The origins of the cooperative La Riojana dates back to the 1940s; since then, four generations and hundreds of families have been involved in the production of grapes in the region of Famatina Valley in Argentina.
Today, the cooperative has over 500 members coming from La Rioja province and produces sparkling wines, wines, grape juices, olive oils that are exported worldwide.
The cooperative’s core mission is to encourage sustainable practices within the winery and is committed to reduce its carbon footprint by implementing a carbon neutral programme for the whole wine process as well as for the exported wines.
In 2009 the Riojana was listed as one of the “Green Top 50” beverage firms in the world by the UK’s magazine The Drinks Business.
The cooperative became the first Argentinian Fair trade Certified wine producer in 2006 and is the largest Argentinian Organic Certified wine producer with 345 hectares of organic production since 2000.
A great variety of grapes are produced among the different wineries: Syrah, Malbec, Torrontés Riojano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Barbera, Merlot, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Aspirant Bouchet, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscatel de Alejandria, Pinot Gris and Pedro Jimenez but only 8% of the production is organic.
The cooperative only uses organic fertilizer such as compost to feed the soil and help the grapes to grow as required by the organic certification charte.
As a Fair Trade actor, La Riojana contributes to community projects mostly in the Tilimuqui region in which can be noted many successes:
- A new secondary school
- A new water facility
- School minibus
- Computer rooms and equipment
- Free IT courses for local communities
- School lunch bursaries
- Equipment for local schools
- Back to school kits for the children and grandchildren of our member & workers
- Free medical equipment and medicines to local first aid centres
- Provision of free fertilizers to members
- Improvements to the local cultural club in Chilecito
- Caring for the environment awareness campaign
- Development of a youth recreation centre
Source: La Riojana website