Bringing Innovation to ProseccoA VINEYARD AND A RESORT ON COL DI LUNA ARE THE DREAM COME TRUE FOR SARAH DEI TOS. WHO HAS MADE QUALITY PROSECCO HER FLAGSHIP
An enchanted territory which, since 2019, has enjoyed the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. And a wine, Prosecco, produced in over 330 million bottles, more than Champagne, mostly for export markets. All good, then? Not really, because the old warning that quality does not rhyme with quantity has often found confirmation here. But something is changing, with new producers appearing on the scene, innovative ideas and a goal: to preserve and improve a product, Prosecco precisely, by leveraging the DOC and especially the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene DOCG control-of-origin consortiums to improve quality.
From Col di Luna, where her farm is located, Sarah Dei Tos, 34, who graduated from Bocconi in Business Administration and Management in 2009, has a privileged look at all this beauty. Sarah founded her own company in 2012 and started a small revolution: "I started with my grandfather's land, previously worked by renters, I acquired additional land and now, with 18 hectares, we are a medium-large company for this area, with about 120,000 bottles produced". La Vigna di Sarah (Sarah’s Vineyard), this is the name, and is not only a winery, but also a small resort that is establishing itself thanks to the exponential growth of wine tourism, which has one of its most popular destinations right here.
"When I started this adventure, after the required courses in agronomy and my diploma as sommelier, the world of wine was a somewhat static, masculine world, and prosecco a wine that had to be valorized before being merely sold. But innovative ideas were met with skepticism”. When she talks about change, Sarah actually refers to "an epochal turning point". Because making the transition to organic wine for all her production was a complex undertaking. “Producing organically means preventing diseases, because when they arise you have fewer remedies with which to treat them, so you study the land and the vineyards well, which are not all the same. It is a long process, since the certification comes after four years. And we got ours in 2019". The pandemic has hit us hard here too, but not immediately. The difficult moment is now: “In the first phase we didn't have great repercussions, now people are tired. It is obvious that our hospitality division is the one that has suffered the most. How will we come out of this? We must continue to focus on quality, in particular that of wines produced in the hills, which can boast the DOCG warranty. It is a difficult kind of viticulture, which gives lower grape yields but an excellent product. Plus, who can claim a better view than from Col di Luna?”.
Sarah Dei Tos, owner of La Vigna di Sarah, and a Bocconi alumna: “Together with my family, we decided that a degree in Business Administration would allow me to work alongside dad in his wood flooring company. Which I did, before I started my business. Bocconi was fundamental because it taught me all the managerial skills that I now carry out personally. But not only that. It also taught me the ability to read financial statements and, importantly, which offline and online pricing strategies to apply, by also considering the interests of those who resell our wine. Perhaps the strategy lessons are the ones that have proved most useful in my adventure as an entrepreneur. During high school my passion was physics and I wanted to get a degree in that. But now I can say that I have made the wisest choice”.
by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Alex Foti