After decades spent pioneering sustainable practices in the vineyards of northwest Italy, MARTINI, the world’s number one Italian sparkling wine and vermouth from family-owned Bacardi, is proud to announce that all its Asti grape suppliers are on track to being certified sustainable in 2021.
The timing could not be more perfect. As Bacardi celebrates this major sustainability milestone, it’s also celebrating 150 years since Martini & Rossi produced its first samples of ‘moscato spumante d’Asti’ to meet demand from customers around the world back in 1871.
The MARTINI Santo Stefano Belbo winery, located in the heart of the Asti region and responsible for producing 30% of all the grape ‘must’ (grape juice) for MARTINI Asti, was recently certified sustainable by Equalitas, the most comprehensive sustainability standard in Italian winemaking, following an audit by certification body Valoritalia. Of the remaining 70%, more than two-thirds of the grape must suppliers – cooperatives representing hundreds of small grape growers – have also been certified sustainable by Equalitas with the remainder on track to be certified this year.
Together with the recent announcement that the 10 botanicals used to create BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® will be certified sustainable in 2021, this news is another major step towards Bacardi achieving its 2025 goal of sourcing 100% of its key ingredients from sustainably certified suppliers.
It was back in 1987 that, in true pioneering style, MARTINI established a center dedicated to sustainable business practices called L’Osservatorio MARTINI – the MARTINI Observatory. Located in the heart of the region and led by a local agronomist expert in the cultivation of vineyards, L’Osservatorio MARTINI has introduced many sustainability practices to the region – from advising on natural ways to manage pests through to integrated viticulture, looking at the balance of what is grown in the microclimates of the Asti region.
“There is a deep connection between MARTINI, the land, and the people – it’s a solid foundation for making quality wine,” said Giorgio Castagnotti, Director of the MARTINI Operations Center in Pessione, Italy.“We have worked closely with the same farming communities growing the finest Moscato grapes in the same beautiful hills for generations – in fact for the last 150 years – and we want to continue to do so for generations to come. It’s always made sense then for us to support our grape growers through our sustainability initiatives.”
The steep, sun-drenched hills of Asti in the heart of the Piedmont region of Italy, are the ideal growing environment for the Moscato Bianco grape and have a DOCG designation, the highest quality level for Italian wines. Expertly harvested in late summer by more than 200 small growers – known collectively as the Conference – the grapes are pressed quickly to capture the desired natural flavors in the fresh juice called ‘must’. Through fermentation, this ‘mosto’ becomes the basis of MARTINI Asti’s delicate flavors including notes of peach, sweet wild sage, fresh pear, and pineapple.
Stefano Stefanucci, Director of Equalitas, said: “This is a big achievement for MARTINI. Equalitas only works with third-party auditors who are experts with a deep knowledge of the wine sector and the certification process is wholly holistic. Equalitas embraces three sustainability pillars – environmental, ethical and economical – and takes into consideration everything from a winery’s carbon footprint and water consumption through to fair commercial terms for farmers and good social practices including training and welfare.”
Victoria Morris, Global VP MARTINI, added: “Being a family-owned company genuinely makes a difference to the way Bacardi approaches sustainability. We are committed to doing the right thing for the environment, for our suppliers, and for their communities for the long term. I am incredibly proud of Giorgio and his team. They are masters of their craft and have reached a new milestone in the long history of MARTINI. It’s the perfect way to toast 150 years of MARTINI Asti!”