Silvio Werner Denz (born 14 September 1956) is a Swiss businessman and art and wine collector. He is primarily known for his ventures in the hospitality and luxury industry. He is primarily known for acquiring Lalique in 2008.[1] In 2022, he acquired Florhof, a historic property in the old town of Zürich, together with Peter Spuhler. This will reopen as Villa Florhof, a Lalique hotel.[2][3] The Swiss business magazine Bilanz ranks him among the 300 wealthiest Swiss citizens and the 100 most important figures of the Swiss economy.[4]

Silvio Denz
Denz c. 2011
Silvio Werner Denz

(1956-09-14) 14 September 1956 (age 67)
Occupation(s)Businessman, art and wine collector
Known forLalique
PartnerTanja Wegmann (present)

Early life and education edit

Denz was born 14 September 1956 in Basel, Switzerland, to Werner Denz (1920-1997) and Doris Denz (née Steiger).[5][6] He has one brother and a sister. His father and uncle owned Alrodo Ltd., a perfume distribution company sold to French perfumery company Marionnaud in 2000.[7] Denz completed a commercial apprenticeship.

Career edit

Perfume, cosmetics and fine spirits edit

In 1980 Silvio Denz took over the management of Zurich-based Alrodo AG,[8] owned by his father and uncle. Initially, with eight employees, the company purchased perfumes and cosmetics for imported perfumery retailers. After acquiring all the equity in Alrodo in 1984, the company grew to be Switzerland's largest perfumery chain, with 120 branches. Between 1980 and 2000, the number of employees rose from 8 to 800. In 2000 Denz sold Alrodo to the French perfumery chain Marionnaud.[9] In the same year he founded Lalique Group (formerly known as Art & Fragrance), specializing in the creation, production and marketing of perfume and cosmetic brands such as Perfumes Alain Delon, Parfums Grès, Perfumes Lalique, Jaguar Fragrances, Bentley Fragrances, Ultrasun and most recently, fragrances for Brioni.[10][11] On 28 March 2019, Lalique Group completed the acquisition of 50% of Glenturret distillery,[12] one of Scotland's oldest working single malt whisky distilleries, further expanding its portfolio in the luxury goods market. In July 2022, Silvio Denz and entrepreneur Peter Spuhler acquired the Hotel Florhof in Zurich. After carefully renovating the Lalique style, this historical building will reopen its doors as ‘Villa Florhof’ in 2024.[13]

Luxury edit

Denz accumulated the world's largest private collection of vintage perfume bottles designed by René Lalique,[14][15] comprising over 650 original pieces.[16] In 2008 the company acquired the French crystal warehouse Lalique S.A. After being restructured, the group became profitable again, with branding focused on art, decorative items, interior design, jewelry, perfume and hospitality.[17] Co-branding projects were developed between Lalique and other luxury brands (including Bentley, The Macallan and Steinway & Sons). Collaborations were also signed with artists such as Zaha Hadid, Jean-Michel Jarre, Damien Hirst, and Elton John,[18] resulting in collections for the company. In 2011, the Lalique museum in Wingen-sur-Moder (Alsace) opened to display more than 650 pieces designed by René Lalique and his successors, including jewelry, crystal and decorative glass.[19] Denz loaned 230 pieces from his collection, mostly perfume bottles.[20] Denz also converted René Lalique's villa in Wingen-sur-Moder into a luxury hotel and restaurant, which opened in September 2015[21] and holds two Michelin stars. Chef Paul Stradner presides over the restaurant.[22]

Wine edit

In 1994 Denz, Franz Wermuth and five other partners, founded Les Grand Vins Wermuth S.A., now split into Denz Weine (distribution) and Wermuth Auktionen AG (auctions)[23] in Zurich. In 1998, acting with the same partners, he bought the Clos d'Agon[24] estate on the Costa Brava, which is overseen by the oenologist Peter Sisseck (Dominio Pingus). In 2020, Denz sold his stake in Clos d'Agon.[25]

