Andrea Sartori is president of Italian producer Sartori di Verona, founded in 1898 and now one of the most significant wine companies in Veneto. He studied at Verona’s University of Economics and Commerce, attended business school in Vicenza and went on to Columbia University in New York. He then returned to Italy to put his energies into revitalising and modernising the company, including expanding its export reach. He became president in 2000. He has played an active role in a number of wine organisations, including being president of the Confederazione della Vite e del Vino, from 2004 to 2010. He was vice president of Federvini from 2005 to 2008, sat on the board of the marketing group Consorzio Italia del Vino, was a board member of CEEV (the European Committee of Wine Enterprises) that lobbies Brussels, and is on the board of Crever, the Veronese bank. He is currently the president of the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella. He has worked tirelessly to build not just his family business, but the entire Italian wine sector.
MEININGER’S: What did you learn at Columbia University that really surprised you?
SARTORI: The American system is based on large corporations and multinationals, which is not applicable a lot to this country because, as you know well, the average size of company in Italy is very small. Most of us are family businesses. It was a total cultural shock for me, being used to small and medium-sized company in this country.