With more than 8,000 wineries located within the United States, less than 5 percent are Black-owned. Although the number is small in comparison, Black winemakers are steadily increasing and beginning to join forces as a branded commodity. In 2002, the Association of African American Vintners was created to showcase and establish mutual support among vintners. Read on to learn more about some of the country’s premier Black-owned wineries and vineyards varying from the California coast to the Virginia countryside.
The dynamic sister duo, Robin and Andrea McBride, have been in the wine industry for more than a decade and are the first Black sisters to establish their own wine company, eco. love Wines. After growing up in different countries and meeting each other for the first time in 1999, they embarked on a journey transcending beyond sisterhood, creating a staple within the new generation of wine makers. The company was built on the foundation of providing exquisite wines with minimal environmental impact at a price point everyone can enjoy. Truvée Wines is the sisters’ latest venture, inspired by their personal story of discovery, friendship and sisterhood.
The Brown Estate is a family-owned and operated winery located in Napa Valley. The sibling team consisting of Coral, David and Deneen Brown are responsible for producing quality wines and upholding the family legacy. The company’s winemaking philosophy of purity is reflective in their various wine selections, consisting of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This year not only marks the Brown Estate’s 20th anniversary, it’s also their 35th anniversary in Napa Valley.
The world-renowned Esterlina Vineyards is a family-owned, California winery, specializing in Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignon. Esterlina is known for producing stellar wines in limited quantities with grapes grown from their very own vineyard. Each wine is created in three various appellations, bottle by bottle. Additionally, the smallest AVA (American Viticultural Area) in the country, Cole Ranch, is exclusively owned and operated by Esterlina.
Theopolis Vineyards was founded in 2003 by Theodora Lee, known to many in the wine world as Theo-patra, Queen of the vineyards. Located in California’s Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley, the small vineyard has received rave reviews from distinguished wine critic, Robert Parker. Not to mention, Lee has recently begun bottling and distributing her wine with the release of Petite Sirah and Symphony, a white wine combination between Muscat and Grenache Gris.