The only cooperative in Chile’s main wine region
The prestigious Chilean wine region of Colchagua is where you will encounter the nation’s finest and fanciest wine houses. But Oxfam partner Red del Vino is the only cooperative of small-scale winegrowers you will find there. The terroir in this region is extremely well suited to red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère), but Chardonnay grapes do excellently here, too.
By working together under the banner of Red del Vino, the individual farmers are able to stand their ground in the competitive Chilean wine market. The big wine houses there have a lot of political and economic power and are the ones who set the prices. Fair trade helps Red del Vino to stand out from these influential mass producers. And to bring to market quality red and white wines despite all the obstacles in their way.
From bunches of grapes to exportable wine
When they founded the cooperative in 2004, the 20 farmers of Red del Vino were only producing grapes. Since then they’ve become proud wine producers with the expertise and branding to go along with it. Now they stand strong and are more independent of the big wine houses in their region.
Red del Vino’s extremely driven members are what make it the dynamic cooperative it is today. As individuals, they contribute enormously – with the support of two permanent staff members – to the development of ‘their’ Red del Vino.
Their work raising awareness of the cooperative is also bearing fruit. In the region and across all of Chile, increasing attention is being paid to the living conditions of the small-scale farmers of Colchagua. Red del Vino is also a member of Chile’s national fair trade organisation.
Bed, breakfast and fair-trade wine
Tapping into the region’s tourist market is another important source of revenue for the producers of Red del Vino.
Just like the famous wine houses of the Colchagua Valley, Red del Vino welcomes day-trippers to their vineyards. This all serves to raise the income of its members, which can be a saving grace for the less financially secure among them. What’s more, it’s an opportunity for Chilean and international wine tourists to experience – possibly for the first time – fair-trade wine.
Some winegrowers in the cooperative also make their own artisanal wines. They sell these locally, often to tourists visiting the area.
Red del Vino & Oxfam
- Oxfam’s partnership came at the perfect time for Red del Vino in 2016. The cooperative was already looking to start making its own wine instead of only selling the grapes – albeit under fair trade conditions (info in Dutch)– to the big players in the wine market. Oxfam Fair Trade was able to advise them in this and support them by buying their wine. This is what has led Red del Vino to be able to develop its own brand.
- The relationship between Oxfam and Red del Vino rests on a strong trio of quality wines. The Campesino Carmenère was a hit with our customers right from the get-go when it was launched in 2016. Your local Oxfam-Wereldwinkel now also stocks Red del Vino’s Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva (aged in wooden casks) and their Chardonnay.
- Red del Vino has the potential to make wine from the complete harvests of all its members. For now this is not possible, however, as they lack the funds to purchase additional wine vats. By distributing their fair-trade wine, Oxfam supports such future investments.