Today’s Story: Santa Margherita
Santa Margherita was founded in 1935 by Count Gaetano Marzotto, a pioneering vintner who helped revitalize a portion of the Venetian countryside in both farming and winemaking. With a goal of producing authentic Italian wines full of regional character and tradition, Marzotto expanded the Santa Margherita brand to vineyards in Alto Adige and Tuscany. Famous for their Pinot Grigio, Santa Margherita also makes Chianti Classico Riserva, Prosecco Superiore, and Sparkling Rosé.
Since its beginning, Santa Margherita put a major emphasis on preserving the environment through sustainability efforts. For example, during the winemaking process they use natural products and compost to feed the soil, organic land management in terms of in-ground irrigation, use no chemical pesticides for their Chianti, and hand-harvest 90% of their grapes in Veneto. Further, Santa Margherita stopped using animal byproducts and uses yeast-derived and vegetable-derived products during filtration so their wines are vegan-friendly. Lastly, Santa Margherita is powered completely by renewable resources including 6,500 square feet of solar panels at their winery in Portogruaro.
Fun fact: Santa Margherita manufactures their own wine bottles in a factory adjacent to their fermentation cellars. They do this to reduce carbon emissions related to storage and transportation of bottles from outside producers.
Today’s Wine: 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva
100% Sangiovese; 13.5% ABV
For spaghetti night, I knew I needed to run to the store to grab a bottle of Chianti Classico. As expected, this bottle filled its role for the pairing beautifully. Our wine today is a clear, medium ruby color with a variation of pink hues toward the edges of the glass. I briefly decanted this before drinking, as these are known to have high tannin, but letting this slow ox in the glass would do just fine. On the nose are aromas of cherry, cranberry, barnyard, forest floor, shoe leather, and a hint of bitter chocolate. Once in the mouth, we get flavors of sweet cherry, cranberry, strawberry, dried earth, mushroom, and mineral. True to form, this is medium- to full-bodied with high acidity, medium (+) tannins, and a long finish dominated by notes of red fruit and berries.
Price: $27, a nice price-point. I recommend trying this for its solid quality compared to many other options you will find on the shelf, even if they are slightly cheaper. Pair this with red/meat sauce pastas, lamb, or veal.