Over 75 years ago, Italian immigrants brought their wine-making and olive growing skills to the fertile La Rioja region in northwestern Argentina. This area’s rich soil, warm sunny days, cool nights and very low rainfall is ideal for growing both grapes and olives. Pure water from deep aquifers and the mountains that surround this abundant valley provide the necessary irrigation.
Today there are over 500 farmer members in the La Riojana Co-operative supporting each other and their communities with the fruits of their labor. Not only does the Co-operative support over 300 permanent jobs it also funds community projects. These projects have included installing a drinking water system; building a secondary school, a youth recreation center, and computer labs with free IT classes; providing medical books, equipment, and medicine to first aid centers; establishing a micro-loan program; and organizing environmental stewardship initiatives.
The Moscow Food Co-op has been offering La Riojana’s award-winning, yet affordable, Fair Trade wines for some time now but they are excited to begin carrying their Fair Trade organic olive oil as well. The Co-op will receive its first shipment in early February and once that stock is gone they won’t get more until late spring, so if you want to try it I’d recommend shopping early! The Co-op currently sells La Riojana’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda-Malbec, Malbec, and Chardonnay wines.
La Riojana’s mission is to be guided by co-operative principles and competitive management, in supporting their individual members to help them bring their products to market in both Argentina and the rest of the world.
La Riojana Snapshot
Founded in 1940
Based in the La Rioja Province of Argentina
Information from this article and more can be found at: www.lariojanawines.com
Amy Newsome recommends watching some of the lovely videos on the La Riojana’s YouTube channel. It will transport you to the lush green vineyards of Argentina and let you visit with the farmers and their families.