Rui Abecassis

Director of Business Development, Wines & Olive Oil
Photo of Rui Abecassis - Business Development, Wines & Olive Oil

Excellence Seeker. Goodlife Ambassador.

Following an early adulthood of travel and adventure, Rui returned to his native Lisbon where he continues exploring his passions for voracious reading, art and architecture viewing, and the pursuit of the most perfect coffee, wine and olive oils. His tireless curiosity and meticulous eye for detail have positioned him perfectly as Portugal’s ambassador to America’s discovery of the beauty, subtlety and nuance of his home country.

Rui has worked in the Portuguese wine industry since 2005 when he was posted to the Portuguese Trade Commission in New York City, where he was responsible for the “Wines of Portugal” marketing efforts in the US. He then worked for Jose Maria da Fonseca with the U.S. partner Palm Bay International. In 2010, Rui launched OBRIGADO-Vinhos Portugal, marketing Portuguese wines to the American mainstream market. He soon merged his portfolio with Olé Imports to create Olé & Obrigado, where Rui became the Portugal-based partner, responsible for sourcing producer relationships such as Alvaro Castro, Luis Seabra and António and Joana Maçanita. In 2016, Rui launched Bare Foods, successfully marketing Bare Olive Oil across the US for several years. This breadth of experience positions him perfectly to be a cornerstone of the new NOW team, leading the charge on olive oils and Portuguese travel.

Rui is the quintessential ambassador and is often in the U.S. working with the sales teams and the distributor network, where he is known as “Mr. Portugal.” When not at work, Rui can most likely be found cycling, touring a new hotel, checking out a new restaurant, or choosing perfect produce for a home dinner party. Together with his wife, Margarita, cook extraordinaire, and their two young sons, Jaime and Vicente, home entertaining is an art and insight into his curation and creative excellence.

Photo of Rui Abecassis - Business Development, Wines & Olive Oil