Registration Opens

1 May 2024


24 & 25 March 2025

Winners Announcement

22 April 2025

  • Enter Now


LWC blog

Photo for:




Photo for:




Photo for:




Photo for: Leading the Charge: Sandro Sartor's Vision for Responsible Drinking


Leading the Charge: Sandro Sartor's Vision for Responsible Drinking

Insights from the President of Wine in Moderation

Sandro Sartor, President of Wine in Moderation, has been a driving force in promoting responsible drinking since assuming the presidency in 2020. With a deep-rooted belief in the program's potential to shape the wine sector's approach to moderation, Sandro has steered Wine in Moderation towards a results-oriented path, focusing on education and awareness among professionals and consumers alike.

As President of Wine in Moderation, Sandro brings a unique perspective to the table, combining his role as CEO of Ruffino Group with his commitment to promoting responsible drinking. This dual role allows him to leverage his experience and expertise to drive Wine in Moderation's initiatives, aligning them with the current needs and challenges of the wine sector.

Education has been a cornerstone of Wine in Moderation's efforts, with a focus on empowering wine professionals to educate consumers about moderate drinking. Initiatives such as the Responsible Service training program have been instrumental in equipping professionals with the knowledge and tools to promote responsible consumption.

While often mistaken for a lobbying organization, Wine in Moderation remains action-oriented, collaborating with stakeholders to enhance its effectiveness. Partnerships with trade fairs and other stakeholders have been key in disseminating the program's message and reaching a broader audience.

Looking ahead, Wine in Moderation under Sandro's leadership is poised for further growth and impact. Initiatives such as the "Lifestyle, Diet, Wine & Health" Congress and the International Wine in Moderation Day demonstrate the program's commitment to promoting responsible drinking worldwide.

Sandro, as President of Wine in Moderation, you play a crucial role in promoting responsible drinking. Can you share some insights into your vision for the organization and how are working to further its mission?

I became President of Wine in Moderation in 2020 and am currently serving my second mandate. I have followed the program since its beginning back in 2008 –I was involved in the wine & health dossier and responsible drinking in both Italian national associations and members of Wine in Moderation, Federvini, and Unione Italiana Vini– and joined the adventure at a particular time with many changes both at Secretariat and Board level. My vision since the beginning was very much results-oriented with the goal to encourage and support the whole wine sector in relation to responsible drinking patterns. In the last 3 years, we have therefore implemented a broad range of projects to raise awareness and to educate both professionals and consumers about moderate and responsible drinking.

How does your position as CEO of the Ruffino Group complement your role as President of Wine in Moderation? How do you leverage your experience and expertise to drive the organization's initiatives?

Being the CEO of a wine company and the President of an association are two very different positions, but I believe that they complement each other very well and give me a very good perspective. On the one hand, as CEO of Ruffino, I understand very well both the issues, the challenges, and the needs of the wine sector in today’s reality, and on the other hand, as President of Wine in Moderation, I am in a position to put in place initiatives that respond to these challenges and that aim to contribute to our vision of a sustainable culture of wine.

Image: The annual Wine in Moderation (WiM) Association conference at Poggio Casciano and Montemasso estates.

Wine in Moderation emphasizes education and awareness about responsible drinking. What strategies have you implemented to educate both professionals and consumers about the importance of moderation?

Education has indeed been one of the pillars of Wine in Moderation since it was first launched 15 years ago. We are convinced that empowering wine professionals by providing them with knowledge and information on moderate and responsible drinking is the way to reach consumers worldwide. Wine professionals, whether it is those working in the wineries, in restaurants, wine shops, or in wine tourism, are in the best position. They educate consumers and shape the wine culture. They simply need to add the responsible drinking component, i.e. the importance of moderate consumption, when talking to their customers. Throughout the years, both our international association and our members have developed many initiatives and tools to educate professionals and consumers. Recently, we launched a very complete training program on Responsible Service which is already available in a face-to-face format and will soon be available and accessible to all online. This new training program will be a turning point in empowering all professionals linked directly or indirectly to the wine sector.

Wine in Moderation actively advocates for policies that promote responsible drinking. What are some key policy areas that the organization is focusing on, and how do you see these efforts influencing the wine industry?

We are often mistaken for a lobby organization, but I would like to clarify that Wine in Moderation is a fully action-oriented program and not an advocacy body. We provide our members with tools, materials, visuals, campaigns, and a whole set of information based on the latest available scientific data.

Image: Wine in Moderation to release responsible service training

Wine in Moderation is a global movement. How do you ensure that the organization's message resonates across different cultures and regions, and what challenges do you face in promoting a culture of moderation worldwide?

Indeed, Wine in Moderation is present around the globe. Wine in Moderation Association, located in Brussels, oversees the international coordination and implementation of the program. However, speaking about moderate wine consumption in a Scandinavian country is very different than speaking about the same topic to an Italian consumer. It is therefore our National Coordinators, currently present in 12 countries in Europe and South America, that adapt the Wine in Moderation message to their linguistic and cultural context and tailor it to ensure that it will be communicated in the best possible way to the consumers in their countries.

