Will Cape Legends bring WIETA Down to Earth with a Bang?

The Earthbound range of organic and Fair Trade wines from Cape Legends, the lifestyle marketing arm of Distell, is the sexiest range of mid-priced wines in SA and was launched last month.  The range consists of

Earthbound organic Sauvignon blanc: A crisp finish with tropical fruit and good balance;

Earthbound organic Chenin blanc: Lime green in colour, it has a lingering ripe fruit and dried pear palate;

Earthbound organic Pinotage: Ruby red, sweet plum and caramel with a vanilla sweet spice to tempt the nose, while the palate is a medley of concentrated red fruits and traces of smoke;

Earthbound organic Cabernet Sauvignon: Blackberry flavours on the nose partner perfectly with the plum and blackcurrant flavours on the palate;

Earthbound Pinot noir: Its dark red colour is complemented with a lavender and blackcurrant nose, rich fruit flavours and soft tannins.

cleg Will Cape Legends bring WIETA Down to Earth with a Bang?

Yet the wines will not qualify for a Systembolaget tender for Swedish consumers as Cape Legends chose Fair Trade above WIETA, the controversial home-grown ethical accreditation cottage industry. Word in the cellar is that WOSA ex-CEO Su Birch, finally prised out of the cushions of her La-Z-Boy recliner in Dorp Street after a decade plus and much damage to SA wine, lobbied Systembolaget buyer Johan Larssen to make WIETA accreditation a requirement for tender qualification.  With her WOSA career over, is there an ongoing role for Su at WIETA?  Let’s hope this is not a case of feather bedding.

Fair Trade executives like Harriet Lamb now need to do some work to earn the big bucks they pay themselves.  An investigation into the relationship between Su and Johan would be a good place to start to get to the bottom of why the Swedes seek to dictate the ethical accreditation organization acceptable to them for wine imports.  Do they do the same thing with the bananas and coffee imported into Sweden?  Could this be a case for Lisbeth Salander, the girl who kicked the hornet’s nest? Perhaps the time has come for Fair Trade to mobilize the Swedish press to investigate a peculiar situation worthy of a Scandinavian noir detective pot boiler.