Discovering the history and secrets of the “elixir of the kings” – Vermouth – at ITB China
The products of the Italian region of Piedmont are ambassadors of the best artisanal tradition and Italian lifestyle. At ITB China this year, special demonstrations were made at the Italy stand giving the background to the production of Vermouth, along with tastings. The sessions were hosted by Matteo Fornaca of Esperienza.com, who also presented the “elixir of kings” at the Italian Dream Night at the Shanghai Pudong Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday 16th May. We asked Matteo to tell us more about his company, and the “discovery sessions” at ITB China.
Vermouth was born in Turin in 1786, and we think that the best way to love a territory is to create the products that territory is worldwide famous for. Living an “ESPERIENZA” means discovering and learning to recognise the excellences of the territory through a fascinating multisensory activity.
IN EVERY WORKSHOP, A LOT OF CREATIVITY IS INVOLVED… THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT
Our company actually started just last year, so it’s about six months old. It’s really a start-up. It started originally as a tour operator. And we started working on local excellences trying to find a better way to promote them. The idea is to have something that goes beyond just tasting. We came up with the idea of promoting local excellences like vermouth with the creation of a story, like the one we told here in Shanghai. Here we had lot of anecdotes, there is smelling and touching. And while we didn’t do it here, you can come to Piedmont and even make your own vermouth. You have a tiny chemical lab where you can put drops of wine and tinctures and take-home the vermouth that you made yourself. We are developing these workshops not only for tourists but also for local people and companies wanting to do teambuilding like this. We applied for an award from the Italian investment agency for the best start-ups for wine tourism, and we won the prize for this, and that enabled us to get started.
What is your background?
Actually, we have a company that works on innovation in tourism. We develop systems and Apps for tourism, so basically, it’s innovation in tourism, and we are also founders of a tourism school in Piedmont. We believe we can work on tourism from different sides, because there are a lot of things to do in this area.
How has this show been for you?
We were running workshops, and in our opinion, it was a good way Vermouth demo to interact with people about these experiences. Many local tour operators have come, and it has been a good way to interact and show our local product and show the excellency from our area in an easy way. It’s not just about “OK this is this product, and you should taste it this way.” It is too boring that way. We aim to make things more attractive and fun.
Are you doing other products as well?
We actually are. At the moment, our activities are exploding in the different products we are working on. We have started with the typical chocolate from Torino and we have a format that applies to different tastings and so on. There are even sessions about perfume, or cooking which are very different. With cooking, some people love it and some people don’t like it. In every workshop, a lot of creativity is involved… that is very important. In this specific market, our focus is on making people aware of all the possibilities of tasting and learning about these products and our region.
What about your name?
We bought the domain name http://www.esperienza.com, because we wanted to open it up and to have a web portal of certified food and wine interactive experiences. We are now opening up to new experiences and new excellences to promote them, and it’s working.
Photo: Matteo Fornaca, Esperienza.com