FAIRTRADE Wine Tasting - 20 April 2018

Warrington Fairtrade Steering Group held a very successful Wine Tasting Evening on Friday 20th April 2018 at St Ann’s in Orford.

Fairtrade Standards are designed to improve employment conditions and protect the rights of workers on wine grape plantations and to support wine grape farmers’ organisations in gaining more control within supply chains and increase their income. There are 42 Fairtrade wine producer organisations worldwide, mainly in South Africa, Chile and Argentina, with a small output from the Lebanon. South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine globally (24 producer organisations) and accounts for around two thirds of Fairtrade wine sales, followed by Chile with 9 producer organisations.

Around 35 people attended and sampled some excellent Fairtrade wines which had been sourced from the Co-operative and Sainsbury’s, plus one from Lidl. These were accompanied by a wonderful selection of cheeses and a wide variety of Fairtrade chocolate, excellent accompaniments to the various wines on offer.  

Members of the Steering Group and two Co-operative Supporter Champions spoke about the wines, highlighting both the distinctive characteristics of the individual wines and the benefits to the local communities of purchasing Fairtrade wine.

Wine grape farming and wine-making are time-consuming industries, strenuous and labour intensive. The demanding processes often lead to poor labour standards and living conditions for both small wine grape farmers and hired labourers on large plantations.

Fairtrade Standards are designed to improve employment conditions and protect the rights of workers on wine grape plantations and to support wine grape farmers’ organisations in gaining more control within supply chains and increase their income. There are 42 Fairtrade wine producer organisations worldwide, mainly in South Africa, Chile and Argentina, with a small output from the Lebanon. South Africa is the largest producer of Fairtrade wine globally (24 producer organisations) and accounts for around two thirds of Fairtrade wine sales, followed by Chile with 9 producer organisations.

The Co-operative has sold tens of millions of bottles of Fairtrade wine and more than 2.5m has gone back to support projects that help vineyard workers and their families. There are currently 25 different Fairtrade wines available and, amongst others, we sampled Pinot Grigio from Argentina, Chardonnay from South Africa, Malbec from Argentina and Sparkling Moscato Rose from South Africa.

100% of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference South African wine is Fairtrade and we enjoyed trying the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Malbec. We also sampled the Fairtrade Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Rose currently available in Lidl and sourced from the Western Cape in South Africa (Rose can be made from any black skinned grapes, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz being a relatively new combination).

Overall about 10 different Fairtrade wines were available to try and it was a great opportunity to compare and contrast - and to highlight that Fairtrade wines benefit the grape farmers and wine makers whilst tasting delicious and coming in at a very affordable price point. A delightful evening.