In 2005, on the recommendation of his friend Count Stephan von Neipperg (Château Canon-la-Gaffelière and La Mondotte), Denz bought the Château Faugères estate, six kilometers east of Saint Emilion. Faugères, which has 30 employees,[26] comprises three vineyards: Château Faugères, Château Péby Faugères, both lying in the Saint-Emilion appellation, and Château Cap-de-Faugères in Côtes de Castillion. In 2010, he and Peter Sisseck took over the vineyard of Château Rocheyron in Saint-Emilion. The estates in Bordeaux cover a total of 120 hectares.[27]

The winery at Château Faugères was designed by the architect Mario Botta.[28][29] He describes his creation as a "cathedral of wine".[30] The wines are aged in oak barrels using modern technology coupled with traditional methods, such as gravity-filling.[31] In 2012, Château Faugères and Château Péby Faugères were awarded the status of Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Emilion. According to the wine critic Robert Parker, Château Péby Faugères today ranks among the finest Bordeaux wines.[32][33] In 2015, the influential Parker's Wine Buyer's Guide rated Château Péby Faugères Vintage 2005 100/100.[34] In February 2014, Denz acquired Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, one of the few Premiers Grands Crus Classés of 1855 and one of the oldest vineyards in Sauternes. In 2018, the luxury hotel and gourmet restaurant were inaugurated at the Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, today a member of the Relais & Châteaux collection and a 5-star hotel. Chef Jérôme Schilling and the restaurant Lalique were awarded the first Michelin star in 2019.[35]

On 17 September 2017, Denz was inducted as a Saint-Emilion Jurat.[36] The Jurade of Saint-Emilion currently consists of 127 Jurats and more than 3000 Saint-Emilion wine ambassadors worldwide. In October 2017, he was awarded a Special Jury Prize from Fond’Action Alsace[37] for his active involvement in the Alsace region. In the same month, he received the Guillon d’Or award[38] from a Vaudois wine brotherhood founded in 1954, commending his passion and performance in the world of wine.

The French wine magazine La Revue du Vin counted Denz among the 200 most important wine personalities of 2018[39] and the Swiss magazine Vinum named himamong the 25 most important wine personalities of 2022.[40]

Real Estate edit

In 2003 Denz entered the real estate business in London. Working with local partners, he buys, renovates, and then resells traditional town houses in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Kensington.[41]

Personal life edit

Denz has one son, born in 1988.[42] He holds dual citizenship of Switzerland and Italy.

Collector edit

Pictures edit

Denz collects works of art via his company Art & Trade.[43]

Wine edit

Denz has been buying vintage wines for over 30 years, mainly from Bordeaux. His private cellar contains more than 35,000 bottles.[44]

Crystal edit

His interest in perfume bottles dates from his time at Alrodo. Today, he is the owner of the world's largest private collection of bottles by the celebrated French glass artist René Lalique.[45][46]

Awards and memberships edit

Honorary Officer « Coteaux de Champagne » (October 7 2022);[47] Denz is "Commandeur de la Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc, des Graves, de Sauternes et de Barsac" (17 May 2019); Member of the Board of Directors Lindt & Sprüngli (2018);[48] Distinction "Les 200 personnalités du vin", La Revue du vin de France (2018),[49] Member "Chaîne des Rôtisseurs", Alsace (2018);[50] Saint-Emilion Jurat, The Jurade of Saint-Emilion 17 September (2017);[36] Special Jury Prize, Fond’Action Alsace (2017);[37] The Guillon d’Or award, Confrérie du Guillon (2017);[51] Member "Keepers of the Quaich", Scotland(2015);[52] Honorary member, Confrérie Saint-Etienne d'Alsace (2017);[53] Member "Club Prosper Montagne" (2016)[54]

