Edoardo Marchiorello, Wine & Food expert, studied Corporate Economics at Bocconi University in Milan and participated in the Italian School of Cookery and professional courses at the Italian Association of Sommelier. This young entrepreneur divided between Milan, New York and Bassano del Grappa, his hometown, is involved with the American Society of Milanese Wine Imports USA and has recently opened the already famous “Mulino a Vino” in Manhattan, along with his business partner Paolo Meregalli and the award winning chef Davide Scabin. We meet him in one of his rare free moments passing through Milan, and we’re super curious to find out more.
Hello Edoardo, first of all thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview and we want to congratulate you on your recent success with Mulino a Vino in New York. We’re so excited to be able to pick your brain and get your point of view on our lovely city.
Can you tell us more about the latest opening of Mulino a Vino? What was it like to be part of such an immediate success with the likes of Paolo Meregalli and Davide Scabin? We want to know everything about the inauguration!
The opening was a long term goal. It was awesome to see all of our hard work finally pay off! Paolo and Davide are both good friends and great business partners. Even though our characters are different, they feed off of each other always creating new ideas. As for the grand opening I remember the many people that came out to show us support: from our closest friends to wish us luck to New York’s top personalities passing strict judgment on the results of our work.
Marchiopolo begins while you are still at University. At the time you’re incredibly young. How did you manage to juggle the business along with your studies and with your own personal development into adulthood?
I began by tagging along with my dad at the first dinners and wine tastings at the time usually for friends who wanted to try what he had created. That ignited the passion. I continued to study and get experience, always trying to find time for cultivating the art of cooking and wine. The days were pretty intense but with good organization and commitment, I was always able to do all that I wanted to get done.
What do you recommend to young kids who want to follow the same path?
Remember in every moment that giving less than your best means sacrificing a gift. That’s a phrase that has stuck with me since I was really young. It’s become my motto and I think it can be an encouragement to all young kids. Basically, do what you love to do and don’t think that there are dead ends, sometimes even the seemingly most insignificant thing can give incredible results. Be good, open, diligent and luck will give you a hand. Finally, cultivate your passions.
What awoke your passion for wines? Was it genetic, considering the enormous family passion, or as a consumer?
It’s family. Even though we weren’t big drinkers, the lunches at my grandfather’s table always had a bottle of wine. After, I began tasting more often, not only discovering wines but also hidden places and traditions that were almost extinct. That’s what I love. Other than that, It’s so wild that from one fruit you can get wines so different. Every bottle has it’s own unique story.
We know that your family has another great passion, for Polo the sport. How much did this sport influence the brand’s name? Can you tell us how the idea for this project began?
A lot has been said about the name, including that Marchiopolo is the combo of our last name with the other family passion, Polo. I just remember on thing. When we were little, our parents used to take us on vacation to Argentina. There kids are put on horses before they can read or write and adults ride without caring too much about the etiquette typical of a sport mistakenly considered for the élite. That’s where our love of nature, travel and the strong bond between us comes from. It’s the classic example of a family, my family, which adores the real deal, simple and down-to-earth. As far as the project is concerned, that began with my dad’s first wine, l’Amarone della Valpollicella, who couldn’t find the perfect wine to go with his dishes of game. Soon after, we got the award for Label of the Year at the Vinitaly 2006.
In an atmosphere such as in Italy where competition is tight, what do you think are the critical factors behind the success of Marchiopolo?
To offer something innovative and extraordinary using the web as a tool to marry sales with flexibility and response.
What do you love most and what can’t you stand about your job?
I love to travel and doing what I love. I love waking up in the morning ad not knowing what to expect. I love challenges and novelty. I don’t hate anything about my job but I try to take every unexpected event as an opportunity. There may be things that worry me but I try not to focus on them or change them. Some of these are being in constant motion or the uncertainty of how some projects that I’m working on will go.
The party or event where you’d most want to see bottles of Marchiopolo on the tables?
