Christopher Colum-who? Saluting Indigenous Producers
If the festering fireball that is 2020 has brought this community anything, it’s together – with a sharpened awareness of the people around us, as well as systems of oppression and their influences on people of color. In the space of 7 months, we’ve seen complete strangers band together to help those most at risk and neighbors marching together to uplift their communities. What a sight!
With Indigenous People’s Day coming just weeks to go until the U.S. presidential election, it feels more important than ever to focus on uplift and community. We’re continuing in that spirit this week, highlighting the products on our shelves that support and uplift indigenous communities around the globe.
The word “mezcal” comes from the old Aztec word for "oven cooked agave". Legend has it that a bolt of lightning struck an agave plant, or maguey, cooking it and releasing its juices. Unlike tequila, mezcal can be made from any one of thirty different varieties of agave plant, but it has to be made in Oaxaca. Unlike tequila production in Jalisco, most mezcal is produced in partnerships with small family growers and distillers. The populations of these small production villages are largely indigenous, and much of the work is done by women. Yola Mezcal and Casa Sacrvm are some of our favorite companies that make a special effort to support indigenous communities. While you may think of mezcal as a summery spirit that adds dimension to tequila-based drinks, in Oaxaca it is almost exclusively consumed unmixed, and the smoky, earthy notes lend themselves nicely to crisp fall weather.
Hailing from Marlborough, New Zealand’s premier wine region, Tokoeka Estate wines, helmed by a Maori winemaker, show herbaceous aromatics and vividly pure fruit flavors, thanks to the shallow, mineral-rich, fast draining soils. The estate even takes its name from the Maori word for the Southern brown kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand. Classic flavors of grapefruit, gooseberry, and citrus greet the nose, while the palate delivers hints of grapefruit, passionfruit and melong with a long, zesty finish. Fabulous on its own or alongside seafood or vegetarian food.
Fair Valley is a winemaking community started in 1997 by 63 families with a government grant and land donated by Charles Back. The goal was to empower the indigenous farm workers of the region while making tasty, affordable wine. This Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and crisp with soft citrus fruit and a clean finish. “The hands that work the soil feed the soul” is the slogan that says it all. Profits from the sale of the wines going directly towards developing homes on the Fairvalley Farm. The logo of the hands on the label symbolizes the need to work with the earth symbol etched on one hand and the the water symbol etched on the other. Earth and water are critical to our future as a species and to the family members of the association. All grapes are sourced from Fairview’s Citrusdal farms which are all Fairtrade Certified.