Wine has been socially and culturally significant to human society for thousands of years. Today there are many thousands of vineyards and wineries around the world producing a wide variety of uniquely flavourful wines. However, in developing countries many small-scale wine growers struggle because of unsustainable trade practices and workers on large wine estates frequently have to cultivate wine grapes under very poor working conditions.

To support smallholder wine growers, workers and estate owners that want to produce their wine under fair conditions, Fairtrade began to certify wine in 2003. Today, wine enthusiasts as well as occasional consumers can choose from a wide range of Fairtrade wines of different colours, grape types, tastes and aromas.

What Fairtrade Means for Wine Producers

There are currently Fairtrade certified wine producer organizations in South Africa, Argentina and Chile. Fairtrade certified wines help small farmers survive on the world market by providing more stable prices. Fairtrade standards for plantations ensure minimum wages for workers and decent living and working conditions. Producers and workers groups also receive a Fairtrade Premium above the selling price to invest in social and business projects in their communities. 

In addition to compliance with the basic Fairtrade standards, a special set of Fairtrade guidelines for South Africa has been implemented to support post-apartheid economic empowerment. These revolutionary programmes mandate that previously disadvantaged workers can own shares of at least 25% of the business entity, for the first time providing land and business ownership opportunity to workers. Read more

General Wine Facts

  • During the Middle Ages wine mixed with water was preferred over pure water as an everyday beverage (also for children), because it was considered healthier due to the alcohol’s sterilising function.
  • Wine sommeliers assess a wine based on four sensual characteristics: look, taste, smell and feeling (texture as perceived inside the mouth).
  • Swirl the wine inside the glass before you smell it to release more of the wine’s aroma.
  • Use salt and not white wine, to clean up freshly-spilled red wine.

Where to Buy

Fairtrade wines are available in many markets. If you can’t find them, talk to you local grocer or get in touch with your local Fairtrade organization by checking out Fairtrade Near You or select one of the countries in blue on the map below.

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