Wine must be emotion, experience, and storytelling is central. A recent study on top wines carried out by Altagamma and presented at the latest edition of Seeds & Chips focused on the issue of narration as a key in the relationship between the various actors, producers, distributors, restaurateurs, and end customers.
Stappo-your personal sommelier bets on this "thirst" for story. This start-up from Brianza was founded in 2018 by three under 35 business partners: Marco Mauri, Luca Intelligente and Maria Grazia Salatino. The first two are Ais-certified sommeliers, and the third one boasts experience in the retail and luxury world. The innovative idea is a sommelier service at home for private individuals or business clients, throughout Italy. It is linked above all to dinners, but also aperitifs, recurrences and includes simple tasting. All is very flexible.
The young company operates a selection of labels to be tasted (generally at least 3), agreeing with the customer, also based on budget and dishes: the latter element is essential for the Italian market (Altagamma dossier says that the association with a food counts more than twice for the customer compared to what the sommelier believes, focusing more on the label).
Storytelling is performed at the table according to the classic path: visual, olfactory, and tasting analysis. But the story becomes emotional on the game of perfumes and sensations on the palate. And it arouses knowledge, expanding to the vine, manufacturing company, territory. Marco Mauri explained: “We aim at making the figure of the sommelier accessible to all. Today it is seen as closely linked to catering and hôtellerie of a certain level. But we need a more mobile figure, less self-referential, and who knows how to convey interest with understandable language. Customers do not want to hear tough terms: they love the story about wine, its land and producer. We try to consider also lesser known vineyards and wine areas, which tickle the curiosity".
Tram Wine in Milan, already sold out experience
Stappo also organizes events aimed at promoting the culture of wine. It is another element that needs to be improved in our Country, as reported by the Altagamma study, compared for example to France and the USA, where wineries are more able to create innovative experiential projects (it would be enough to see how tourists are involved in Napa Valley).
For “Fuorisalone 2019” Stappo, in partnership with Atm and a company of tourist guides (Milano con voi - Milan with you), has scheduled two “Tram Wine”. It is a new way to get to know the city: a two-hour journey on classic trams, accompanied by the story told by two tourist guides who explain monuments and beauty. And during wine tasting the two sommeliers are present (in this case “Colle Manora di Quargnento” winery in the province of Alessandria). The client today wants an experience and this is a lesson in innovation.
Wine tourism, a business worth 2.5 billion Euros on which the government, too, is focusing for the growth of Made in Italy productions.
Stappo also organizes food and wine tours. This year, in May, there was, for example, a visit in Monferrato to Colle Manora winery, with a stop also at Mila Schon fashion museum. Wine tourism in our Country, now regulated by a new law, is growing and has a turnover of 2.5 billion Euros for 14 million wine lovers (data from the fifteenth Report on wine tourism in Italy). The best wineries organize themselves into associations to promote visits especially from abroad, such as The Grand Wine Tour: 20 names dreamy, from Ceretto to Feudi di San Gregorio. Toscana Wine Architecture brings together 14 design wineries, from Petra to Antinori, signed by the masters of architecture, by Mario Botta and Renzo Piano. The government, too, is focusing on wine tourism, wanting it to become a strong point of Made in Italy and an opportunity for growth throughout the supply chain. It must be remembered that in 2021 Italy will host the world conference on wine tourism.