In 1940, a group of Italian winemakers immigrated to South America and planted vineyards in La Rioja—a small, picturesque province located in the beautiful Famatina Valley of northwest Argentina.
Today, La Riojana cooperative is one of the largest and most successful co-ops in Argentina and the world’s largest producer of fairly traded, organic wine. La Riojana is a co-op-to-co-op wine that’s fairly traded, ethically produced, and sustainable. In true fair-trade fashion, we order directly from the producer.
La Riojana wines have been sold in Europe but are relatively new to the United States. Our cooperative pals at Weaver Street Market in North Carolina helped introduced the wines to U.S. markets by connecting La Riojana with other co-ops across the United States. (Thanks, Weaver Street!)
La Riojana wine co-op comprises more than 500 members, most of whom are small-scale producers farming less than seven acres of land. According to the Weaver Street website, La Riojana has improved living conditions in the community by developing a water system, a secondary school, and a hospital, among other projects. The co-op is also working on creating sustainable villages with solar power and organic farms.
A contribution on consumers’ behalf is included in the wine’s sale price to help fund La Riojana’s community programs. So when you purchase a La Riojana wine, you not only get a great product at a great price, you also know your purchase goes to support a small producer co-op making a big difference.
“It’s a wonderful drinking wine backed by a great cooperative,” said Dave Phillips, grocery supervisor and beer and wine specialist at the Co-op’s White River Junction store. “Particularly for the money, you won’t find a wine that tastes anywhere near this good.”
Dave recommends La Riojana’s chardonnay, cabernet, malbec, and bonarda-malbec blend. Dark fruit, subtle complexity, smooth finish, cooperative values. What’s not to love? Try it and let us know what you think! Email us at email@example.com with your feedback and learn more about La Riojana co-op at lariojanawines.com.