I have explored and tasted many wines, always looking for the bottle that has it all. And depending on what you’re looking for, I have one to add to the list.
This wine is organic, contains no added sulfites, tastes great, and did I mention ethical integrity in production? Of all the places you may be thinking, chances are South Africa is not on the list. But this wine from Stellar Organic Winery is produced just north of Cape Town.
With a history marred by human rights issues and the ramifications of colonialism, many South African wineries have been stepping forward in finding solutions. Today, SouthAfrica leads the world in environmental sustainability and regulated production integrity, meaning they are looking after not only the earth but also the people in the community.
In 2002, the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association, a nonprofit, was created to improve the living and working conditions of workers onSouth African farms. Wineries and vineyards belonging to the trade proudly boast the “Fair Trade Certified Wine” on the label. Stellar Winery is one of those. For each bottle sold, Stellar pays into the Stellar Employees Trust, an independently audited fund. These funds are used for projects like organic vegetable farming, an education fund to benefit employees’ children, and a computer center at the local primary school.
This winery has committed itself to the community and also to the practice of sustainability. It is the largest organic wine producer in South Africa and is the top-selling organic wine brand in theUnited Kingdom. In addition to organic growing practices, Stellar’s wines do not contain added sulfur, and the winery uses a vegan fining process.
So, for all of you seeking sustainable, organic and vegan wines that pass the taste test, here’s two to add to your list.
- 2012 Stellar Organics Merlot, South Africa (about $12 retail)
- 2012 Stellar Organics Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa (about $12 retail)