Felix Jermann: wine world post-Coronavirus
Alojz Felix Jermann is the young face of Jermann wines, the most famous winery in Friuli led by his father Silvio and his brother Michele. He has always traveled a lot, bringing the image and value of the family's wines around the world. We met him in Mexico City, on the during the Gambero Rosso event. During a conversation, he told is he ready for negotiating his own path, obviously remaining in the world of wine.
What is the percentage of exports out of the company total?
It is 35%. I must say that Italy remains the first market, in recent years it has grown a lot, starting from Milan and Rome, followed by Puglia and Sicily.
Where are sales best and where are they the worse. And why?
Germany is number one for us, our prime international market, there are several importers who do a great job. We are strong in the United States too, but my father has always wanted to diversify rather than focus on a single market. Of course Pinot Grigio in the USA sells easily, as does "w dreams".
Do you have a dedicated export manager, how are you set up in that respect?
We are set up according to priorities, my father has travel in his DNA, my brother Michele does too, then we have a person following orders. Few men on the field, but our basis is the quality of the wines, the most important presence. It's a pleasure to take them abroad.
Felix, how do you see the world of wine post-Coronavirus?
First of all, with this virus I immediately singled out the loyal people or not, in these conditions human relationships are and will be increasingly important. In our cellar, we are very active on zoom and on social media to keep the image of our region high. Abroad online sales are for the most part medium-low range wines but I am sure that quality wine, for the companies that have worked on the brand, will never have problems. We will suffer now like in 2008 when everyone canceled our orders. It seemed the end of the world, it was not and it isn't this time either. We will recover soon. Those playing the price and quantity card will struggle, good wine improves and repays over time.
Can you share a particular anecdote related to your experiences abroad?
Well, I have got to see how strong passions are in our sector. Wine brings us all together, we are an extended family, we find peace: it's a product that brings with it a lot of wisdom. The first time I was in Japan I was squeamish about eating raw fish, but it seemed bad manners to refuse. I forced myself and now I am a great lover of raw foods and their culture. I started offering Pinot Grigio and sushi, pizza or Mexican food pairing around the world. If you want to bring our wines around the world, you need to have respect, know and study the cuisines, think about what flavours we can associate our wines with. In this way I approached many people that I would never have met and now I have friends all over the world. Above all I keep an open and flexible mind. Yes, I'm ready for a new challenge!