Time-Honored MARTINI Asti Traditions Yield Sustainable Business Practices for Centuries to ComeBy Bacardi Limited, PRNE
Monday, December 6, 2010
Birds nests, recycled grape skins, renewable energy, grower assistance center are all part of MARTINI sustainability commitment
SANTO STEFANO BELBO, Italy, December 7, 2010 - MARTINI Asti, the world's favorite Italian sparkling wine, sustains a
nearly 150-year-old business through innovation and a passion for keeping
Italian traditions alive.
To view the multimedia assets associated with this news release, please
On the steep hills in the heart of the Asti region of Northwest Italy,
400 family vineyards grow the distinctly sweet moscato grapes — the only
grape selected for MARTINI Asti-Italian Sparkling Wine. The moscato grape,
which has the honor of being known as the oldest domesticated grape variety,
is floral and fruitful, providing the delicious fresh taste of MARTINI Asti.
All moscato grapes for MARTINI are handpicked, as they have been for
generations. The steep hillsides are a difficult place to grow vines.
However, the unique climate is perfect for cultivating the sweet moscato
Commitment to sustainability
To ensure this time-honored Italian tradition of family vineyards growing
grapes continues, MARTINI established a center in 1987 dedicated to
sustainable business practices called L'Osservatorio (Martini & Rossi
Observatory) next to the vineyards to assist all grape growers in the area.
The L'Osservatorio has pioneered many sustainability practices in the region.
The L'Osservatorio is lead by Professor Edoardo Monticelli, associate to
Institute of Vegetal Virology at the University of Turin (Universita degli
Studi di Torino, or often abbreviated to UNITO). Dr. Monticelli is an expert
with a specialty in viticulture - the cultivation of vineyards.
L'Osservatorio hosts regular meetings for growers on sustainability, natural
ways to manage pests, the weather, climate and other insights about upcoming
harvests and pioneered an in-depth study on the more than 300 soil types in
the region and started the concept of integrated viticulture - looking at the
balance of what is grown in the microclimates of the Asti region.
"Every vineyard is different and every year is different. One may need
help with the weather, another with the soil. We work to help them produce
the best quality grapes and sustain the Italian and MARTINI heritages of fine
winemaking," said Dr. Monticelli.
The professor is keen about respecting the beautiful Italian countryside
and the tradition of great winemaking by using as many natural techniques as
possible. He developed the practice and installs custom bird houses in the
vineyards for the families to attract indigenous birds of the Blue Tit, Great
Tit, Redstart, Serin, Green Finch, Spotted Flycatcher, Hoopoe, Sparrow, Tree
Sparrow and Gold Finch families to nest and eat insects which could challenge
the vines. Since this program began in 1998, farmers have noticed increased
numbers of birds living in the vineyards.
He also works with growers on experimental vineyards, to cultivate
100-year-old vines on very steep hills. Without proper cultivation
techniques, the vineyards could die out due to the challenging terrain and
age of the vines. Professor Monticelli believes that reviving these old
strains could bring heartier, more resistant vines in today's environment as
their top quality grapes create an exceptional quality sparkling wine for the
consumer. MARTINI Asti has continuously been awarded the highest quality
rating given by the Italian government, the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine
Controllata e Garantita).
Just picked moscato grapes for MARTINI Asti are carefully selected and go
directly to processing close by in Santo Stephano Belbo to ensure its fresh
aromatic taste. Innovation doesn't stop in the vineyards. The Martini
company, with its nearly 150-year history of being one of the world's leading
wine and vermouth producers, always works for sustainability.
Since January, nearly all of the energy consumed at the facility comes
from renewable sources such as water. This use of hydro electrical energy has
lead to a 50 percent cut in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the past ten
months alone. MARTINI also started a water savings program which has led to a
4.3 percent reduction in water usage over the past year.
In addition, nearly 100 percent of materials left-over from the
production process are recycled - including packaging, glass, wood, plastic,
steel and even the grape skins. Some of the grape skins are distilled into
grappa, while others are burned for energy use.
"We are really proud to be the world's leading Asti Spumante. We are
committed to quality while at the same time are protecting the environment -
two areas we are striving for simultaneously. But the most important thing is
passion, as we say here in Italy, Gioa de Vivere - the joy of living," said
Giorgio Castagnotti, operations director at Martini & Rossi Italy.
That Italian "joy of living" comes to life when a cork is popped off
MARTINI Asti. Perfect alone, or in cocktails like Bellinis and Mimosas. And
while holiday time draws most consumers, more and more are discovering
MARTINI Asti for every day celebrations, enjoying the fresh, fruitful and
floral taste in a light sparkling wine to experience the Italian lifestyle.
The Martini & Rossi group, including MARTINI vermouths, Asti, Prosecco,
sparkling Rose and other wine-based products, was acquired into the Bacardi
Limited portfolio in 1992.
One of the most iconic brands in the world, MARTINI is the leading name
in Italian winemaking and a purveyor of the highest quality wines, with
MARTINI Asti, the number one-selling imported sparkling wine in the United
States, and MARTINI vermouth, the number one-selling vermouth brand in the
world. Since its founding in 1863, the Martini company has fostered a
pioneering spirit to develop unique products that represent the very best in
Italian quality and style. For additional information on MARTINI, please
visit www.martini.com. For information on L'Osservatorio, visit
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in
the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally-recognized
spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than
200 brands and labels, including some of the world's favorite and best-known
products: BACARDI(R) rum, the world's favorite premium rum and world's most
awarded rum; GREY GOOSE(R) vodka, the world-leader in super premium vodka;
DEWAR'S(R) Scotch whisky, the top-selling blended Scotch whisky in the United
States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE(R) gin, the top valued and fastest-growing premium
gin in the world; MARTINI(R) vermouth and sparkling wines, the world-leader
in vermouth; CAZADORES(R) blue agave tequila, the top-selling premium tequila
in the world; and other leading brands. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi
group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.
Amy Federman, +1-441-294-1110, amy.federman at bm.com, or Patricia M. Neal, +1-441-294-1110, both for Bacardi
Tags: Bacardi Limited, December 7, Italy, Santo Stefano Belbo, Western Europe