References edit

  1. ^ Mun-Delsalle, Y.-Jean. "In Conversation With David Bolzan, Managing Director Of Vignobles Silvio Denz And First-Growth Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Revisited By Lalique". Forbes. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Silvio Denz and Peter Spuhler acquire Florhof a Zurich hotel steeped in tradition that will be run as Lalique hotel and restaurant Villa Florhof". 13 September 2023. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Lalique Group acquires historic Swiss hotel". Hospitality ON. Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Obituary of Werner Denz (1920-1997), NZZ
  6. ^ Christen, Walter (18 September 2014). "Münchwilen - Ahnenforscher auf den Spuren der Familie Denz". St. Galler Tagblatt (in German). Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Silvio Denz: Rastloser Schlossherr". Handelszeitung (in Swiss High German). Retrieved 29 September 2023.
  8. ^ Kolesnikov-Jessop Sonia (1 September 2014). "Covering the Skill Basics at Big Companies". International New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  9. ^ Carole Bellemare (21 October 2015). "Silvio Denz, l'esthète et épicurienqui redonne du lustre à Lalique". Le Figaro. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Lalique Group | French Luxury Holding".
  11. ^ Bilanz 31 May 2005; "Silvio Denz: Rastloser Schlossherr"; by Corinne Amacher
  12. ^ "Buy Rare Single Malt Highland Scotch Whisky Online". The Glenturret. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Media Releases | Lalique Group | French Luxury Holding".
  14. ^ Samantha Brooks (10 November 2010). "Crystal revelations". Robb Report. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  15. ^ Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop (3 January 2014). "The Collector: Silvio Denz and his Lalique Glass Menagerie". Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  16. ^ Watch Your Time, supplément Montres du Monde, page 15, 11 April 2014, Marie-Pierre Valli
  17. ^ Le Point, 1st January 2015, Marine de la Horie, „L’art et la matière“
  18. ^ Emily Adams (1 November 2015). "The Butterfly Effect". The Mayfair Magazine. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  19. ^ Eve M. Kahn (11 June 2011). "Suddenly, Lalique is back in Vogue". New York Times. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  20. ^ "The collections presented at the Musée Lalique". Musée Lalique. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  21. ^ Carol Lewis (16 October 2015). "Like the furniture? Then buy it". The Times. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Villa René Lalique | Hôtel & Restaurant". 7 August 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Les Grands Vins Wermuth SA, Weinhandel, Weinauktionen". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  24. ^ "Clos d'Agon". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Interview mit Silvio Denz". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  26. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  27. ^ Schweizerische Weinzeitung; Ausgabe 3 März 2012;"Silvio Denz: Unternehmer und leidenschaftlicher Sammler von Weingütern"
  28. ^ "mario botta architetto". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  29. ^ Sonntagszeitung; GenussTrend 18 October 2009
  30. ^ "Actualité à la Une". Le Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  31. ^ "cash TV vom 01.04.2012 - cash TV - TV - SRF Player - Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen". Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  32. ^ "The Independent Consumer's Guide to Fine Wine". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  33. ^ "Parker's Top 100 2005 Bordeaux Wines".
  34. ^ "Les 300 vins ayant obtenu la note de 100/100 par Robert Parker". Le blog de comptoir de millésimes. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  35. ^ "Willkommen".
  36. ^ a b "The Jurade of Saint-Emilion | Saint-Emilion Wines". Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  37. ^ a b "Les lauréats - Fond'action Alsace". Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  38. ^ "Guillon d'Or - CDC | Confrérie du Guillon - Les Vignobles et les Vins Vaudois". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  39. ^ "La Revue du vin de France". La Revue du vin de France. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  40. ^ "Silvio Denz "Perlensucher"".
  41. ^ Financial Times 1/2 August 2009; "Art and architecture are my passions"; by Rebecca Duke
  42. ^ "Corporate Governance | Lalique Group | French Luxury Holding". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  43. ^ [Handelszeitung/Special/Casa/Nr38/22–28 September 2010; "Schlossherr Silvio Denz"; Esther Bullmann][dead link]
  44. ^ "The Collector: Silvio Denz and his Lalique Glass Menagerie". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  45. ^ "cash TV vom 07.10.2012 - cash TV - TV - SRF Player - Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  46. ^ Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA) 2 July 2011; "Inauguration du Musée Lalique/Déja une référence"; by Jean Luc Will
  47. ^ "Un chapitre des vendanges placé sous le sceau du sacre de Louis XV à Reims pour l'ordre des coteaux de Champagne". 14 October 2022.
  48. ^ "Investors - Annual General Meeting".
  49. ^ "Les 200 personnalités du vin". La Revue du vin de France. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  50. ^ "Home - Chaine des Rotisseurs - Bailliage of France".
  51. ^ "Guillon d'Or - CDC | Confrérie du Guillon - les Vignobles et les Vins Vaudois".
  52. ^ "Keepers of the Quaich". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  53. ^ "Confrérie Saint Etienne". Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  54. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links edit