We should also not forget the role of our WiM Supporters (wineries, wine educators, wine shops, wine writers, etc.) who are present in more than 45 countries. Even if their actions are on a smaller scale than those of our National Coordinators, they are of great importance when promoting the message of moderation.

Wine in Moderation collaborates with various stakeholders, including wine producers, trade associations, and health organizations. How do these partnerships enhance the effectiveness of Wine in Moderation's initiatives?

Without the support of our member organizations and companies, their commitment, enthusiasm, and conviction that it is the wine sector’s responsibility to care for its consumers, Wine in Moderation would not be what it is today. 

Partnerships with various stakeholders are also crucial for us to get our message across to a broader audience. An example is partnerships with leading trade fairs; only this year Wine in Moderation is present at four of the largest wine fairs in Europe: Barcelona Wine Week, Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris, Prowein, and Vinitaly. These fairs are a great opportunity to reach professionals from all over the world and give additional visibility to our program and actions.

Image: (L-R) Rodolphe Lameyse, Director General Vinexposium; Sandro Sartor, President Wine in Moderation; Samuel Montgermont, President Vin & Société

What are some upcoming projects or initiatives that Wine in Moderation is planning to undertake under your leadership? How do you envision the organization evolving in the future?

Apart from our participation at leading wine fairs during the first half of 2024 and the enormous amount of work being put into the development of our educational tool on Responsible Service, we are also working on two additional ongoing projects.

After the success of the first edition of the “Lifestyle, Diet, Wine & Health” scientific congress, held in Toledo last year, the Wine in Moderation Secretariat is currently assisting the Wine Information Council in preparing the second edition, which will take place from 26-28 March 2025 in Rome. This world-class congress will gather renowned scientists from all over the world and present the latest research on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The target audience is mostly scientists, but anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Moreover, this year will also mark the second edition of the International Wine in Moderation Day, dedicated to moderate and responsible consumption of wine with the slogan ‘The greatest wine? The one that you will remember. For the first edition, the WiM Day campaign was shared by WiM members and Supporters around the world creating an important buzz around the concept of moderate and responsible wine consumption. Three pilot countries (Spain, Italy, and Portugal) organized an additional series of actions: social media buzz, educational activities, advertising campaigns, conferences and events, partnerships with important stakeholders, etc. We hope that future editions will gain even more traction and that this will become an important annual appointment for all actors in the wine sector.

How does Wine in Moderation measure the impact of its programs and campaigns? Can you share any success stories or outcomes that demonstrate the effectiveness of the organization's efforts?

Accountability has always been a very crucial part of the Wine in Moderation program, reinforcing our credibility and brand among our stakeholders, and today, it is more important than ever. Every year since the launch of the Wine in Moderation adventure in 2008, we ask our members and supporters from around the world to report on the activities they implemented during the year and the investments they made, as part of their participation in the program. This data is then compiled and provides the basis on which we develop our annual report. These reports are very important because not only do they show the huge amount of work that is being done by all actors involved, but it is also a tangible result that we can share with our key stakeholders.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Wine in Moderation today, and how do you plan to address them? What opportunities do you see for the organization to further its mission in the future?

More than challenges, I believe that Wine in Moderation is currently in a place of opportunities. In the last few years, more entities than ever have joined our association. This goes to show that the sector is realising more and more that encouraging moderation and showing responsibility towards our consumers is the only way forward, especially in this pivotal moment for the wine sector. The Wine in Moderation message is and will continue to be a crucial part of the sustainability strategy of companies worldwide. Furthermore, I would also like to point out that Wine in Moderation is a complete program that can be taken as it is and be immediately executed nationally or internationally by companies as part of their sustainability strategy and as such reported in their annual ESG report. 

Image: Ruffino presents its Sustainability Report

What personally motivates you to lead Wine in Moderation and promote responsible drinking? How do you hope to inspire others, both within the wine industry and beyond, to adopt a similar commitment to moderation?

Being the CEO of a wine company and having worked in the wine sector for many years, I am not foreign to the challenges that lie in front of us and that the sector faces every day. These challenges have seemed to multiply in the last few years, sometimes creating important problems, especially for small-scale wine producers, but also for larger companies. Unfortunately, today’s reality often appears to be either black or white when it comes to wine consumption; on the one hand, there are indeed people misusing and abusing wine and other alcoholic beverages, and on the other hand, more and more people hear or read messages encouraging them to completely abstain from drinking as the only safe choice. In this context, inspiring moderation and explaining who should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and in which specific situations, can, in my opinion, help a lot of people adopt their preferred approach when it comes to drinking. To attain a sustainable culture of wine, we need to appreciate the wine as a product of culture and history, but at the same time, we need to understand that only in moderation will it be appreciated as it should.


Sandro's commitment to leading Wine in Moderation stems from a desire to navigate the complex landscape of wine consumption, offering a balanced approach that appreciates wine as a cultural product while advocating for moderation. His vision for the organization inspires not only those within the wine industry but also individuals worldwide to adopt a similar commitment to responsible drinking.

In conversation with Malvika Patel, Editor and VP, Beverage Trade Network

Call for domestic and international submission is now open for London Wine Competition. Enter your wines before 31 August 2024 to get super early bird pricing. Register now and ship later to save.

Key Dates