Some time ago, after the last economic crisis (a crisis of values as well, I believe) that burst suddenly and without warning on our society, as I was coming and going from time to time on the A7 highway I noticed some graffiti painted on a bridge that read: “There will be crisis until there is ethics: what are you going to do?”
A few weeks later I saw the same painting on another area highway… and I started thinking about during the hours I spent in the car about what I personally could do to bring back ethics and get rid of the crisis. This was how the concept of Ethical Wine began to develop in my mind
So what is an Ethical Wine? For this we must first reflect on the meaning of the word ‘ethics’ and its meaning in today’s society:’ Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with the rational study of morality, virtue, duty, happiness and good living ‘(Peter Singer).
Therefore, an Ethical Wine like any other wine should probably start out in the vineyard. Establishing a direct relationship with the winegrower (or being both a grape grower and winemaker: i.e. a vigneron or winegrower who handles the job of developing the vineyard and making the wine), getting the desired grapes, and thus being able to pay a fair price for the raw materials, always prioritizing quality not the quantity, and always maintaining prices higher than production cost (although this may seem obvious to a normal consumer, it does not always happen).
Words like “tradition, craftsmanship, agriculture, recovery, sustainability, ecology, heritage, culture” … are important descriptors as well.
Then our Ethical Wine continues its evolution during its elaboration and sales processes, where profit margin must be commensurate with cost, and work generated. When finally the wine arrives at the table at an honest price, all the many possible intermediaries will have been reduced as much as possible. Those who remain exist because we cannot reach the entire world without any help, but they should be honest in their treatment of both the wine and their pricing.
‘From producer to consumer’
Wine is made for drinking, not to be displayed in a shop window or appear in guides or tasted during wine fairs. An Ethical Wine must have a price that can be managed out of anyone’s pocket, and in this way be enjoyed and shared with pleasure, and without thinking about a luxury experience or a special moment.
To achieve this goal, each and every one of the people involved who participate in various phases of the project must feel, share and transmit the concept of Ethical Wine. They must be happy with their work. They must be happy with their financial compensation. Most importantly, they should manage their invoicing at the agree-upon time (another standard that may seem obvious, but unfortunately is becoming less common every day).
And of course an Ethical Wine must come from a vineyard and from a sustainable production process, where the labor (the human factor) is the most vital differentiating element in terms of generating quality. An Ethical Wine should also tell the truth about itself, with no half-truths or deceptions about the preparation, origin or other production details. An Ethical Wine is meant to be enjoyed as is, not sold based on some cliché about quality or fashion.
For example, why does an external certification company have to say that a wine is organic or from a specific area? It should be enough that an ethical winemaker says so, shouldn´t it?
This is our particular perspective and way of understanding life, and this is our way of making wine. We want more people and more wines to stand out everyday by giving value to the word ‘ethics’.
And so we introduce our nuestros Vinos Éticos: Ethical Wines: … Gratias Rosé, … Gratias Máximas … and all our other wines, with which we hope you yourself enjoy with good company with happiness and moderation.
Ingeniero Agrónomo, enólogo y viticultor: vigneron
Bodega Gratias: Vino Ético