These wines are not only top quality for the consumers, but also open the door to improved quality of life for the farmers and workers. In such a fast growing sector as wines, it is encouraging to see the wine community increasing awareness of Fairtrade and so bringing benefits to producers in the developing world. Congratulations to all who entered their wines in to this first competition, and above all to those who won.”
The wines were judged by wine writers Liz Morcom MW, Sally Easton MW, Julie Arkell, Patricia Langton, Christine Austin, and David Williams, and Marks & Spencer buyer Jo Ahearne. Louise Vaux from WSTA chaired the judging. 48 wines were entered from the three Fairtrade wine producing countries: Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
A top white and top red were selected from each country, and the finalists were retasted to award the overall white and red winners. The results were as follows:
BEST ARGENTINE WHITE
Co-op Fairtrade Torrontés-Chardonnay 2007 ( £3.99 2867 Co-op stores)
BEST CHILEAN WHITE and BEST OVERALL WHITE
Equality by Las Lomas Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (£5.79-£5.99 Threshers, Tanners, Weavers of Nottingham)
The winning white is produced in Chile’s Maule Valley by Las Lomas in Cauquenes, and the brand, Equality, was launched in the UK market only last year. The Sauvignon Blanc is available in Threshers and selected independent wine merchants around the country.
BEST SOUTH AFRICAN WHITE
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2007 (£5.99 All 3000 Co-op stores)
BEST ARGENTINE RED
Origin Fairhills Shiraz-Tempranillo 2007 (£4.99 Tesco)
BEST CHILEAN RED and BEST OVERALL RED
Co-op Fairtrade Chilean Carmenère 2006 (£4.99 All 3000 Co-op stores)
The top red is produced for the Co-op by Los Robles in the Curico Valley, and is available in all 3000 stores across the UK.
BEST SOUTH AFRICAN RED
Isabelo Pinotage-Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (£5.49 Direct from Brand New World)
The Fairtrade Wine Awards were set up by the UK Fairtrade Wine Committee in order to raise awareness of the high standard of Fairtrade wines now available. Made up of licensees representing the wines in the UK, this committee is the only one of its kind in the Fairtrade sector, whose members actively collaborate to raise the profile of its products to the UK wine trade and the consumer, and the benefits to the workers and local communities that produce them. The committee also organises the annual Fairtrade Wine Tasting.