We are in Paestum where 3000 years ago the Greeks arrived to bring their culture because they thought that this was a magical place.
Welcome to the third episode of “L’Azienda Agricola San Salvatore 1988” in the Series “On The Road Edition” hosted by Stevie Kim. In this episode Giuseppe Pagano will talk about his experience about winemaker, hotelier, restaurateur, and hospitality specialist 360°. This episode is also available on our youtube channel Mamma Jumbo Shrimp with subtitles. And don’t miss the last episode next Saturday!
Stevie: Ok, welcome to Italian Wine Podcast. We spent the past couple of days with Giuseppe Pagano and of course he is owner of San Salvatore winery but there are a lot of aspects about Mister Pagano that I would like for the audience to understand. Because San Salvatore is, actually, about Giuseppe Pagano and his dreams and in order for you to fully understand where he is today, I believe you have to understand the man so as the hotelier, the hospitality side, how he has come to San Salvatore from this other life experiences. But today I like to ask him a little bit more of course where we are, in Paestum, he owns a couple of hotels here directly where we are. We are right now in this really lovely place called Savoy Beach Hotel. And this is where they host also Tre Olivi, the two stars Michelin restaurant which we had the great pleasure of experiencing and dining yesterday. Ok? All right. So. Hi Giuseppe, Good morning!
Giuseppe Pagano: Thank you, good morning to you!
Stevie: Where are we? Where is this place that looks like Miami but isn’t Miami?
Giuseppe Pagano: But, we are in Paestum where 3000 years ago the Greeks arrived to bring their culture because they thought that this was a magical place. A magical place because it was rich in so many things, for very fertile land, for abundant water, for being able to cultivate, for building materials, and these materials were so good that they made these temples still remain almost intact to this day.
Stevie: So, Giuseppe Pagano, the man, born first, let’s say hotelier or winemaker first?
Giuseppe Pagano: I say winemaker first, because my grandfather and my father were already winemakers on Vesuvius, many years ago. Then dad married mom and then they moved here to Paestum, after a few years in Boscoreale, Pompeii. We continued to make wine until ‘74, then we stopped because dad had health problems and at that point we went in the direction of tourism. I became a hotelier when I was 23 years old, in 1978, we are still doing it now. However, since 2004 I have been occupying myself with agriculture; vineyards, buffalo breeding and wines at the San Salvatore winery. But San Salvatore winery also makes yoghurt, buffalo mozzarella, and also pastry. We had the chance, the possibility to put in the field all the peculiarities, the richness of our land by transforming them and making sure these products could directly reach the public without intermediation. We carry on a discourse of territory, quality, a discourse of ethics.
Stevie: In a way it’s all circular, because you do both the hospitality part, but 360 degrees. Now you had this fabulous restaurant, with two Michelin stars, no small feat, you also have the pantry…and what are the names of your hotels. First of all, where are they?
Giuseppe Pagano: The first hotel we were able to manage was the Esplanade hotel, which became the Esplanade boutique hotel.
Stevie: Which is right next door.
Giuseppe Pagano: It is practically attached to the Savoy Beach Hotel, which we built from scratch and opened in 2001. It has been operating for twenty years now, working very well, great…and where we have always put, as in all the things we do, the concept of quality, attention to detail, always looking for excellence. Only today, we have received this award of two Michelin stars and I say with great honesty, we did not imagine that …
Stevie: You weren’t expecting it.
Giuseppe Pagano: We expected one star, not two, because we worked for that. Of course now we feel even more the weight of the attention we have attracted from the world of food and wine and therefore we are aware that we have to work even harder, with more determination to prove that we have deserved these two stars. But we are not stopping at Michelin stars, we are continuing to improve the offer of tourism, of Savoy Beach Hotel flanked, if not preceded even by my son because he is the one who is now interested in hotels, his name is Salvatore like his grandfather; therefore, the name of the winery is San Salvatore. We have banquet halls up to 900 people…
Stevie: Wow! But at the Esplanade?
Giuseppe Pagano: At the Savoy. At the Esplanade we have banquet halls for up to 400 people in one solution, but I was saying, we are increasing the quality tourist offer in the renovation of the rooms but also in a new spa. In a really nice spa, about 700 square meters…
Stevie: At the Savoy?
Giuseppe Pagano: At the Savoy.
Stevie: But Esplanade, which is right next to the Savoy, don’t you compete with each other? Isn’t there cannibalization of clientele, of market?
Giuseppe Pagano: This was a little bit of a fear that we always had from the beginning, but we calibrated an offer, we brought out the two great peculiarities of the two structures. The Esplanade is small and intimate, while the Savoy is large and imposing. In fact, it’s no coincidence that the Esplanade, I was telling you, the Esplanade hotel has become boutique hotel Esplanade and the Savoy has become a luxury hotel, where this restaurant now makes it clear where it wants to go, what it wants to offer, but this spa will still make the difference. We are however in a tourist area, Paestum is considered an area of archaeological interest and also a sea area. We are on the sea with a sandy beach, very interesting for families, but also for the little ones, for children. And we have a lido, not far from here, which is called Beach Club 93, and by distant I mean 500 meters. Because between the hotels and the sea there is a pine grove, and this distance has given us an extraordinary green lung.
Stevie: But this…Because I really feel like I’m in Miami, how did this setting come about? Because Esplanade also has that aspect here.
Giuseppe Pagano: You have to know that when we started working here, we had to organize ourselves because there was no topsoil here, but it was all sand.
Giuseppe Pagano: So, in order to build a garden, to plant a garden in the sand, we transported some vegetable soil, but it was always limited; therefore, we went in the direction of being able to use plants that would adapt well to this type of soil. We tried to get plants that could live well in this type of soil….
Stevie: And these palm trees too, right?
Giuseppe Pagano: Yes.
Stevie: It’s a good thing we don’t have Scienza here, otherwise he would go on for hours and hours and hours talking….
Giuseppe Pagano: …of plants and palms!
Stevie: Ok, so I think we can close now, for this episode with Giuseppe Pagano owner of San Salvatore winery, who is also a hotelier, restaurateur, and hospitality specialist 360°. So, and then we will be going tour la Dispensa, which is another very, very interesting hospitality unit, I would say and it focused on the local food and local culture. Okay.