We are happy to introduce four La Riojana Co-op wines: Riojana Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Bonarda-Malbec, all of which retail below $9.
The wines are Fair Trade certified, which enriches the La Riojana community with projects that benefit the workers and growers of the cooperative.
La Riojana Co-op was established by Italian immigrants in 1940 and is located in La Rioja Province, Argentina. The grapes are sourced from over 4,000 hectares of vineyards and produce about 1.3 million cases annually. There are currently 422 members of the cooperative, 80% of whom are small-scale producers (each having less than three hectares each).
The cooperative guarantees the purchase of grapes at fair and higher prices, access to loans, offers free technical assistance by the co-op's agricultural team, provides hail insurance, and reinvests any remaining profits to buy new machinery and to improve production.
With the program of distribution of wines to United States' co-ops, the Fair Trade premium will give the co-ops' small growers the possibility of certifying their vineyards as organic.
With the demand for organic wines growing, this will give these small farmers the benefit of receiving a higher price for their grapes and the security of a long-term supply.
To date, La Riojana Co-op has invested over $11 million Argentinian pesos of Fair Trade premiums in over 30 projects to benefit their members, workers, and local communities.
Between 2006 and 2014, the key focus of their Fair-Trade projects has been divided among six areas:
- Education (43%)
- Local community improvements (18%)
- Production improvements (16%)
- Healthcare (12%)
- Socio-economic improvements (7%)
- Administration & training (4%)