A Combination of Tradition and Innovation, Disaronno Is Spirit Brand/Distiller of the Year | Wine Enthusiast’s 2021 Wine Star Awards | Wine Enthusiast
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A Combination of Tradition and Innovation, Disaronno Is Spirit Brand/Distiller of the Year | Wine Enthusiast’s 2021 Wine Star Awards

Best-known for its flagship Disaronno Amaretto, an iconic almond-flavored liqueur, the company Illva Saronno was founded by the Reina family in 1947.

The company has its roots in Saronno area of Italy, part of the Lombardy region; Disaronno translates to “from Saronno.”

Today, it’s still based in Saronno. Now part of Illva Saronno Holding, a multinational parent company with properties that also make ice cream, baked goods and food flavorings, the wine and spirits division remains a core competency.

In addition to its eponymous liqueur, the brand’s portfolio includes well-known names such as The Busker Irish Whiskey, Tia Maria coffee liqueur and Zucca Rabarbaro, as well as wines including Corvo and Florio Marsala

In 1992, Disaronno opened its Amsterdam headquarters, followed by a U.S.-based outpost in New Jersey to facilitate its import business—roughly one-third of Disaronno’s distribution is within North America.

In addition, 2021 brought the establishment of Disaronno International UK in Hertfordshire, England, responsible for the distribution, sales and marketing of Illva Saronno brands in the UK.

Quality and consistency have been cornerstones of the brand’s success, says Kevin Roberts, executive vice president at Breakthru Beverage Group. Even during the pandemic, when many well-established spirits producers struggled, Disaronno found a way through.

“Disaronno, it’s a household name,” says Roberts. “You can’t open a restaurant without having Disaronno in the account. It’s one of those brands that has good image and awareness, and good distribution.”

As a result, when the pandemic forced restaurants, bars and other on-premise accounts to close, consumers at home still embraced Disaronno’s flagship liqueur as a “comfort brand,” Roberts says, shoring up off-premise sales.

Further, with an ongoing tariff situation impacting global producers, and Italy in particular, the company worked swiftly to avert supply chain disruption, keeping product flowing to the U.S.

“Their supply chain excellence has created an advantage and enabled this growth,” says Roberts. He also credits consistency in their brand message and “smart positioning” that has helped ensure the liqueur’s relevance.

Looking ahead, Disaronno developed an innovation center, part of ongoing efforts to continuously improve market expertise. In April 2020, the brand launched Disaronno Velvet, a cream liqueur and the first line extension.

“We are indubitably proud of our past, yet equally aware of the need to constantly look forward,” says Aldino Marzorati, CEO of Illva Saronno Holding. “Innovation and quality have always been a driving factor for us, and today, we’re a multinational leader with products present in over 160 countries.” For its success in sustaining consumer loyalty over the decades as well as during the challenge of the pandemic, Disaronno is recognized as Spirit Brand/Distiller of the Year.