Meet Quigley Fine Wine’s General Manager, Lucas Lanci!
Quigley Fine Wines is excited to introduced Lucas Lanci as our General Manager! With his expertise in the wine industry (and with his passion for wine and food), Lucas is the perfect fit for QFW.
To get to know Lucas (and hear some of his perspectives on wine and the wine industry), the QFW Blog has conducted a Q&A with Lucas. Thanks for taking the time to share some of your knowledge and experiences with us, Lucas! And welcome to the QFW team.
A Q&A with Quigley Fine Wine’s General Manager, Lucas Lanci
Q: Can you please provide a brief background of your industry experience?
A: I was born and raised in San Diego. I gained an interest in food and wine at a very young age while watching my Italian grandmother make homemade gnocchi and one of my favorite dishes, pasta e ceci.
Realizing I wanted to learn more about the food and wine industry, I went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (majoring in International Business and minoring in viticulture). In my fourth year (again realizing I wanted to learn even more about sustainable food systems, sustainable vine management, and food cultures), I hopped over to the region of Piemonte, Italy to complete my masters at the wonderful University of Gastronomic Sciences in Food. My master’s focused on culture and communications with an emphasis on food, place, and identity. During that time, I was able to work directly with amazing wineries and farms furthering my understanding of sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
From there, I moved to New York City for 5.5 years. I worked at Eataly as a buyer, managed a natural wine focused wine store in lower Manhattan, and started my own business importing olive oil from my relatives. Throughout this whole time, I would always travel to Italy in the fall for the wine harvest, making natural wine at three wineries and making high quality olive oil the past 7 years. Working in multiple harvests is the best experience I could have asked for to truly understand the farming aspect of making wine.
I then moved back to Italy after accepting a job as a professor for Florida State University teaching classes on food culture, wine, and hospitality.
Q: What made you decide to work in the world of wine?
A: I find the world of wine to be extremely interesting because of its good balance of hospitality and farm work. I love working in retail and also making wine and hand harvesting grapes. There is so much history involved with wine from all over the world that I can continue to study about the world of wine for the rest of my life without getting bored.
Q: How did you come to work for Quigley?
A: I moved back to San Diego in April and was doing some research on the wine scene here and found out about Quigley Fine Wines. I immediately introduced myself and the rest, they say, is history.
Q: What’s your go-to wine for a get-together?
A: Good question, and I will answer with two wines: Lammidia Anfora Bianco (Abruzzo forever!) and one of Quigley’s big sellers, Il Valentiano Campaperi Rosso di Montalcino.
Q: Tell us a fond memory you have with wine.
A: After finishing the harvest near Lago di Bolsena, Italy (after a tough and grueling month of harvesting and cellar work), we cooked a wild boar on a spit outside over an open fire for hours upon hours––while drinking some fantastic wine from the previous year, eating some of the best raw goats milk cheese produced locally, and feeling absolutely great about life, friends, family, and wine!
Q: What’s a wine or region that you think is underrated?
A: Abruzzo forever! (Although it seems the cat is out of the bag…if you know, you know.)
Q: What’s one thing people get wrong about wine?
A: Try all of the varietals! Look at wine as how you would like to order a beer. Try something new and more often than not, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Q: What is something you think will change about the world of wine in the next few years?
A: Wine is becoming more democratized and available to everyone. The days are over of wine being some “members only” club that looks down upon newcomers. Also, if the grapes aren’t grown organically (or even better, biodynamically) . . . it’s going to be tough for wine drinkers to justify buying that bottle.
Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Lucas! And thank you for contributing to the welcoming environment we foster at Quigley. We are fortunate to have you on our team.
Come visit our tasting room to meet Lucas and enjoy some of his wine recommendations!