A passionate entrepreneur, a true managerial excellence of Made in Italy, Matteo Lunelli is CEO of Lunelli Group, which brings together prestigious brands of Italian drinking excellence. President and CEO of Ferrari Trento (leader in Italy for classic method bubbles), he has been awarded the title of “Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year” five times under his leadership. He is also President of Surgiva mineral water and Tassoni (famous for its iconic cedrata). In addition to Ferrari Trento, Surgiva and Tassoni, Lunelli Group includes Distilleria Segnana, Tenute Lunelli (which produces wines in Trentino, Tuscany and Umbria) and Bisol1542 (a reference brand in the world of Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene).
After graduating in Economics from Bocconi University, he followed a five-year international career path at Goldman Sachs International Investment Bank in the Zurich, New York and London offices before joining the family group.
A proud supporter of Made in Italy, since January 2020, he has held the position of President of Fondazione Altagamma. This prestigious organisation brings together the excellence of Italian entrepreneurship in the fashion, design, jewellery, food, hospitality, motor and nautical sectors. Altagamma’s mission is to contribute to the growth and competitiveness of the cultural and creative industry and to create synergies between Made in Italy brands. A great lover of art, from 2014 to 2019, he was Vice President of Mart, the museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto. Since 2020 he has been a member of the board of “Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation”.
After making Ferrari Trento the protagonist of the most prestigious events in the world of institutions, entertainment and sport, in 2021, with great passion and dedication, he succeeded in crowning his dream by putting Ferrari Trento on the Formula 1 podium, thus becoming the official toast of the most iconic celebration in sport.
“Commitment to bring Italian excellence to the world by tackling the growth path of a family business and rooted in the territory, with courage and constant commitment to the pursuit of quality and attention to detail, making the most of talents between tradition, innovation and sustainability”, he has been awarded with the title of EY ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2022’ Award.
We thus take Dr Lunelli’s attention to ask him a few questions:
Matteo Lunelli… Manager, Man of values and above all, Parent. How do you reconcile your busy schedule with your beloved family reality?
The role of an entrepreneur is wonderful, but it is often all-consuming and also requires sacrifices. My profession leads me to have many commitments and be on the road and away from home. However, I try to carve out time to be with my family on weekends and when I am in Trento during the week when I return from the office. I must also thank my wife Valentina, who has always followed the family with great dedication and allowed me to reconcile my work with my family, supporting me as best I could.
Lunelli S.p.A. is a reality that includes Ferrari, Surgiva, Segnana distillery and much more. What is the common denominator that makes them truly excellences?
The Lunelli Group today includes Ferrari Trento, Surgiva, Segnana, Tenute Lunelli, Bisol1542 and Tassoni, acquired in 2021. Our mission is to create a pole of excellence in Italian beverages that unites companies with a long tradition and is deeply rooted in their territory. The common denominator is the constant quest for excellence in every detail and stage of the creation process, storytelling, and promotion.
A distinguished past at the prestigious investment bank Goldman Sachs. How important was it for your managerial career?
My experience at Goldman Sachs was fundamental; I worked in an international and dynamic environment, with colleagues from all over the world, with different cultures and backgrounds, and people of extraordinary statures, such as Mario Draghi, whom I was lucky enough to meet at the time. During those years, I acquired some skills that have been very useful in my experience as an entrepreneur. Above all, I learnt a working method and the ability to manage complex situations.
Expert and art lover… aesthete par excellence. How is this great passion of yours reflected in your daily life but, above all, in your managerial processes?
All of us in Italy are lucky enough to live surrounded by art and beauty that nourish our creativity. I strongly support Made in Italy and what I like to identify as beautiful, good and well-made. In every bottle, in every Lunelli Group creation, as well as in every project we are involved in, we try to unite the beautiful and the good: taste and aesthetics, but also the good in a more ethical and value-oriented sense. In the Group, we have various art treasures. One of them is Villa Margon, a 16th-century mansion that is the Group’s headquarters and has recently undergone a renovation and enhancement plan of which we are very proud. But also the Carapace, a sculpture cellar designed by Maestro Arnaldo Pomodoro. As President of Fondazione Altagamma, I have the privilege of representing Italy’s highly creative and cultural industry and promoting activities to support and protect precisely that unique heritage that only our country possesses and that the whole world envies us.
Since 2020 you have been the President of Fondazione Altagamma; What are your developments and plans for the future?
In December, I was reconfirmed at the helm of the Foundation for another three years, years in which I intend to continue in the wake of the strategic guidelines already shared: Internationality, Contemporaneity and Sustainability for an upscale projected onto international markets, embracing digital and contemporaneity, and increasingly attentive to environmental protection and talent enhancement. There are more and more intersections and contaminations between the various sectors of the high-end range, and the Foundation’s transversality is in line with current trends. Brands are increasingly open to ‘collaborate to compete better’, which has always been the slogan and philosophy of Altagamma.
The wine world is seeing more competent and aggressive companies in such a sensitive and delicate sector. What strategies does Dr Lunelli apply to consolidate your market?
The growth strategy must first and foremost be based on solid values and a clear mission. Great wine is an expression of territory: it is fundamental to maintain authenticity and a strong respect for the territory itself. For us, this has also meant paying great attention to environmental and social sustainability. Two other important strategic directions are internationality and digitalisation: the great opportunity for growth lies beyond borders, and digital is an exceptional tool for communicating and promoting a brand in the world of wine.
Lunelli Group get into the “Olympus of sports” becoming with Ferrari Trento, the official “bubbles” of Formula 1. A great success for Lunelli group and for Made in Italy. How did this great achievement come about?
First and foremost, it was the fulfilment of a dream. We signed the agreement in 2020 at a very complex time full of uncertainty. Although not without some fear, we wanted to take up the challenge and bet on the future, convinced that a great opportunity could arise from a moment of crisis. And fortunately, things have turned out as we hoped, in fact, better than any of our wildest expectations: Formula 1 has given us enormous international visibility and the Ferrari Trento brand is benefiting greatly in terms of popularity and sales beyond our borders. Until 2021, the Formula 1 podium has always been the prerogative of Champagne, and to have succeeded in bringing an Italian bubbly to the most iconic podium in the world of sport fills us with pride.
We conclude this interesting interview with one last question: Which advice do you have for young managers who see in you the excellence in the international managerial firmament?
My main advice is to continue learning and investing in your education, always seek out your talent and follow your passion and dreams. Sometimes this also means being ready for change. Contrary to my initial expectations, which saw me projected towards a career in finance around the world, I became an entrepreneur at the head of a group based in Trento. The moment the opportunity presented itself, I followed my instincts and have never regretted it.
We want to thank Matteo Lunelli for the time he has dedicated to us and wish him a prosperous future full of great success.
Enjoy even more @ gruppolunelli.it
Article edit by Massimo Basile
Editorial DirectorAltagammaFerrari TrentoGruppo LunelliMade in ItalyManagerMatteo LunelliPortraitTenute Lunelli