People of color – and women of color in particular – have long been underrepresented in the wine industry. And yet, POC-owned wineries are producing some of the most innovative and exciting wines out there.
In honor of Black History Month, we’re raising our glass to some of the nation’s top Black-owned wineries. Not only are these winemakers crafting exceptional wines, they’re also cultivating inclusivity in their teams and novel winemaking approaches on their vineyards.
Located all over the country, these wineries produce everything from traditional varietals to rare finds, including sparkling Sauvignon blanc and wine-cider blends. Check out these 7 POC- and Black-owned wineries that you can support all year round.
1. McBride Sisters Wines
Since 2005, Robin and Andréa McBride have worked to transform the wine industry by producing wines that blend Old-World elegance and New-World finesse. Raised on opposite sides of the globe in California and New Zealand – two of the world’s top winemaking regions – the sisters met as adults and discovered that they shared a passion for winemaking. Today, the McBride Sisters produce a wide array of excellent wines and help to foster the careers of women in wine through the SHE CAN Professional Development Fund.
2. Longevity Wines
Our list wouldn't be complete without Longevity Wines by Phil Long. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Longevity wines was launched in 2008 by Phil Long and his wife Debra when they noticed a need for more inclusive wine experiences. What started as a hobby of making wine in their garage soon grew into a full operation.
“The people who make wine should be as diverse as the people who drink wine,” Long says.
Long proudly serves as the president of the Association of African American Vintners also known as the AAAV. This group supports Black winemakers through scholarships and mentoring opportunities. We'll drink to that!
In 2018 Longevity was awarded Livermore Valley’s Winery of the year, and it's now the third largest wine brand in Livermore Valley.
3. Abbey Creek Winery
In 2008 Bertony Faustin became the first Black winemaker in Oregon. Originally from New York City, Faustin is a winemaker and change-maker who lives by the maxim, “My best is my next.” Abbey Creek Winery is named for the creek that runs through the vineyard, and indeed, terroir is an important part of what makes Abbey Creek wine special. With tasting rooms in downtown Portland and North Plains, Abbey Creek Winery is known for everything from Chardonnay and rosé to Pinot Noir and Cabernet.
4. Theopolis Vineyards
For Theodora Lee – who’s known as “Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards” – winemaking started as a hobby. Starting in 2003, her passion became her business, and soon Theo-patra’s wines were receiving stellar scores from renowned wine critic Robert Parker. Located in California’s Yorkville Highlands, Theopolis Vineyards is known for exquisite Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, and a golden white wine with tropical fruit notes known as Cuvée Blanc.
5. Jenny Dawn Cellars
Midwest wine lovers, listen up: Jenny Dawn Cellars became the first urban winery in Wichita, Kansas in 2016. Founded by Jennifer McDonald, Jenny Dawn Cellars has 11 handcrafted wines, including popular varietals like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, as well as blackberry and apple wines.
6. Bodkin Wines
Iowa native Chris Christensen founded Bodkin Wines in 2011 inspired by a quote from William Shakespeare’s Henry V, “'We few, we happy few'' because “it's amazing what the small and mighty can accomplish.” Christensen’s vision was to cultivate wines that would be enjoyed by both wine novices and connoisseurs at everything from casual family picnics to momentous life events – ”not hoarded in someone’s basement.” Today, this Sonoma Valley-based winery is known for an array of wines including Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and sparkling Sauvignon blanc – the first of its kind in the U.S.
7. Frichette Winery
Founded by husband and wife team Greg and Shae Frichette, Frichette Winery is located in the Red Mountain AVA of Washington State. Since 2011, Frichette Winery has made an array of wines, including bold reds like Merlot, Malbec, and Zinfandel, plus single-varietal Sémillon and a rosé with notes of strawberry and tangerine. Their wines are available online and in their tasting room on Red Mountain.
In Vino Finito
Do you know about an excellent POC-owned winery in your region that you’d like us to shout out? Email us so we can help spread the word.