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Santa Margherita began with a personal and passionate commitment to preserving the environment. We hold our entire organization to the highest levels of social responsibility and environmental sustainability while remaining committed to our Italian heritage.
Our approach to winemaking is eco-friendly, revolving around the use of natural products and growing processes that protect the health and well-being of the vineyards. One way we do this is by using copper and sulfur in our growing practices and compost made from pruned vegetation to feed the soil at our production center in Chianti Classico.
Most winemakers will tell you, the less manipulation of the grapes and vineyards, the higher the quality of wine produced. We agree, but we also welcome the use of gentle, non-invasive technology to improve production and efficiency. We apply organic land management practices that contribute to long-term environmental health.
Our computerized, in-ground irrigation systems reduce water evaporation and runoff, boosting efficiency. In Chianti Classico, our winemakers employ “extreme organic farming," eliminating the need for conventional chemical pesticides, and in Veneto, we hand-harvest 90% of our grapes to preserve freshness and their delicate flavors. Soon, we will be ready for our Global Organic Certification.
We are constantly investing in new resources and technologies that help deliver sustainable, high-quality vegan products. In an effort to be more conscious and aware of sustainable and responsible practices, we abandoned the use of animal by-products years ago. Instead, we use only vegan-friendly bentonite clay, along with yeast- and vegetable-derived products during filtration. To ensure we maintain these standards throughout our entire production process, we only work with vegan suppliers.
We only use energy derived from 100% renewable sources. Our winery in Portogruaro has 6,500 square feet of solar panels, making it completely self-powered. We produce 360,000-kilowatt hours of energy every year — the equivalent of burning approximately 145 tons of coal. This eliminates our CO2 emission output by 190 tons, a solid example of our commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. In fact, 10% of our overall production of Pinot Grigio (1.5 million bottles!) is certified carbon-neutral.
We are guided by the “Zero Kilometer” philosophy and its beneficial effects on our environment and society. We limit our environmental impact by reducing our carbon footprint, avoiding the use of products derived from fossil-fuel carbon whenever possible, reducing or eliminating long transportation routes, and keeping our operations and production local to our vineyards. This idea, which emerged from the Italian Slow Food movement, recognizes that producing agricultural products within local facilities (approx. 60 miles or less) creates less stress and impact on the physical environment, benefits the immediate community with economic and societal advantages, and respects and preserves regional traditions.
Our grapes are strategically grown in estate vineyards that surround our winery. Instead of sourcing wine bottles from outside companies, we create our own. In fact, up to 65% of our green glass is made of recycled material. What’s more, our glass production facility is so close to our fermentation cellars that they can share power resources. This reduces pollutants related to storage and transportation emissions. We’re as proud of these practices as we are of our wine.