Vincenzo Poerio is undoubtedly one of the main protagonists of the Italian nautical industry. Formerly, Tankoa shipyard’s CEO – specialized in the construction of mega yachts – he has launched some of the most iconic jewels of the sea that currently sail on every ocean in the world. But above all, his greatest achievement is transferring his great experience, in terms of quality and passion for work, to the realization of another ambitious dream. This time not on the sea, but on the terraces of the Tuscan hills.
“I wanted to build a place to live and work the land, produce wine, oil, and other products of the countryside,” recalls the former CEO of Benetti Yachts. “A project born from the encounter of four visionary friends, which took shape in Sarteano, in the province of Siena, in the rolling hills of Val di Chiana.”
Here, in a carefully restored old farmhouse, surrounded by ancient Sangiovese vines, which produce the prestigious Chianti Riserva Bludivigna blossoms, the Poerio family has created the Poggio Mori farm. A dream come true. Immediately followed by yet another that is coming to life: producing high-quality and also organic wines. Thus, alongside the ancient rows of Sangiovese, the manager of nautical creations and design introduced Bordeaux vines, in the name of sustainability and commitment to the environment. From sea to land. From water to wine. Each stage of Vincenzo Poerio’s career has always been built following a single main path: total attention to detail and almost maniacal care for aspects related to aesthetics and luxury.
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury You are considered a top manager of Italian boating, how was your passion for the sea and boats born?
I am Neapolitan, and therefore the sea has always been part of my life. Boats have been my great passion since I was a child. I attended the Nautical Technical Institute with the dream of becoming a captain, although then I continued my studies by graduating in mechanical engineering and becoming a naval researcher. After several working experiences in the construction of large boats, I went on to build them myself in 1993. I took the historic Benetti brand back into my hands, revaluing it on the market and bringing it close to one billion euros in turnover.
You specialize in 30-meter plus megayachts, who can buy these boats?
Obviously, the buyers are people who have almost unlimited wealth. We are referring to a few thousand people around the world, or at most a few tens of thousands. Some are in Europe and America; most are in Asia and the Middle East. For these ultra-wealthy buyers, contracts range from 25-30 million to over 400 million euros. The largest yacht I built was 180 meters, basically like two football fields.
From boats to clothes, to furnishings, your extreme attention to luxury is known. What definition would you give of this word?.
There are products where wealth must be apparent and conveyed through every detail. It is this quest for absolute perfection that distinguishes a luxury product from anything else. However – unlike real estate – the biggest problem on boats is resolving the conflict that arises by trying to make this luxury coexist with technology, in a space that is still limited, even within dimensions ranging from 200 square meters to over three thousand. It is a challenge that only the best architects can solve. The interiors of these boats are among the most beautiful you can imagine because a yacht of a certain size is the most expensive luxury asset in the world.
Is the Italian style still victorious when we talk about these jewels of the sea?.
Italian style is always victorious in the world. Unfortunately, unlike what the French do, for example, we hardly manage to team up to enhance our brands abroad as they deserve. This penalizes us greatly, especially in the eastern and emerging markets. I travel abroad a lot and I can say that according to the general public, Italy is still the richest place in charm in the world, the country of beauty and goodness.
You expressed satisfaction with the establishment of a Ministry of the Sea. Why? What are your expectations of this institution?
It was important to emphasize the protection of the sea, including its economy. The hope is that this Ministry can interpret not only the business of maritime transport, shipping, port, and pleasure boating, but also aquaculture, marine biology, and everything that concerns the activities of our Mediterranean. Much has been done in terms of sustainability, but much still remains to be done. If once, the only thing that counted for companies was profit, today we can say that the real turning point will come when we can find a perfect balance between these three factors: economic, social, and environmental, which will need to coexist perfectly symbiotically.
From sea to land, your Poggio Mori farm is an excellence of the Tuscan hills. Where does your passion for wine come from?
It is a passion inherited from my father, who traded wines. However, only when I moved to Tuscany did I decide that it would also become a job. Hence the idea of buying and restoring an old farmhouse surrounded by over forty-year-old vineyards. A dream that has come true thanks to some visionary friends like myself …
How do you produce good wine?
With the same attention to detail required when producing a luxury 40-meter yacht. Because even if the product changes, the recipe for excellence remains the same …
This article has been reprinted from Homes & Estates Italy magazine.