The smell of fermenting must and wet concrete winery floors brings Alessandro Pasqua back to his childhood, when his great-uncle would have the six-year-old closing wine cartons on a Friday afternoon at the family winery near Verona. Young Alessandro did (briefly) consider contacting child protection services for putting a minor to work, but, on second thought, realized that he liked the job — and the money, too! Perhaps take Alessandro’s story with a grain of salt, but it does serve to illustrate his work ethic and sense of humor. The latter, a rarer trait, has successfully been used in the company’s innovative marketing campaigns.
Some 30 years on, Alessandro Pasqua still loves the work, now as a third-generation co-owner of Pasqua with his older brother Riccardo and their father Umberto. Alessandro’s official title is Vice President Americas, but that tells only a small part of the story. Certainly, his bailiwick is nurturing the U.S. market, which he does from New York City, where he moved to in 2014 to take over the job from his brother. Barely a month after Alessandro’s arrival, his brother returned to Italy to assume day-to-day management of the company. That short transition was “like jumping into the deep end of the swimming pool,” reminisces Alessandro — and the U.S. is one big, deep pool!
Alessandro’s initial taste of American culture was during his first year at university, on an exchange program with UCLA. At the time he was pursuing a degree in Business and Law at Bocconi University, Milan, where a three-to-four-month internship was a graduation requirement. Working for a company that financed new power plants and other renewable energy real estate projects, Alessandro learned how to draft a business plan and deepened his commitment to energy conservation along the way. Indeed, Pasqua’s new headquarters and winery in Italy were all built with the goal of minimizing the carbon footprint. A full-time job with Bain (2009 – 2014) followed.
Openness and adaptability are a constant with Alessandro, along with a passion for his Veneto home, and quick sense of humor. All are on display in Pasqua’s clever marketing campaigns. Whether partnering with a Veneto-born dancer or painter now living in New York City, tweaking the nose of the authorities with a wink-wink wine name, or alluding to sex and Roman poet Catullus on a bottle label, it’s all done with a knowing, light touch. Alessandro Pasqua has mastered the art of having “serious fun.” Like his father and brother, he is a savvy businessman — profits are up, without a growth in volume. He loves what he does with a passion, but is also sage enough to know that it is “just wine.” When not officially working, Alessandro can be found on the golf course and ski slopes.