Black-Owned Wineries and Winemakers
Did you know that out of 11,000 wineries in the United States, less than 1% are Black-owned or have a Black winemaker? That hasn’t stopped some incredible winemakers from making a name for themselves in the industry.
With a need for more inclusivity and diversity in the winemaking world, we’re celebrating ten extraordinary Black-owned wine brands dominating in creativity and quality and paving the way for future generations of Black winemakers.
There are so many worth exploring, but for now, we’ve listed ten exceptional Black-owned vineyards and wineries that are making an impression on the wine industry.
A trial lawyer turned viticulture specialist, Theodora R. Lee is the award-winning winemaker behind Theopolis Vineyards. After two decades of pursuing her viticulture education, saving, and working hard, Lee purchased twenty acres of sheep land in Anderon Valley’s Yorkville Highlands in 2001 and established her business just two years later.
In 2020, Lee started the Theopolis Vineyards Diversity Fund at UC Davis and donated $50,000 with another $20,000 pledged.
Theopolis is known for its iconic Petite Syrah and Rosé of Petite Sirah. Travel along the breathtaking Mendocino Coast and treat yourself to these refreshing varietals at this gorgeous winery.
Did you know McBride Sisters is the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States? After growing up halfway around the world from each other (one in Monterey, California, and the other in Malborough, New Zealand), Robin and Andréa met in the Golden State in 2005 and bonded over all things winemaking.
With a mutual desire to shake up the industry, the sisters combined old-world elegance and new-world finesse to form their iconic brand.
Not only can you shop incredible bottled and canned versions of sparkling wines, red wines, white wines, and Rosé, but you can also join their amazing Wine Club for some exclusive member benefits.
Maison Noir Wines
Inspired by an episode of Frasier, sommelier and winemaker André Hueston Mack established Maison Noir in 2007 in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. His advice to other young winemakers is to never give up and always keep your eye on the prize when opening a business.
When you visit Maison Noir, you will find an abundance of quality wines in all categories, including red, white, and blush wines. “Free Gamay,” “In Sheep’s Clothing” Cabernet Sauvignon, “Knock on Wood” Chardonnay, and “Love Drunk” Rosé are just a few you should try!
Chris Christensen made a statement in 2011 when he became the first American to create a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. Chris is a 4th generation Iowan who moved to the West Coast to become a self-taught winemaker.
In addition to his sparkling Sauv Blanc, Christensen sells full bottled and canned versions of his unique wines, including the super refreshing Sparkling Rosé!
You can find many other luxurious red wines, white wines, and blush wines over at the Bodkin Wines website.
Known for its irresistible Zinfandel, Brown Estate is the first Black-owned winery in Napa Valley. This business dates back to the 1980s when the Brown family first purchased a deserted ranch and started planting vines. Fifteen years later, the first bottle of Zinfandel was born!
The next time you’re in Napa Valley looking for a tasting room, stop by Brown Estate for world-class wines and an incredible legacy.
After a successful music career in Los Angeles, winemaker Danny Glover turned his attention to perfecting Pinot Noir. Several years later, Glover succeeded in bringing his muse to life. Bursting with fine fruit and classic forest floor earth tones, you can taste Glover’s masterpiece by ordering online.
Founded by Oakland Native Raymond Smith, this Black-owned wine company is family-operated in upper Carmel Valley near Paso Robles. Smith started a small fleet of mobile wine bottling lines after working in the grocery industry. Eventually, he made connections in the wine industry and opened his own winery.
Smith’s story is as rare as it is impressive, as he began his winemaking journey completely on his own. You can check out decadent wines like Pinot Noir, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Moscato, and Italian varietals at more at the impressive Indigené Cellars.
What first started as a hobby in his garage, Phil Long established Longevity Wines in Livermore Valley in 2008. Today, it is the third-largest wine brand in the valley. It was also named Livermore’s Winery of the Year in 2019.
Before opening more tasting rooms throughout Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, Long was president of the African American Vintners Association.
If you’re looking for a fun wine-tasting experience, this winery has good times and quality varietals in spades. Longevity Wines is located an hour outside San Francisco, so if you’re planning a trip to Northern California anytime soon, be sure to stop by!
This winery boasts the title of Sonoma County’s first and only Black-owned winery. Founded by winemaker Lloyd Davis and located in the heart of Sonoma Square, its tasting room was also voted #1 in USA Today!
Despite abundant success, Davis’ mission remains the same: to make wine more accessible and approachable.
For an unforgettable experience, visit Corner 103 and try amazing wines like Dry Creek Zinfandels and much more.
J. Moss Wines
Opened in 2001, the family-owned J. Moss Wines is home to classic, awe-inspiring Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. After falling in love with Napa, James Moss and his wife (who has a winemaking degree) moved from Texas to California to open their winery.
If you’re craving a quaint getaway and a weekend of wine tasting in the gorgeous hills of Napa Valley, book your reservation at J. Moss Winery.
A Toast to Black Wine Makers
As the wine industry moves towards more inclusivity and diversity, it’s important to acknowledge the Black-owned businesses working tirelessly to impact the space in a positive way.
While we couldn’t include all of the incredible Black-owned wineries and winemakers in this list, we hope our selection urges you to support the amazing world of Black winemaking.
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