Santa Margherita names Ferrari Trento manager as new CEO

Italian wine group Santa Margherita has named former Ferrari Trento lead Beniamino Garofalo as its new CEO.

Garofalo joins from Gruppo Lunelli, where he was the managing director of the luxury drinks firm. The 50-year-old has spent 15 years working for large consumer good multinationals, managing brand activity for the likes of Pepsico, Heinz, and Danone, before moving into the luxury market at LVMH in 2007.

He has worked with a number of Lunelli’s brands, specifically Tenute Lunelli, which produces still wines in Trentino, Tuscany and Umbria; Surgiva mineral water and the Segnana distillery, eventually becoming the managing director of sparkling wine brand Ferrari in 2016.

Garofalo will replace Ettore Nicoletto, who took the helm at the Bertani Domaines group on 1 March after after 12 years as Santa Margherita’s CEO.

Santa Margherita’s wine is exported to 94 international markets, and owns 10 estates across Italy: Santa Margherita; Torresella; Kettmeir Ca’ del Bosco; Cà Maiol; Lamole di Lamole; Vistarenni; Sassoregale; Terrelíade; and Cantina Mesa.

The company’s turnover stood at more than €189 million last year.

Garofalo said in a statement his new employer “is one of the Italian companies which has changed the fortunes of Italian wine in the global market. For some time now the Group has focused on investing in long term projects and this has produced extraordinary results.

“Now the time has come to consolidate this phase of expansion, to capitalise on the newest entries to the group…push forward with the strategy of increasing our portfolio of vineyards within Italy and to plan the next phase of growth for all of our brands while taking into account the changing consumption habits of our end customers.”

Gaetano Marzotto, president of Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo, said Garofalo’s appointment signals “a new era for our Group”. The company, he said, will now focus on facing “the challenges posed by climate change, with increasingly sustainable production methods which reflect both our values and the desires and tastes of younger generations.

“The mission of our wine group is to bring the very best of Italian wine to the world, as a product it is increasingly interlinked with other premium ‘Made in Italy’ goods. In entrusting our group to a manager with a proven track record in other sectors, we want to make Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo even more global, pursue greater vertical integration and align ourselves more closely with our end-consumers”

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