uniWines Vineyards launches World’s first Fairtrade Husk Spirit

Saturday, 24 November, 2012
The range of gourmet items available in the list of Fairtrade-accredited agricultural products has received a boost with the world’s first husk spirit bottled under the Fairtrade label.
Made by uniWines Vineyards in Rawsonville, one of South Africa’s leading Fairtrade wine producers, the husk spirit is made to the same recipe as Italian Grappa, a term which can no longer be used on South African products due to EU legislation.

“The Italians have made husk spirit – their grappa - an almost indispensable part of enjoying a good cup of coffee,” says Pieter Cronje, uniWines Vineyards marketing manager. “And with coffee being one of the leading product categories with Fairtrade accreditation, this Fairtrade husk spirit complements the range and the experience offered to consumers.”

Fairtrade is an international organisation certifying agricultural products from developing countries produced in line with the strict social and environmental Fairtrade standards. Annual audits ensurethat the employees benefit from the sales thereof as well as ensuring that the workers live and work in safe, hygienic and humane conditions. Locally, Fairtrade products include wine, coffee, chocolate, tea and cotton.

uniWines Vineyards’s Palesa Fairtrade Husk Spirit is produced from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown on one of its producer-farms in the Breedekloof. After the pressing the grapes, the skins were distilled in a copper pot-still. The distillate was bottled at 43% alcohol. Nobarrel-aging was done so as to ensure the pure fruit flavour of the distilled product.

Cronje says that husk spirit is gaining in popularity in South Africa. “It can be enjoyed with coffee and even added to the coffee, as is the Italian custom,” he says. “Served chilled, it is also an excellent digestive after a good meal.”
Arianna Baldo, business manager from Fairtrade South Africa, says that new products to the Fairtrade offering are to be welcomed. “In today’s rapidly changing consumer culture a category such as Fairtrade needs new products to underscore the fact that Fairtrade is dynamic and ever-evolving,” she says. “A new innovation, such as a Fairtrade-certified husk spirit, underscores the value our members see in Fairtrade and this helps our organisation to stake our claim in the competitive marketplace. And of course, being Italian, I love the concept of Fairtrade Grappa – whoops – husk spirit.”

The Palesa Husk Spirit is available from the uniWines Vineyards Daschbosch winery at R150. Visit their website for more details.