As the new beer and wine buyer at the eastside Bloomingfoods store, I have spent my first couple weeks learning about the products on our shelves that one does not find in your average grocery store. Great examples of these unique products are the wines from Stellar Organic Winery. Bloomingfoods is proud to offer our customers Stellar Winery’s high quality, ethically produced wines, such as Live-a-Little Red and Stellar Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
A leader in the field of organic wines, Stellar was the first organic winery in the world to be awarded the international Fairtrade certification. Stellar Winery is “privately owned, with the winery’s workers having a 26% shareholding in the cellar and 50% in Stellar Agri- a table and wine grape farming operation”. The goal of this joint venture is to “secure a viable long-term investment for the farm and winery workers”. Since the Stellar workers benefit directly from the sales of Fairtrade-labeled wines, the community in which Stellar Winery is situated, the town of Trawal, has prospered as well.
Stellar Winery was also the first cellar in South Africa to produce successful, no-sulpher-added wines. This type of innovative approach to winemaking has made Stellar the largest producer of organic wines in the world. The organic vineyards and winemaking process are “fully certified by the internationally recognized Control Union Certifications, based in the Netherlands”. According to Stellar Winery’s website, the cellar’s dedication to ethics and production values is reflected by the healthy state of their vineyards. “The leaves on the vines are healthy and the species of insects are varied and abundant. A soil examination reveals masses of earthworms - all indications of a healthy ecosystem.”