Almost every morning, rubbing my eyes as I pour my coffee, I glance over at my wine rack and think, “I’ll see you at six on the dot.” The plethora of stressors that rain down on me daily have made a nightly glass (or two) of red a welcome ritual. So, with Father's Day around the corner, I wholeheartedly suggest gifting your dad (or dad figure) a bottle of something delicious so he can partake too. And because there's no better time to be a more conscious consumer, why not support a Black-owned winery?
Since Black-owned wineries reportedly make up less than one tenth of one percent of winemakers, according to Phil Long, owner of Longevity Wines in Livermore, California, it’s easy for these businesses to be lost in the shuffle. But, folks: I got you. As a wine lover myself — and someone able to pronounce Gewürztraminer, too — I will graciously assume the role of your trusty sommelier. Here are my five top picks for Black-owned wineries you can buy from your local liquor store or order online.
Founded by black sommelier André Hueston Mack in 2007, Maison Noir (or “black sheep” translated to English) is a cleverly named winery featuring garage wines, which means that they produce small but fancy parcels of wine. With batch names like Bottoms Up and O.P.P. (which stands for “Other People’s Pinot” in this instance) You can tell this company’s wine is likely as high-quality as their sense of humor.
Owner of Theopolis Vineyards Theodora Lee — who is also a lawyer and multi-tasking queen — has seen her sales increase exponentially since the pandemic hit, which totally tracks with how we’ve all been feeling, I bet. According to her website, her nickname in the wine world is “Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards,” and that makes me an instant stan.
Domaine Curry Wine
This winery is co-owned by best-selling chef, lifestyle influencer, and basketball wife Ayesha Curry. The winery’s Domaine Curry Sauvignon Blanc sports hints of pink grapefruit and tropical fruits, which sounds right up my alley. That bottle, in particular, has been well reviewed by several well known wine critics, so it might be worth a summer picnic feature.
This Napa Valley winery was founded in 1980 when the first generation of Brown family owners purchased an abandoned ranch in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. Forty years later, they’ve gone from selling grapes to other wineries to making their own family-owned varietals, releasing their 20th vintage in 2017.
This winery, owned by Sherrijon Gaspard, focuses on sparkling wine (one of my favorites), and they’ve dubbed their approach “Nouveau Sparkling.” Gaspard wanted to focus on wine (both white and red) that she enjoyed herself in gatherings and parties with friends. Buy a bottle and Zoom a friend, like I plan on doing.