Food & Drink Awards 2020 Page 11 LUX 2020 Food & Drink Awards sulfur to enhance growing practices and uses compost made from pruned vegetation to nourish the soil. Whilst in Veneto, 90% of grapes are harvested by hand so as to preserve their freshness and delicate flavors. The company is also driven by the ‘Zero Kilometer philosophy,’ a concept conceived by the Italian Slow Food movement, which limits the carbon footprint by avoiding, whenever possible, the use of products derived from fossil-fuel carbon, reducing or eliminating long transportation routes, and keeping operations and production local to vineyards. Today, all wineries use 100% clean energy, derived from renewable resources. Santa Margherita USA’s approach to the market embodies the group’s vision and that has been its foundation since its founding. This vision was working well and then 2020 began. Chiaramonte explains, “We knew early this year things were starting to change quickly. Having an Italian parent company and hearing what they were experiencing foreshadowed what we were about to start to be faced within the USA. Our business is really built on consumers enjoying wines together, with great food and great friends. Wine is a convivial product that would need to learn how best to survive in a world where conviviality as we know it is really different. Santa Margherita USA’s business and how many consumers enjoy our wines were about to be significantly different, and we knew we had to adapt our plans.” Santa Margherita USA quickly restructured their marketing and commercial initiatives to try to best address the marketplace through these difficult times, committing $250,000 in donations to national charities to help those in need. This social campaign, which garnered over 2.9 million impressions, was called ‘Uncork Your Extraordinary’, and was created in recognition of all the amazing things people around the globe were doing to make a positive contribution to the lives of others. The company donated to Meals on Wheels to help feed the elderly, to the National Restaurant Association Employee Relief Fund to assist restaurant employees, and Direct Relief to help supply medical supplies to community medical centers. Fundamentally, Santa Margherita USA is striving to give back to its communities. Chiaramonte explained, “Our communities, our distributor partners, our restauranteurs, and retailers are the substance behind all that we do, and we cannot wait for the day we can continue to enjoy food and wine together again safely.” After all, the passion for food and wine is what unites the Santa Margherita USA team, regardless of role or department. Every individual who works with the company loves telling the story of Santa Margherita and discussing all of the wines in their portfolio. “A big part of our culture is the storytelling. Our wineries have heritage, history, and provenance,” adds Chiaramonte, “and we take a lot of pride in sharing those stories.” As a family-owned organization, the Santa Margherita USA family works together and supports one another, facing every challenge and celebrating each success as a strong, single unit. This is something Chiaramonte proudly explains, “You need the right people. People who are passionate. They are the driving force behind any successful importer’s strategy. A team that cares. A team that takes the initiative to reach out to their customers, has credibility with customers, and ultimately creates camaraderie with their business partners will succeed.” In a wine industry that is as competitive and fragmented as the US market, it is Santa Margherita USA’s wines, people, and strong relationships that have set them apart. However, hard work and perseverance are also vital, but the company’s unwavering commitment to Count Gaetano Marzotto’s vision for sustainable and ethical wines will continue to see Santa Margherita USA thrive. Contact: Jane Scott Company: Santa Margherita USA Web Address: