What fair trade wine means to you

Dear Wine Ladies,

We’ve heard a lot of fan fare lately about Argentinean wines representing awesome value to the consumer, which is great, but I also heard that Argentina is involved in fair trade winemaking. Is this true and if so, what does that mean exactly? I’d love to know more. Am I right about the good value?


Dear John,

Indeed, you are correct on both counts, many of the wines coming out of Argentina today represent tremendous value, and much of the fanfare surrounding this country’s wines are due to one grape variety in particular, Malbec. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this grape has found its niche here, described as the “King of the Argentine wine scene” by world renowned Master of Wine and author Jancis Robinson. Having found a true affinity to the soils and the climate, deep colored, full bodied and with good fruit and structure these wines are capable of benefitting from oak aging as well. And it doesn’t stop there, other reds made of the classic varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as Chardonnay for the whites are also very impressive, representing great value. Look too for a Torrontes, for the summer, a white grape that makes aromatic, full-bodied wines, dry with crispness; very enjoyable.

You heard right about Argentina practicing fairtrade winemaking, in fact quite a few wine growing countries are invested in it as well, including Chile and South Africa. Basically Fairtrade winemaking ensures that the farmers get a fair and stable price for their products and protects the growers from being exploited. Beyond economics, it also facilitates long term relationships with producers and buyers, which in turn allows the producers stability, sustainability and improved livelihoods for the families. Look for the fairtrade logo below when shopping for a range of products including coffee, tea, cotton, flowers and rice; the logo guarantees fairtrade certification.

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