Though there are more than 8,000 wineries located within the United States, less than 5 percent are Black-owned. Shocking right? And while the numbers are small in comparison, our wine labels are big in taste, texture and affordability — going up against any bottle of your favorite red or white.
Now, more than ever, supporting Black vintners is especially important. Not only do we need to continue circulating the Black dollar within our own communities, but we must stand against the racial inequalities that are happening in this country, causing us unprecedented disruptions and harm.
And of course, that starts with supporting perhaps the most important industry on many of our lists — spirits. Here are some of the country’s premier Black-owned wine labels from across the globe that you need to add to your collections.
Jenny Dawn Cellars
Founded in 2016 by sommelier Jennifer McDonald, Jenny Dawn Cellars has grown from the dream of an at-home winemaker into the first urban winery in Wichita, Kansas. For years, when local Kansas African Americans went to wine retailers, they couldn’t purchase a wine from anyone who looked like them. But, Jenny says, they’ve finally been able to change that narrative. Her wines are elegant and approachable, made from grapes sourced from the finest growers in the nation.
La Fête du Rosé
La Fête is geared towards multicultural consumers who have a thirst for life, travel and wine. Founder Donae Burston saw that pink wine was having its moment and showing no signs of slowing down in popularity however, he found that most rosé brands on the market only catered to a very specific female general market consumer and ignored African Americans, Hispanic Americans & Men, among others. Recognizing the gaping void in the wine industry, Donae set out to create a brand that is inclusive of and speaks to the multicultural demographic with its marketing and consumer outreach. Launched in summer 2019 La Fête's literal translation is the “The Rose Party” so for Donae, the brand is a party - one that everyone is invited. This mentality is manifested in everything that the brand does.
Theopolis Vineyards is a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California's prestigious Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley. Emboldened by the great fruit produced by the land, its owner and founder Theodora R. Lee, is a bold and dynamic Texan and trial lawyer. In the wine world, Ms. Lee is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Her passion for wine began upon her arrival to San Francisco from Texas in 1987, primarily due to the influence of her law firm mentors, many of whom owned vineyards. In 2001, Ms. Lee purchased sheep land in the Yorkville Highlands, and began developing her vineyard. This process was quite complex from clearing land, doing soil tests, obtaining permits to remove some trees, drilling an agricultural well, and terracing the property. Finally, in 2003, Ms. Lee planted her 5 acre vineyard. Ms. Lee adopted her Greek name, and established Theopolis Vineyards.
Longevity Wines is what owner Phil Long likes to call, “a love infused brand.” Phil and his wife Debra founded Longevity Wines in 2008 to celebrate their life, love and passion by making and sharing great wine. The boutique, urban-style winery is located in Livermore Valley wine country in California, less than an hour from San Francisco, and offers an array of wines made from locally sourced fruit. Phil’s 2018 Longevity Chardonnay (SRP $15.99) has a beautiful nose of melon, fresh pear, pineapple and white blossom with hints of flint, yeast and toasted oak. The wine is clean and bright in the mouth, bursting with flavors of honeydew and lemon thanks to a kiss of Viognier.
Brown Estate Vineyards
Brown Estate Vineyards is the first and only black-owned estate winery in Napa Valley, California. Established in the 1990s by siblings Deneen, David and Coral Brown, Brown Estate is a fast-growing two-generation family-run winemaking business. The siblings of course were encouraged to keep going through an investment from their parents Bassett Brown and Marcela Brown. They acquired the 450 acres in the Chiles Valley AVA of the Napa Valley, California back in 1980, and have been making history ever since.
Maison Noir Wines
Launched by André Mack, Maison Noir is the exact representation we needed in Willamette Valley. Mack, who worked the floor for years as a sommelier, now makes these delicious wines under an equally fantastic aesthetic. Sporting names like O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot Noir) and Oregogne, they'll be the walk of every dinner party. Maison Noir is as much as an eye-catching brand as it is a purveyor of reasonably priced adult juice.
Founded by Wall Street finance veteran Marvina S. Robinson, Stuyvesant was born after a lifelong love affair with Champagne, starting from her college days. She and her friends would often pool their limited funds to purchase a bottle of Moet & Chandon White Star, frequenting a liquor store on Fulton Street and St. James Place in Brooklyn. They would do a traditional toast, ‘clink’, and proudly sip out of their plastic cups. Named after the historic Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant where Robinson grew up, she’s created two cuveés, a Grand Reserve Champagne Brut, and a Champagne Rosé, made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes.