Antonio Capaldo is the Chairman of Feudi di San Gregorio. Upon receiving a degree in Economics from University of Rome La Sapienza, Antonio moved to Paris to work for Lazard. After gaining valuable experience at this prominent financial advisory and asset management firm, he resigned in 2003 and moved to London where he earned a Masters in Management and Economics at the London School of Economics, and then completed his PhD in Economics and Finance as a joint program between London School of Economics and University of Rome. After receiving both of these degrees, he worked at McKinsey & Company beginning in 2004, and by 2008, he was appointed as a partner of the firm. During this time, Antonio also received his sommelier certification, and at every possible occasion, he spent time in the vineyards and was involved in the most important decisions regarding the management of the winery. After approximately ten years of external experience in finance (Lazard) and in strategic consultancy (McKinsey), Antonio joined Feudi at the beginning of 2009.
Q & A with Antonio Capaldo about why he joined the family business:
What made you change careers and go into the family business?
It was one of these moments in life when you almost don’t think, although it was a very important decision for me and my family. I felt immediately it was the right thing to do.
Of course passion for wine, of course the challenge behind managing a company after long years in consultancy…but most importantly the reason was the love I have for my Dad. I wanted to help him to make the winery stronger and more successful, knowing how deeply he was emotionally attached to this project.
We did not say much…but we were both happy about this.
What are you most proud of today?
Success is mostly about having the right people in the right position enthusiastically doing their job…and from the outside everybody can see that my team is proud and happy.
You promote your agronomist, Pierpaolo Sirch, and the techniques he uses, can you tell us your philosophy?
From a production standpoint: Vineyards first. Many people say that and we also used to say that but now we DO it. Following this approach means a lot of investments and also refraining from the temptation to “adjust” in the winery. We are doing this seriously and I am very happy about this.
From a stylistic standpoint, my objective is to make wines that make you want to drink a second glass (and third etc, etc)
What do you want people to think of when they see Feudi wines?
That they are beautiful. Outside and inside, this is beautiful to me.
Can you discuss the history of your labels?
Most of our labels reproduce mosaics from the Galla Placidia Mausoleum in Ravenna. Masterpieces of Byzantinian art, the most famous art when Gregorio Magno was Pope.
At the beginning we had large labels just like everyone else, but then…we met Massimo Vignelli.
When did the collaboration with Massimo Vignelli begin?
In 2000 my uncle and myself met Massimo and Lella Vignelli in Nerano on the Amalfi Coast. We decided to work together on an innovative project: reinvent our brand image.
And then the new labels came in 2001: Massimo preserved the mosaic, the golden text but then he invented a new shape that became rapidly (although not well received in the immediate beginning) a real design standard. This step was very important to define the winery we are today. Massimo was a real master, and helped us in all possible ways. I was very attached to him and we lost part of our soul when he died in 2014.