Welcome to the beginning of your great wine experience with Black wineries and winemakers from around the world. The following information and listings are to showcase these stars who are creating amazing products for wine lovers all over the world. From California to South Africa, this page is your roundtrip ticket to some of the best wines, the people behind them as well as the experts to love to talk about them.
To Support Wineries and Winemakers, You’ll Have to Purchase Online
Wine purchases are often done at a wine shop or at a grocery market, and often these purchases happen a few hours before the wine is to be consumed. There are advantages to that, of course, but the disadvantage for African-American owned wineries is that very few of them have their products for sale in mainstream store locations. In order to support African-American owned wineries, you’ll need to plan ahead and order online.
Tips for Ordering Online
Wine is an alcoholic product, and as such, it cannot be left on your doorstep or received at your house by someone under the age of 21. For that reason, it’s best to have the wine delivered to your place of employment where there will be someone there to sign for your shipment.
Like many products, wine is generally cheaper in larger quantities. The same goes (to a degree) for shipping. For these reasons, it’s advisable to order many bottles at once. This gives you a chance to order several of a particular wine you enjoy, or mix and match from a variety of what the winery makes.
Related to the above, have your gift list planned so that you can buy all of your wine gifts (which include wines you want to take to holiday dinners when you’re a guest) in one purchase. You’ll probably save money in the long run.
If you’re ordering wine online and having it shipped directly to someone else’s address as a gift, make sure the winery ships to that state. Some states, such as Massachusetts, have restrictions on shipments of alcohol (although my friends are always willing to drive to New Hampshire to pick up wine I send to them).
Plan for at least a week and usually you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your shipment arrives sooner than that.
Wait, I Live in California!
For those of us lucky enough to live near wineries, there is the opportunity to purchase wine on-site. Wine tasting is a delightful activity all in itself and it can provide an opportunity to learn about the wines from the winemakers themselves. Most of the African-American owned wineries are located in California, and some have tasting rooms that are open to the public. Check the wineries’ websites for details and operating hours.
Located in Napa Valley, the sibling team of Coral, David and Deneen Brown make wines that include Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Tastings available off-site in Yountville.
San Francisco, CA
Sisters Andrea and Robin McBride are the owners of eco.love wines which are made in New Zealand at the first carboNZero Cert™ winery in the world. They produce three varietals – Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Noir and their vision is to create wines that enrich a celebration of life, beauty, and optimism, for the betterment of humankind. eco.love Wines are all about being accessible, beautiful, sustainable, and tasty.
This winery is also owned and operated by the Sterling brothers and specializes in Pinot Noir, pulling grapes from both Mendocino and Sonoma counties. Cole Ranch, the smallest AVA in the United States, is solely owned by Esterlina. Tastings on-site by appointment.
Everett Ridge Winery
Beautiful winery and tasting room located in Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma County). Owned and operated by four brothers, Eric, Steve, Chris and Craig Sterling. Diablita Wines is a separate label also produced by Everett Ridge. Tasting room open to the public.
Silver Spring, MD
Founded by jazz artist Marcus Johnson, FLO Wine, part of FLO Brands, produces and sells two types of wine – a Chardonnay and a Red Blend. The wine is bottled in northern California and created using grapes from the best appellations around the state.
Heritage Link Brands
Los Angeles, CA
Owned by husband and wife team Khary and Selena Cuffe, Heritage Link Brands works with vintners from across Africa with the majority of their relationships in the continent’s most developed market, South Africa.
House of Mandela Wines
Nelson Mandela’s daughter and granddaughter have launched a premium wine label with fine wines that capture the essence of the South African’s viniculture that is truly becoming an industry rival worldwide.
Paso Robles, CA
Raymond Smith is the owner and winemaker for Indigenè with the winery based in Carmel Valley, Monterey County. The Riesling (I=mb2) is fruit-forward and pleasing, the Cabernet Sauvignon, complex.
J Moss Wines
J Moss is a small family owned wine producer who creates high quality, hand crafted lots of Cabernet Sauvignon from the appellations of Napa Valley.
Dan Glover is the winemaker behind this brand. The 2008 L’Objet Noir, Pinot Noir is from the well known Bacicalupi Vineyard located in the storied Russian River Valley.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Husband and wife team, Diale and Malmsey Rangaka, left their professional careers behind to build a family business around developing a world-class wine tourism business in South Africa.
Mouton wines are unique and distinctive garage wines produced by Andre H. Mack. Founded in 2004, Mouton Noir began producing wines for New York City restaurants and released their first label, Mouton Noir Wines’ Montgomery Place in 2008.
Jordan, Ontario – Canada
Winemaker Steve Byfield is the owner of Nyarai Cellar, one of the small yet growing collection of vintner-directed virtual operations within the Niagara region.
Owned by Iris Rideau, and located in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, Rideau produces wines that highlight Rhône varietals. Tasting room open to the public.
Running Tigers Wine
Winemaker and owner Daniel Bryant is also a member of the Association of African American Vintners and his Syrah is full of fruit and spice. Daniel also operates A Color of Grape Wine Tours and Education.
