Interview in Uncò Mag with the Maker of d’UVA
Uncò Mag, an online magazine that interviews entrepreneurs with the scope of discovering a link between one person with a vision and the next with a dream, interviewed Enrico Di Martino about d’UVA. Find the original version in Italian by Maria Sole Farinelli here.
“There are two or three truly important things in life, and your mother teaches them to you when you’re young.”
Enrico Di Martino has rediscovered the nectar of grapes and adapted it to our modern tastes. With his passion and indefatigable research, he has created a beverage that is in constant development: d’UVA.
Enrico, what is d’UVA?
In theory, it’s simply a grape juice. In reality, we’ve found a way to appreciate the nectar of a marvelous fruit that has always been tied to the history of man and western civilization. Our product is different than any other for reasons of technique, quality, care, and nutritional properties..
When did your project begin?
By now it’s been several years. I returned from a trip to England in 2009 with the idea of making something similar to smoothies.
I had already been working with grapes, because I make natural wines without sulfates at Cascina Belmonte. So I proposed fresh grape juice and the results were immediately encouraging. The problem was understanding how to stop the natural fermentation it wants to undergo without losing characteristics of the fruit itself. There had never been a solution that achieves this without adding some chemical.
Who else works on this project?
I remember that in the very beginning, my mother gave me a hand in producing the juice. We finished at three in the morning and it was then I decided to search for collaborators. You could say that had it not been for a meeting between myself and two friends, Davide and Andrea Garbin, d’UVA wouldn’t exist. Davide is a brilliant chef and Andrea a fantastic guy. With their help, inspired only by my dream and our friendship, we took the first steps, the first tastes, the first recipes. As time passed, the workload increased and everyone had to dedicate themselves to just their projects. Fortunately, I met Wilma Zanaglio, a known blogger in the wine world and avant-garde restaurateur in Brescia. Now the team is made up of myself, Wilma, and my brother Mario. Claudio Amadei is our graphic guru and brand image creator, while Diana Zahuranec works on the blog.
Where did you acquire the experience and knowledge to do this project?
Yesterday I read a quote by Enzo Biagi: “There are two or three truly important things in life, and your mother teaches them to you when you’re young.” In my case, I believe I learned the value of hard work from my mother, beyond brushing my teeth after eating, of course. But I also studied Agrculture in Padova, Ecology of Agriculture in Denmark, Environmental Management Systems in Brescia, and now I’m finishing up a Master in Food Management. This is the so-called permanent educational training, but I always like to grow. On Sundays when I can, I often close myself up in a study room.
Instead, Wilma takes care of developing new flavors and improving the old. She has a lot of experience in pairing and tasting, developed from years of working in restaurants and high level tastings, and she has the gift of a finely-tuned nose and palate.
How was your project developed?
You could say that we all threw ourselves into this adventure, armed with friendship and faith in the future. And thanks also to several business angels that lent us structures and tools, the few funds that I could transfer from managing a vineyard have been sufficient. It was fundamental to find professionals that were able to help us develop the technology and processing of our product, as well as suppliers that have continued to support us and our small, complicated needs.
Have you always believed in this project?
Yes. Probably more than any other thing I’ve done. We have all dedicated lots of resources and energy.
Have you had moments of discomfort along the way?
Every time I look at the earnings; but the incredible response we’ve had from consumers has sustained us. It’s not much, but it’s fantastic, because they’ve understood the product and promote it with passion. For us, our clients are all very important, whether they’re big or small. In addition, I never imagined having the chance to interact with big, historical, and well-known structures, but several have been giving us further satisfaction and faith in the future.
Enrico, do you have new projects for the future?
This year, we began a new project. It was financed in part by a rural development plan, and involves the Universities of Bologna and Padova as well as a research center in Brescia. The goal is to improve the processes for making d’UVA, certify the nutritional value of the product, find more environmentally-friendly bottle material, and study a broad range of high nutritional values that will stand next to d’UVA.
Translated by: Diana Zahuranec