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Phambili - Fairtrade wines from South Africa

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Phambili winesWe have two delicious new South African wine arrivals, Phambili Chenin and Pinotage / Viognier, with Fairtrade accreditation. In response to Government initiatives to democratise the South African wine industry, eighteen formerly disadvantaged workers at the Wamakersvallei Winery in Wellington established the 'Inkquebela Phambili Empowerment Trust'. In total, 87 people, including dependents, stand to benefit from this project. Vineyard workersPhambili means ‘Moving Forward’ in the local Xhosa language. The Phambili Trust is an 'asset-owning' business responsible for winemaking. All profits from their activities are distributed amongst the workers and their families, including long-term investments in housing, education and training, as well as future business development projects. Alastair explains, "Our over-riding objective is to find wines that we like, and feel best represent an area and a grape variety, which many Fair Trade wines fail to do, so we are very pleased that the Phambili wines cover all the bases that we could hope for. Wellington is at the heart of the Western Cape Winelands, 75 kilometres north east of Cape Town and ten kilometres north of Paarl, and lies at the foot of the Groenberg hills. This beautiful landscape spawns some excellent wines." Phambili2011 Chenin Blanc, Phambili, Wellington, South Africa     (Fairtrade)        £7.99 Sourced from Chenin Blanc bush vines, the juice was fermented at a cool 13 degrees C to retain the grapes' natural aromatics. Aromas of guava and peach move on to a zingy, tropical fruit-filled palate with lively acidity. 2011 Pinotage / Viognier, Phambili, Wellington, South Africa     (Fairtrade)        £7.99 The Pinotage and Viognier were fermented completely separately using different winemaking techniques. The Pinotage grapes were feremtned at 28 degrees C, and the free-run portion left in contact with French oak for 6 months. The Viognier grapes were picked at two stages of ripeness for optimum complexity and fermented at a cool 13 degrees C. The two portions (95% Pinotage, 5% Viognier) were blended together and left to 'marry' for a short period before bottling. The result is a lively red wine with aromas of coffee, chocolate, ripe berries and warm spice as well as delicate floral aromas from the Viognier. A mixed 12-bottle case containing six bottles each of Phambili Pinotage / Viognier and Chenin is available for £85, a saving of over £10 a case. Watch Alastair taste Phambili wines here.


Sarah Groves