The Met Ball in New York? I’ve never been but I’ve heard a lot about it. Obviously it would give us great visibility. Maybe an event at the Salone del Mobile in Milan. I’ve heard good things about it, too.
At what point would you consider yourself pretty satisfied with this project? Are you there yet? What are the next steps?
I’ll be completely satisfied with this project when it is understood by the public. Because it’s innovative, some find it scary and I wish they didn’t. We’ve already taken big steps in this direction, and as new goals I see big partnerships and new products to be proud of.
Marchiopolo wine, with its super glamorous package fits in perfectly with a fashion conscious city like Milan. How do you plan on further promoting the brand in the city?
We’ve got lots of ideas. In particular we’re working on a project for promoting wine in a new way. Again, we’re trying to break the rules in a market that is, unfortunately usually anachronistic and closed.
Your Milan in three places. What are they and why?
The first place is no other than Peck. I would spend hours just looking at the marvels inside. Also, because I remember going there hand in hand with my dad.
The second is Ceresio 7. It’s just opened and is perfect for any occasion from a dinner in perfect mid-century style to a relaxing day by the pool. I’m friend of the general manager, Marco Civitelli, and I’ve got to admit they are doing an amazing job. Even the concept is avant-garde and obviously you can find our wines there.
The last place would be the library in Parco Sempione, maybe because I remember it as a young student, maybe because whenever you find a green area in Milan it fills your heart.
If you were to choose your favorite places for the following:
Brunch? For brunch I’d go to the California Bakery. The American in me prevails.
Lunch? I’d go eat a pizza and an elephant ear at Rita and Antonio’s. It’s not a fancy place given the neon lighting but you’ll have the best Napoletan pizza and Milanese style steak ever.
Aperitif/ Favorite cocktail? For an aperitif, I’d go to Paolino. It’s out in the open and the cocktails rock. If you want to start the night out right, get a liquorice mojito in the shape of a pool. Don’t drive afterwards though!
Dinner? For dinner I’d go to the Argentinian Restaurant, El Porteño. I like the atmosphere and obviously the food. I also go for two other reasons. First, as I said I have a love for Argentina. Second, Luca Amendola designed the interior just like he did for our New York spot, so I feel at home there.
Evening (night out)? To be honest, I don’t like staying out late. A night out at the Patuscino though gives me a good dose of joy.
Relax? I go to the gym and enjoy the relaxing rooms and drink green tea.
Weekend in the city. Can you give us the rundown of a typical day?
It depends on the time of year. I like to wake up early and go for a run on an empty stomack or have a big breakfast with friends, I like to mix it up. For lunch a panzerotto (typical italian fried bread filled with Ham, mozzarella and tomato) da Luini or a sandwich at De Santis if I’ve been away for a while. Afternoon a walk around town from the Duomo to the columns while I stop in the book shops because I miss books in Italian while I’m in America. The evening definitely dinner with friends, at home or out and the more the merrier.
If your foreign friend who’s never been to Milan were in town, where would be the place absolutely not to be missed?
Very touristy but it deserves a go: the terrace on the last floor of the Rinascente. A glass of wine while overlooking the Duomo can’t be missed on a first visit to Milan.
At little tidbit for our readers: Your favorite hiding spot? Can you reveal one to us?
Nottingham Forest. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out but don’t spread word around. You’re gonna love it!
In less than half year the Expo begins and the eyes of the world will be on Milan, what’s your take on this event? It seems like the perfect opportunity to further promote Marchiopolo. What kind of ideas do you have in mind? How do you plan on being a part of it?
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard great stuff. I hope that it is an event gives a good output and lots of visibility for Milan. It’s her big chance and she can’t afford to get it wrong. With Marchiopolo we’ve already got some exciting things lined up, for now I don’t want to reveal much, stay tuned!
Thanks again and best of luck for all of your future plans! You have the sincerest regards from the editorial crew of Flawless Milan.
Visit the Marchiopolo website for further information: www.marchiopolo.it