by Paolo Repetto / 12 November 2015
Bernardo Conticelli's Interview, the new Ambassador for Champagne
Bernardo Conticelli, a real Florentine, splits his life between Florence and Paris, as he work in Bettane+Desseauve (his role is “Project Manager Italie”); furthermore he founded the “Vinifocus Wine Consulting”. In September 2015 he has been appointed as “Ambassador for Champagne”, managed by Bureau du Champagne in Italy.
Hello Bernardo! First of all, how are you?
Hi Paolo, fine thanks. I’ve had an intense year of work, but as my job is first of all a passion, I actually can’t feel the weariness.
How would you describe your current job role?
Well, first of all I deal with promotion strategies in wine marketing. I work in three directions : winery consultancy in order to develop foreign markets (mainly from Italians wineries to foreign countries, but also from French wineries to Italy); winery consultancy in order to allow them to gain public funding OCM Wine promotion (especially about HORECA, Sommelier etc); consultancy for wine lovers.
You win just a few days ago the Champagne Ambassadors Awards Competition. Arduous? How much did your life change after that?
It is a big satisfaction for me and honestly I didn’t expect it. I knew that many skilled people applied for it, so I really didn’t expect to be selected as a national finalist and, after that, win the Italian competition and the "Prix Spécial du Jury" in Reims, for the European edition. The Ambassador degree is recent, so I’m not sure that in my career something will change; for sure, be designed as Ambassador for the most famous wine in the world is a real source of pride.
What does Champagne represent for you?
A unique, legendary wine, famous all over the world. It is synonymous of elegance and “finesse” and his first-class positioning in the market place underlines his uniqueness. It’s the celebrating wine par excellence, and thanks to his multifaceted self it’s easy to fall in love with him, both for casual customer and skilled winelovers. Champagne means uniqueness, despite differences in styles.
Can you give some advise to people approaching Champagne? How they could start, and how take up the career
I think a good approach should includes: understand different Champagne styles, starting from vineyards in their classic varieties; then explore the “dosage” and least but not last the blending process, the real artistic moment in Champagne production.
Which is Your favourite producer? And Why?
Well, is really difficult to choose a name; if we consider “Maisons” I’m passionate about Bollinger because of the intensity and the structure of their wines; and about Roederer, also for his excellent work in vineyards in order to increment organic farming. If we consider RM (récoltant-manipulant) I should mention Larmandier-Bernier, Tarlant e Savart.
List yours 3 favourite Champagne
Cristal Rosé 1985 - Louis Roderer
Reflet d'Antan - Bereche&Fils
Vielle Vigne de Cramant Grand Cru - Larmandier-Bernier
Choose 4 or 5 Champagne that a real winelover can’t miss
Due Grand Cru della Montaigne de Reims tra Ambonnay e Verzenay
Due Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs da Mesnil sur Ogier o Cramant o Avize
Un Rosé di assemblaggio
Due Champagne Grand Cru di assemblage
Founder of Vinifera, since 2005 he works in the international business of fine wines.
In 2017 he founded Italian Wine Asset, the first Italian specialised entity for consulting on buying and selling Vineyards and Wineries.