We chat to Mauro Pavesi, Fantinel’s brand manager for Africa, about why he loves his work, South Africa’s favourite Fantinel products, what he thinks of local sparkling wine, and more. Fantinel is best known for their delicious Friulian wines and Prosecco.
Mauro, please tell us a little more about you…
Like my father, I’m from Milan, while my mother is originally from the south (Campania). I studied Marketing and Communication in Italy and International Relations in Denmark, where I lived for seven years. I have worked mainly in marketing, communications and sales, except for a brief break in which I worked for the UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] in Zambia and Burkina Faso. Two years ago, I was having a short sabbatical and this opportunity with Fantinel came up. I didn’t hesitate to seize it as I had always wanted to work in the wine industry.
What do you enjoy most about your work? And the industry?
I promote Italy as well as one of the greatest and most fun products Italy can offer the world. Plus I travel frequently and meet a lot of different people in many different countries; this is truly priceless.
What is your favourite Fantinel…
Wine? Sant’Helena Sauvignon, but also La Roncaia Eclisse (both white wines).
Prosecco? Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry DOC – so easy to drink and it can enjoyed with almost any food you might think of.
How would you describe Friulian wines to those unfamiliar with the region’s wines?
Friuli is famous for their whites, and this was a turning point for me. I used to drink mainly reds before starting to work for Fantinel. Friulian wines are very aromatic, have a fascinating minerality and high acidity that make them perfect for pairing with food and very enjoyable in hot climates. The wines are made with a lot of passion and attention, starting from the vines to the quality of the grapes. For this reason they are very natural and express the character of the soil of Friuli.
What is your vision for Fantinel in South Africa?
We want to become the best-known Italian brand in South Africa, and make our sparkling wines the favourite choice of South Africans looking for amazing yet affordable wines that can be enjoyed on a daily basis.
What are Fantinel’s top 3 sellers in South Africa?
- Prosecco Extra Dry DOC
- Borgo Tesis Pinot Grigio
- Borgo Tesis Friulano, a white wine made from a local grape that used to be called Tokaj
Dare we ask: what is your favourite South African wine/sparkling at the moment?
South African sparklings are too rough for my palate, and I haven’t tasted enough of them yet, so you will need to wait a bit longer for an answer! I like most of the shiraz from South Africa, and a brand that I enjoy a lot is Glen Carlou.
Where in Africa is Fantinel represented? How and why have these markets been chosen?
We are currently in South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco and Egypt. We have been looking for partners in most of the African markets, while giving priority to those that are more interesting for volumes and varieties, South Africa in particular. Our ambition is to enter another five markets in 2015.
Have there been any surprising trends regarding Fantinel in Africa?
Prosecco is hitting Africa as well after the continuous boom it has experienced in Europe, America and Asia. Prosecco has overtaken Champagne in terms of exported volumes. We have seen great interest in our Prosecco and other sparklings as they have offer fantastic quality for their prices.
What is your favourite place to visit in South Africa?
I have seen so little of South Africa and I hope to be able to spend a lot more time travelling around in the future. I loved Stellenbosch, while Cape Town is the best place I have visited in the whole of Africa. I look forward to visiting Durban and the east coast next.
For more Fantinel wines and Prosecco from Adriatic, click here.