Five Minutes With Port2Port’s Nicolò Pudel
Nicolò Pudel is the cofounder of Port2Port, one of SA’s top distributors of fine wine. He tells us a bit about his peripatetic and grape-filled life.
Finding the right wine can be a daunting task for even the most experienced oenophile, but for Port2Port co-founder Nicolò Stortiglione Pudel, it’s the search that drives his passion and business.
Pudel says wine for him personally is 'an endless lesson on the world, people and our intricate connection with nature'.
House and Leisure spent a few minutes with the Italian-born, Cape Town-based entrepreneur to get an inside look into his life and inspirational journey toward creating online wine marketplace Port2Port.
5 Minutes With Port2Port’s Nicolò Pudel
How would you describe the wine scene in Africa?
It's probably the most exciting it has been for the last 300 years, shifting the focus to premium producers, authentic wines that express sites and origin, and young talented winemakers. There’s a whole new international perception of South African fine wine.
What's the most common misconception about collecting wine?
People think good wine is value wine from well known varietals and established brands. But the reality is that good wine is wine that expresses its provenance, made by real people with authentic stories.
To those trying to put together a wine collection I would recommend establishing a good inventory system and make sure you don’t forget to open those bottles. Do not leave wines to age that do not require extended maturation — it’s the single most common mistake I see people making, and results in many disappointments.
WATCH AN EPISODE OF 'BETWEEN TWO BARRELS' HOSTED BY NICOLÒ STORTIGLIONE PUDEL
What's your favourite wine gadget?
My wine travelling case. I never leave without it and I come back with at least 12 wines from my trips.
What does the future of wine look like in South Africa?
The most exciting changes in the wine industry have been the numerous new independent producers and growing number of female winemakers who are putting South African wines on the map internationally. The future of wine is also definitely in the premium space. New generations are more informed, drink less and drink better. Information is widely available and consumers are looking for authentic and sustainable brands.
As someone who goes to a lot of these: what's the trick to a great dinner party?
A great dinner party starts at lunch, with Champagne.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is colourful. I come from a fabric-producing family, so I love colour and patterns.
What is the code you live by?
To be 100% honest and transparent – life is easier conducted that way – and to surround yourself with people you look up to.
What are you reading?
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
And listening to?
I’m currently listening to mainly podcasts: How I Built It, Entrepreneurs on Fire by JLD and Desert Island Discs.
Some highlights about living in South Africa?
A highlight about living in South Africa has been the spirit of entrepreneurship and the contagious positivity. A little bit more confidence and we can sit on the top of the (wine) world. My hidden gem in the city is Publik wine bar, and Noop Restaurant in Paarl, which has the best wine list in South Africa. I also think the best view in South Africa is from Roundstone, the Mullineux farm in the Swartland.
ALSO READ: Order At The (Publik Wine) Bar
Your perfect weekend at home?
My perfect weekend is spent in Paternoster, where we do lunch at Wolfgat (which was recently voted one of TIME Magazine’s Greatest Places for 2019) and then a braai with my wife and daughter, and business partners Aldo and Monica, and our dogs.
What's the dream after Port2Port?
After Port2Port I hope to own a winery in northern California and mentor young entrepreneurs in the technology sector.
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