Wine any time: 4 Black owned wineries you should check out online and in person
From rosé themed events to unlimited Prosecco brunches, it’s clear that wine, whether bubbly or still, continues to grow in popularity. We sip it from a can, add hops, and build loyalty to the most intricately designed and detailed bottles.
Globally, wine generates more $290 billion in sales each year. From the deep south to northern California, Black winemakers and growers have found innovative ways to create brands that last. They are a small and mighty force in an industry of over 8,000 wineries in the U.S. alone. Their aim is centered around a common theme: make wine relatable, non-intimidating, and educational.
Whether you’re planning a girlfriend’s getaway, looking for the perfect sip at your next big event, or, just want to help support Black entrepreneurs, here are a few notable Black owned and operated wineries to get you started on the road to becoming a true wine connoisseur.
1. CORNER 103
After 30 years in the finance industry, Lloyd Davis was ready for a change.
“I always had a love for wine. Two of my partners made an investment in a winery in Sonoma that didn’t work out and I came out here to fix it. During that process I started to fall out of love with New York and in love with Sonoma. So in 2008, I left New York and moved to Sonoma and started the next chapter in my life,” he told TheGrio.
The Corner 103 tasting room is available by appointment only and offers two experiences: an educational wine and food pairing or a general tasting of five wines. Corner 103’s best sellers include the Blanc de Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Red Blend (called Corner Cuvee) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Corner 103 is located at 103 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA, 95476and open daily from 11am to 6pm.
2. BROWN ESTATE
“Napa’s first and only Black owned vineyard” is Brown Estate’s claim to fame. It doesn’t hurt that they also make premium quality wine. The two-generation family run operation was established by siblings Deneen, David and Coral Brown in 1996.
Today, even celebs like Tina Knowles have visited the estate to taste their well-respected Zinfandels. Brown Estate offers three levels of membership to the public. They also own Brown Downtown, a tasting room in downtown Napa.
Imagine sharing a passion for one particular thing and not knowing that miles away, a family member was on that same path. That’s the story of Robin and Andréa McBride, two sisters who were both raised around vineyards and unaware of the other for nearly half their lives. In 1999, fate finally brought them together, and they created McBride Sisters producing two brands, Truvée and Eco.Love.
You can join their monthly or quarterly wine clubs and receive varietals including Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Brut Rosé. Each shipment comes with a recipe suggestion to make your wine and meal pairing complete.
4. BODKIN WINES
Chris Christensen founded Bodkin Wines in 2011. The Iowa native joined forces with Andre Chambers and the business partners have since produced over 15 varietals of wine, 11 of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast.
“I want to make wine that can be enjoyed in the here and now; Wine for the connoisseurs and for the novices. Bodkin Wines should be enjoyed at family events, momentous occasions, picnics and barbecues — not hoarded in someone’s basement,” said Christensen.
Bodkin Wines adheres to their ”we few, we happy few” motto, and celebrates just how successful a small company can be. Details on how to become a member can be found here.
Make your way to Oregon wine country to taste the fruits of labor of Bertony Faustin, who plants, harvests and makes the wine at Abbey Creek Vineyard. Born to Haitian-immigrant parents and a native New Yorker, Faustin is Abbey Creek Vineyard’s proud founder. The winery is located just minutes away from Portland, Oregon and offers tastings on Saturday and Sunday.
Faustin has also gone beyond his love of winemaking to the title of producer. He is currently screening his documentary, Red, White and Black, which chronicles the stories of other minority winemakers.
Kristin Braswell is an award-winning travel journalist and founder of CrushGlobal Travel. Follow her adventures on Instagram, @crushglobal.