Demand for Fairtrade-certified wine has soared in recent years, with global sales now close to 30m bottles per year, and for South African producers Fairtrade certification is fast making financial and socio-economic sense.
Bosman Family Vineyards
Leading the sustainable charge on local estates is Bosman Family Vineyards outside Wellington, where some 380 employees on the estate own a substantial share in the business through the workers’ Adama Trust. Earlier this year the winery repackaged its Adama Red and White blends to reflect the cellar’s long-standing Fairtrade accreditation, and channel increased funding to the farm’s community upliftment projects. “Our goal is to be the leading supplier of responsibly produced wine in South Africa, and Adama is where everything comes together,” explains Petrus Bosman, Managing Director of Bosman Family Vineyards. “The Fairtrade accreditation allows us to connect with both clients and customers.”
Happily, the wine is also superb. The Adama White is a delicious seven-way blend underpinned by Chenin Blanc, while the Shiraz-driven Adama Red gains complexity from blending in small amounts of Cinsaut, Grenache Noir, Nero d’Avola, Mourvedre, Primitivo and Viognier.
Around the corner in Suider-Paarl, Fairview is as famous for its goat tower as its cheeky wine brands. Their ‘Goats do Roam’ range of wines – a play on the protected French appellation Côtes du Rhône – has been Fairtrade-accredited since 2013, with a percentage of profits funding community development projects across 10 farms in Paarl, Darling and Stellenbosch. While the range includes a quaffable white and rosé, your best bet for winter is the delicious Goats do Roam Red, a Shiraz-led blend with Cinsaut, Mourvedre, Grenache and Carignan. The spicy Goat-Roti – a nod to Côte-Rôtie near Lyon – blend of Shiraz and Viognier is also a fine wine to pour by the fireplace.
Over in the Swartland, Earthbound wines – produced by Nederburg – are sourced from organic dry land vineyards near Darling, and winemaker Heinrich Kulsen is upbeat about the challenging 2016 vintage: “The low yields offer great concentration, which has resulted in wines of utmost flavour and complexity.” Earthbound’s range of red and white wines offer a more everyday fairtrade-friendly option, with the juicy fruit and vanilla notes of the Pinotage making it a great choice for winter.
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Words: Richard Holmes | Images: Supplied