Special Report: My day in Mendoza

By Lisa Costantini

I first learned about Fairhills through the project my husband and I started called Why Sport Matters [www.whysportmatters.com]. We are spending one year traveling the world to learn more about different places through the power of sport.

A friend turned us on to the Fairhills initiative: using sport as a way to promote healthy living for the workers in communities prone to high alcohol rates. During our travels through Argentina we got to spend a day visiting the vineyards in Mendoza.

Eating like kings: Me, Maria Jose De Rosas (Fairhills), Luis Chiaramonte (small producer), Nidi Davolio, daughters Noelia and Yamila, star cook, Dora (Nidi's mother) and Pierre Smit (Fairhills), or rather, the nose of Pierre Smit 🙂

Our first stop was the headquarters of Mendoza Vineyards where we watched a presentation on the success of the sports program thus far. Afterwards we took the 45 minute drive to visit some of their partner vineyards and meet the owners. The staff in the field was hard at work cropping the last few grapes of the season, but that didn’t stop them from greeting us and answering any questions we had. The owner arrived and insisted we stay for lunch as her mother was cooking up some homemade empanadas and pasta – still ranks high as one of the best meals on our trip.

Before lunch we stopped by the spacious grounds where construction was soon to begin on their new medical center. It was amazing to hear about the upcoming plans and top-notch staff that had come on board.Next we visited the children’s school established by Fairhills and Mendoza Vineyards. The place was empty save for a few teachers who were busy preparing for the new term in a couple of days. They were eager to share their stories with us. Their hope for the school and the potential they saw in the students was touching.They were so excited and proud to show us around, and it was evident by all the special touches that this place was created out of love.

The only thing lacking was a more suitable playground. A cement square in the middle of the two surrounding schools was all they had. But they made it work. There was a football goal and basketball net and we were told they had recently received some hula-hoops and footballs for the kids. We only wished there was something we could have done. Later we found out there is. Mendoza Vineyards works with a unique organization with the tagline “Tackling Poverty and Empowering Producers through Trade” so that for every bottle you buy with the FAIRTRADE label, you are helping support these exact organizations. If there was ever a good reason to drink, this is it.

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One Response to “Special Report: My day in Mendoza”

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  1. Special Report: My Day in the Mendoza Vineyards | World of Fairhills's Blog - August 8, 2010

    […] South AmericaEmpowering WomenFairhills helps earthquake victimsSpecial Report: My day in Mendoza ← […]

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