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Fashion luminary finds new success in wine

It wasn’t long after Guido Formilli Fendi left the haute life of luxury fashion before he found a new calling — wine.

Five years ago, the Italian maestro founded a vineyard in Tuscany, the region of Italy famed among oenophiles for its moderate climate and clay-rich soil.

This year, Fendi brought his wine to the China International Import Expo. “I heard about the expo from news, and other people who have business in China,” he said. “It’s an internationally well-known expo, and I decided to come myself.”

Partnering with the CIIE Bureau, Fendi made a limited edition wine for CIIE and produced 2019 bottles —each with a unique serial number, which have sold well in the expo’s souvenir store.

“This is the first contract I made in China,” he said. “Many people have come by and want to buy my wine.”

In the food sector of the expo, Fendi has put up a booth resembling a bar, with a wide display featuring different type of wines and champagne.

“All my wines are from Tuscany. My vineyard is located in Maremma, Toscana, which is very close to the sea. The wine produced there gets a special flavor of the ocean, as the air carries the ‘perfume of the sea’ into the grapes,” he said, adding he is targeting medium- and high-level Chinese consumers.

Fendi said the Chinese buyers he met during the expo have clear wants. “They already know exactly what they want, red or white wine, from which region, how many years in the barrel,” he said. “They are well prepared.”

“I learned there is increasing interest in Italian wine from Chinese people,” he said. “It makes me enthusiastic about the opportunity, and I will come back next year.”