how to pair it, how to drink it and how to describe the experience.

All of these life experiences have prepared me for my new role at Algodon.      

What are your goals for Algodon Wines in the world market?

Algodon will become a brand recognized all around the world. Our wines and wine estate will be at the top of the charts. And we are going to achieve that because the wines that we sell are of the highest quality, and because we are a young, motivated team.  Using the French method that Marcelo Pelleriti has brought with him from Bordeaux has lifted our wines to the top in quality.  We know that our customers love this.  As we increase our production and gain new world markets, we have great potential to make a huge step forward.

What is your favorite Algodon Wine, and why?

That is a tough question because I love them all.  If I have to pick just one, I would take Algodon’s Malbec-Bonarda cuvee. Malbec alone is a strong and opulent wine with a huge personality, and when combined with Bonarda, which is more delicate in terms of flavors and fruity notes, it gives to the blend that delicateness and aroma which pleases your palate and your senses totally. 

Algodon Wines’ Malbec-Bonarda is done right by our winemakers, and it is my top recommendation because it typifies the best of what Argentina has to offer in terms of an exceptional wine.

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