The Proust Q&A: Ermenegildo Giusti

Having developed a successful construction business in Canada, Italian-born Ermenegildo Giusti founded Giusti wine in 2002 when he revitalised old vineyards belonging to his wife’s family. Today there are 12 estates in the Giusti portfolio covering 100 hectares in Treviso, producing Prosecco, Amarone and other red, white and sweet wines from the Veneto. Top wine, Umberto I, is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Petit Verdot from Montello in Treviso aged for 36 months in French oak. Named after his grandfather, Giusti is keen for the wine to be known as one of Italy’s great reds.

Ermenegildo Giusti with actress Sharon Stone

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

When you achieve the goal that you set for yourself then continue to raise the bar higher and higher and get there.

What is your greatest fear? 

To fail and let people down around me.

Which living person do you most admire?

When he was alive was Nelson Mandela, for dedicating his life to a cause that was dear to his heart. Today it’s Donald Trump for his dedication, tenacity and never giving up.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I love collecting nice watches.

What is your current state of mind? 

Happy – I’m completing the season and pouring all my wine into barrels to sleep for the winter.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

What I most prefer in a woman is her intelligence – appearance comes last.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?

My family and my business, that’s what makes me the happiest.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“We must try harder”.

When and where were you happiest?

With my grandchildren and family walking around in my vineyards in Italy, especially at the Abazia estate.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

Nothing, I’m very happy the way I am. I was blessed by God.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Definitely my family.

Where would you most like to live?

I’m italian, I love Italy, but I love Canada just as much. Canada adopted me, so either of those two countries.

What is your most treasured possession?

My children and grandchildren are the joy of my life.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Sharp, with a smile.

Who is your favourite writer?

Giovanni Comisso, a writer from my homeland and keen observer of the changes in Italian society from World War I to the “Dolce Vita”. I am honored to be a sponsor of the literary prize dedicated to him in Italy.

What is it that you most dislike?

Liars and dishonest people who they’ll do something but never do it.

What is your greatest regret? 

As Edith Piaf sang, I regret nothing. But if I had one wish, it would be to have been born in Canada to the same parents.

What is your motto?

Never give up. Keep moving, challenges are part of success.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve?

I’d invite three Americans: Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Sharon Stone. Sharon is a woman of great charisma and commitment; we’re planning projects for refugees in the Middle East.

I’d serve them Asolo Prosecco Superiore Giusti Brut Docg, Amarone Giusti for Sharon Stone and then, to please the boys, Umberto I Giusti.

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