Drink Like You Give A Damn » Etica Wine


Etica is the first “fair trade” wine importer in the United States, and they just happen to be located in Minneapolis MN! This allows us Minnesotans to take full advantage of the high quality Etica has to offer.

What is Fair Trade? (taken from Etica’s Website www.eticawines.com)

Fair Trade is in a sense the same as international and domestic trade. Products cross borders, taxes are paid and people work hard to produce the products. Fair Trade however takes traditional trade to a new level. Fair Trade guarantees what traditional trade cannot; livable wages for producers, knowledge about sustaining local environments, and equal opportunities for all workers.

Fair Trade is responsible commerce based on equal exchange and respect for all people. This unique business model brings together producers and buyers with the common goal of creating sustainable livelihoods. The end result is an exchange of ideas, development of skills and an understanding of the distinct situations in which poverty exists around the world.

Fair Trade empowers producers by guaranteeing fair and livable wages, which in turn helps develop communities. Fair Trade is not only a key solution to alleviating poverty, it also opens up dialogue between people of all races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds in an effort to develop sustainable solutions for the problems facing the poor and marginalized.

Producers are paid an honest wage for their hard work within the context of their societies, while being offered opportunities for advancement. The goal is to uplift people out of situations where they are dependent on aid to become self-sufficient. Fair Trade helps build lives where people can feed themselves, children can go to school and new business opportunities can develop.

We often forget that every product we consume involves a multitude of people. For many people products magically appear in the store and we as consumers don’t consider how and by whom they are made. We forget that people are often sidelined for profits, human rights ignored and equality dismissed.

By creating relationships and providing markets to those most in need, Fair Trade provides consumers with an ethical choice. It gives you the consumer an opportunity to utilize your purchasing power – one of the strongest mechanisms we have today to bring about change.

Etica’s Green Policy

The choices we make at home and at work directly impact our environment. There are many things we can do as consumers and businesses to lessen our ecological footprint. As a Fair Trade business that promotes sustainable agriculture, Etica is committed to practicing environmental sustainability here at home and abroad.

In the office
Etica uses eco-friendly products and recycled materials, including:

* Energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs
* Recycled paper for marketing materials
* Eco-friendly cleaning supplies
* Biodegradable trash bags and cutlery
* Wine shippers made from recycled material

On the road
As a wine importer and distributor, Etica encompasses many modes of transportation—from cars and trucks, to trains and ships. To offset the effects of CO2 emissions, Etica:

* Contributes annually to the Carbon Fund
* Encourages distributors to turn truck engines off during loading and abide by a “no idling” policy
* Promotes alternative transportations, such as hybrid and bio-diesel vehicles

At the vineyard
Great wine starts with properly managed vineyards. The grapes used in Etica wines are either organically grown, or have been sprayed with copper sulfate—a natural pesticide—only twice per year.

In the future
Etica’s green policy is a constant work-in-progress. As individuals and as a business, we are always looking for ways to lessen our ecological footprint through improved recycling and energy efficient policies. Our goals at home include moving to a green building, owning a bio-diesel delivery truck and starting an employee incentive smart car plan. Abroad, we are committed to working with producers who promote organic and sustainable agriculture.


Soluna Premium Malbec is produced by 19 small family growers, in Mendoza Argentina, who all have less than 1 hectare of grapes. All of the Malbec vines are over 75 years old. The wine is placed into 19 tanks then blended by the wine maker. Soluna Premium Malbec is aged one year in stainless steel with French oak staves. This creates a light and balanced oak flavor. The nose is filled with fruit followed by notes of oak, vanilla, and chocolate. The taste is long and smooth with a lasting velvety finish. Available at Mount Royal Bottle Shop and Cashwise.


Soluna Limited Malbec is a blend of only four of the nineteen previously mentioned growers. Only 5000 cases produced. Soluna Limited Malbec is also aged one year in stainless steel with French oak staves. A bit more refined; it has a bright cherry flavor with well structured tannins. The taste is long with a smooth jammy finish. Available at Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Last Chance Liquor, and Cashwise.


Olifant Grove Chenin Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc from Western Cape South Africa. Crisp and clean, slightly off dry taste. A great summer wine. Available at Fitrger’s Wine Cellars, Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Last Chance Liquor and Cashwise.


Olifant Grove Pinotage is 100% Pinotage from Western Cape South Africa. This Pinotage is one of the best I’ve ever had with full but light fruit flavors that finish with a touch of spice. Available at Fitrger’s Wine Cellars, Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Last Chance Liquor and Cashwise.


Olifant Grove Cabernet/ Merlot/ Pinotage is 60% Cab, 20% Merlot and 15% Pinotage; also from Western Cape South Africa. Aged in French and American oak for 8 months which gives it a full, tannic structure. This wine is unique in that you can taste all three grapes. The Cab gives it full tannic flavors, the Merlot gives it a lot of fruit, and the Pinotage contributes both fruit and spice. Available at Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Last Chance Liquor and Cashwise.

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  1. [...] we were hoping for,” Seven Sushi and Steakhouse has filed for Chapter 11, Duluth Dish profiles Minneapolis fair trade wine importer Etica, and it looks as though Chipotle’s slipping marketing money to the Downtown Journal. Oh well. [...]