Morgenster, Brackenfell, South Africa
The Brutus family of seven biological sisters started this business in the wine industry. Their wines are sold in 41 states as well as on American Airline’s international flights.
Vance Sharp is the owner of Sharp Cellars, located in Sonoma County. The Zinfandel is wildly popular with a hint of residual sugar, and the Pinot Noir is also a standout.
Los Angeles, CA
Simply Vino’s Vina Sympatica™ is a bubbly blend of super fruit and wine and as its name suggests, quite simply “a likeable wine.” The concept is a play on the traditional wine spritzer – cool, classic, light and enjoyable.
St. Helena, CA
Sosabe Cellars is a boutique family owned winery located in St. Helena. Founders Nuias and Sabino de Pina have a long lineage in Napa Valley, dating back to the 1930s when their grandfather and great uncle emigrated from Cape Verde Island and settled in California. Sosabe Cellars wines are sold in many restuarants and stores throughout California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and also by direct shipments to many reciprocal states.
North Garden, VA
Husband and wife team, Jerry and Lauren Bias, own and operate this winery in Virginia – that’s right, it’s not in California. They make a range of vitis vinifera, but also some vitis labrusca varietals. Tasting room open to the public.
Owner and winemaker Mac MacDonald has become an icon of African American winemaking. He is co-founder of the Association of African American Vintners and produces several Pinot Noir wines from various vineyards in California.
Los Angeles, CA
XIX was created in partnership with NFL superstar Keyshawn Johnson and is a custom creation from the Echo West Vineyards in Northwest Oregon and made with 100 cabernet sauvignon grapes.
MEET THE EXPERTS
A trip to New York’s Wythe Hotel and its restaurants will put in you the company of sommelier Lee Campbell, one of the industry top wine professionals.
Andre H. Mack
André Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine and has built an impressive career since. He has been featured in major publications, such as Food and Wine, Wine and Spirits Magazine, The New York Times, Women’s Health, Ebony, and Black Enterprise. Mr. Mack was honored in 2007 with The Network Journal’s 40-Under-Forty Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to business.
Brian is the wine director of Chicago’s BIN 36, the famously wonderful wine bar and restaurant. With a philosophy that wine should be enjoyable and accessible, Duncan relies on tastings. Instead of asking lots of questions to guess what wines people enjoy, he’d rather bring a few bottles around and garner a guest’s direct reaction to different varietals.
Greg B. C. Shaw
Greg is a college professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration at California State University, Sacramento. His areas of specialty include wine tourism education and California wine geography, and Greg has conducted wine tours, written a book chapter about wine tourism, and is also a contributing writer for Cuisine Noir magazine.
James is the head sommelier at Bottega in Yountville in Napa Valley. Bottega is the restaurant home of celebrity chef, Michael Chiarello. James Darden is also one-half of the team that owns Rival Wines (his brother Daniel is the other half).
James King and the King Group present a variety of unique and unforgettable events for wine and food groups. They create a “full-bodied” experience for corporate wine tastings, conferences, fundraisers, special events, and private homes.
Caldwell Winery and Vineyard isn’t an African American owned winery at all, but their winemaker, Marbue Marke, is and Caldwell promotes his expertise proudly. Caldwell is in east Napa County in the Coombsville region. Tasting room open to the public.
Ntsiki Biyela is the resident winemaker at Stellakaya Winery in South Africa and is also the first Black woman winemaker in the country as well. She joined the winery in January 2004 and has a passion for red wine and was named the Landbouweekblad Woman Winemaker of the year in 2010.
Victoria Coleman’s passion for viticulture and winemaking is stimulating. The Seattle native began working in the wine business as a production assistant to Michael Silacci. She is currently the wineamaker at Mario Bazán Cellars and has been there since 2004.
Vino Seduction is a LIVE web-broadcast that allows viewers to get comfortable learning about wine with three fun and vivacious hostesses. The show is geared towards wine enthusiasts who want to learn all about wine varietals, history, and pairings without getting lost in the snobbery that can sometimes occur in the wine world.
JOIN THE FUN (ORGANIZATIONS)
African American Wine Tasting Society
Founded by Renée Rowe, the AAWTS has chapters in Atlanta and Indianapolis for all interested in wine. The new Facebook page keeps members and friends up to date.
The Massachusetts based group founded by Stephanie Browne, is a gathering of Black women who love to taste and learn about wine. Divas hosts events (at various locations), seminars and even has a scholarship to give to “Divas in Training” that are studying to become sommeliers.
International Society of Africans in Wine
The ISAW Foundation was created by Stephen Satterfield to support the socioeconomic transformation of South Africa’s wine industry.
Roots and Vines Wine Tours
Roots and Vines is the product of two similar visions from Miquel Boscana and James Adams. Together they host private and special group tours and conduct winetasting presentations and education seminars.
Sacramento Wine and Nightlife Tours
Owned by husband and wife team, Grady and Gina O’Bryant, Sacramento Wine and Nightlife Tours takes guests on trips to Napa Valley, Lodi, The Sierra Foothills, and other wine regions around Sacramento. SW&NLT also conducts music and food trips.