Noble Malbec Reaps Awards and Sows Seeds of Change
BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 13, 2008—Sam’s Club members will find a new choice in the wine aisles this month with the launch of the chain’s first Fair Trade Certified ™ wine, Neu Direction™, a 100 percent Malbec from the renowned winegrowing region of Lujan de Cuyo near Mendoza, Argentina. The wine is one of only a handful to receive this status in the inaugural year of the groundbreaking Fair Trade Wine certification program in the U.S.
Neu Direction is produced by Viña de la Solidaridad (vines of solidarity), a co-op representing 20 small farms, which grow and hand pick the grapes and Bodega Furlotti the winery, a century’s old family owned business. The classic Malbec is medium-bodied, fruit forward, with moderate tannis and ripe flavors of plum and cherry accented by a touch of chocolate. The wine was recognized by the London Independent as the best Fair Trade Certified red wine in the world in February 2008.
“This is an extremely food friendly red wine that complements dishes with pork, lamb, duck, turkey and beef, even salmon,” said Dex McCreary, senior merchandise director, wine and spirits, Sam’s Club. “We tried nearly 100 different fair trade wines to find the right one and it’s gratifying to know we are helping the local growers in Mendoza and serving our members a premium product.”
Workers participating in Fair Trade Certified programs are guaranteed a fair price for their goods based on an analysis of the cost of the living in their area that will allow them to lead their lives with dignity and to fund the development of schools, medical clinics and other basic necessities.
This process is administered in the U.S. by TransFair, a non-profit organization.
"The launch of Sam’s Club Neu Direction Fair Trade Certified wine shows tremendous leadership,” said Paul Rice, president and CEO of TransFair USA. “The company’s commitment to Fair Trade Certified wine will have a far-reaching positive impact on grape growers and vineyard workers and the communities in which they live and work throughout Argentina - it will send kids to school, bring clean water to communities and enable struggling growers and workers to put food on the table."
Sam’s Club named the wine Neu Direction since it symbolized change and incorporated this into its label design, which features a tree in-between seasons complete with a bird ready to take flight. Sam’s Club plans a series of tastings where allowed to introduce the wine to its members and wine enthusiasts.
Neu Direction will sell for about $10 a bottle in more than 450 Sam’s Club locations that are authorized to offer wine. Sam’s Club also sells Fair Trade Certified coffee chain wide, and bananas, black tea and sugar in some clubs and roses online. For more information about sustainability at Sam’s Club, visit samsclub.com to learn about waste reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation and responsible farming.
About Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT). The first Sam’s Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983. Today, Sam’s Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and Club information is available at samsclub.com.