The 28-year-old Cleveland resident co-owns the Cleveland-based business with his brother, Michael Schneeberger. He said business is beginning to gain momentum.
Phil explained that his company serves as a “negociant,” or merchant, that sells wine from Van Loveren Family Cellar in South Africa. The winery is headed by the Retief family, a third-generation, award-winning and fair-trade certified winemaker family.
The Schneeberger brothers partnered with the Van Loveren family because of their dedication to fair labor practices and their support of farm-worker business ownership practices.
Phil said he was inspired by to pursue a business utilizing fair trade practices after learning about fair trade as a student John Carroll University. His interest was further piqued when he served in AmeriCorps after he earned his liberal arts degree in 2006.
Now he’s busy promoting the wines, and he’s hoping his business will encourage wine drinkers to raise their glasses in support of ethical business practices.
The Fair Trade Wine Company features four varietals: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend.
The wines are distributed through Glazers and are currently being served and sold in restaurants and retail stores in Kentucky and Ohio. In Ohio, distribution is mainly in the Northeastern Ohio area and can be found in stores like Constantino’s at University Circle, Mustard Seed Market, Nature’s Bin and The Wine Spot in Cleveland Heights.
For more information, visit www.fairtradewinecompany.com or call Phil Schneeberger at (216) 287-9889.