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Interview, Part 2: Santa Margherita USA CEO Vincent Chiaramonte

December 21, 2021

In the second part of our interview, Santa Margherita USA chief executive Vincent Chiaramonte discusses opportunities across the importer’s portfolio, which in addition to its namesake label includes Italian wines Torresella, Kettmeir, Ca’ del Bosco, Cà Maiol, Feudo Zirtari, Lamole di Lamole, Tenuta Sassoregale, Cantina Mesa, and Masi.

SND: In addition to Santa Margherita itself, how are the other wines in the U.S. portfolio progressing?

Chiaramonte: As the marketplace reopened in 2021, we’ve seen double-digit growth across our entire portfolio. Of course, the estate and smaller brands were most affected by the closures and the restrictions impacting the on-premise. Ca’ del Bosco, our Franciacorta, will have its best year ever in 2021. Our biggest challenge will be demand outpacing supply, which is always a good problem to have. We introduced Torresella Prosecco Rosé this past year, which both the trade and the consumer have embraced. We’re continuing to focus on Vermentino and Lugana with Sassoregale and Cà Maiol. And Lamole di Lamole, our Tuscan property, has received some excellent ratings and is well-loved by restaurateurs. Masi, which we started to import in April 2020—how’s that for timing?—has also enjoyed great growth, particularly on Costasera Amarone, an iconic wine.

SND: Which of the estates are best positioned looking ahead?

Chiaramonte: If I had a crystal ball to say which property will have the most growth potential, I would, but our job as the importer for all of them is to ensure we find the right accounts to build upon year over year. The wineries we work with have long-term visions committed to quality wines made to fit consumers’ taste profiles. We firmly believe our portfolio represents the best opportunities for both established regions as well as those that are up and coming.

SND: As you mark the 60-year anniversary of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, what does the future hold for the company from a big-picture perspective?

Chiaramonte: As the U.S. importer, we work alongside our parent company, Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo, to ensure a consistent dialogue and awareness of changes and trends in the marketplace. It’s of the utmost importance that we evaluate those trends while holding true to our founder’s vision—a respect for the land, the products that come from the land, and the people. We know that technology is now a bigger part of the future in a more significant and accelerated way. It makes the world smaller and closer, and we’ve gotten better and continue to do so as we adapt to this new way of working. We remain focused on sustainability and ensuring that we do our best to impact the environment positively—we’ve been committed to that as an organization since 1935. It remains a vital part of how we manage our business today. We know that the U.S. marketplace has enjoyed growth on the premium-priced tier of wine overall, and we see that continuing moving forward.

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