Blacks in Wine, Beer and Spirits

Blacks in Wine, Beer and Spirits Around the World

From California to South Africa and beyond, this directory is your roundtrip ticket to enjoy some of the best wines, beers and spirits along with getting to know the people making it all happen. 

This international directory of black wineries, breweries and spirit makers is the first of its kind and has grown since we launched it in 2012.  With a pulse on these three industries, we’ll be sure to keep you posted about who is new as well as how the veterans continue to change the game.

Be sure to click on the names to be directed to the websites. 

THE WINERIES

Abbey Creek Vineyard | Oregon

Winemaker Bertony Faustin plants the vines, tends to them, harvests the fruit and makes the wine. He is the heart and soul, the drive that pushes Abbey Creek forward.   A transplanted New Yorker, Bertony has found not only his family but his destiny in Oregon wine country.

Read more about Bertony Faustin in Cuisine Noir.

Aslina Wines | South Africa

South Africa’s first black female winemaker is on her own with her new wine label Aslina, named after her grandmother.  The wines include a sauvignon blanc and a cabernet sauvignon.

Bodkin Wines | California

Winemaker Christopher Christensen makes California’s first sparkling sauvignon blanc as well as a still sauvignon blanc. Other varietals include a muscat canelli and a zinfandel that will be released this September.

Brown Estate | California

Located in Napa Valley, the sibling team of Coral, David and Deneen Brown makes wines that include zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay.  Tastings available at their tasting room in downtown Napa.

Charles Woodson Wines | California

Charles Woodson discovered his appreciation for wine in 1998 when he arrived in Napa with the Oakland Raiders for training camp.  Charles Woodson Wines is farmed with the same artisanship, precision and delicate care that is at the core of the winemaking philosophy.

Corner 103 Winery | California

Corner 103 is also about creating a unique experience where wine is explored and discussed in a relaxed and fun environment. Lloyd Davis wants you to learn all about his wines in a friendly, non-intimidating way. As a result, you will explore seven wines in a seated comfortable environment.

Read  more about Lloyd Davis and Corner 103 in Cuisine Noir.

Darjean Jones Wines | Texas

Dr. Dawna Darjean Jones is the winemaker behind these award-winning wines. Falling in love with the grapes while earning her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at U.C. Davis, Jones works with top vineyards to produce an impressive portfolio that includes merlot, chardonnay, blanc de noir and a proprietary red.

Read more about Darjean Jones Wines in Cuisine Noir.

Domaine Curry Wine | California

Ayesha Curry and Steph Curry’s little sister, Sydel, have come together to produce a cabernet sauvignon that she describes as beautifully balanced and designed to drink now or age gracefully to enjoy in 5+ years.”

D. Wade Cellars | California

NBA star Dwyane Wade has partnered with friend and winemaker Jayson Pahlmeyer to create his inaugural release from Wade Cellars.  The combination of a 2014 harvest trip and Pahlmeyer’s wine business knowledge along with Wade’s enthusiasm and joie de vivre gave birth to the new label.  Sold around the country, selections include a cabernet sauvignon and red blend.

Earl Stevens Selections | California

Rapper E-40 or Earl Stevens is a wine connoisseur who decided to make his own label of wine. Earl Stevens Selections has three offers: mangoscato, red blend (cabernet and zinfandel) and moscato.

Edelheiss Wine | District of Columbia

Edelheiss Wine is an elite 100 organic fortified wine generating an exhilarating taste and consists of all natural red wine, cinnamon and other natural mixed spices that makes it for a comforting, soothing and delightful beverage. The taste of Edelheiss reflects the commitment of a quality brand with unsurpassed quality control and the purest of ingredients.

ENAT Winery | California

Herb Houston and Debbie Gebeyehu are owners of the ENAT winery, one of the nation’s largest producers of Ethiopian style honey wine based in Oakland.

Flo Brands | Maryland

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.

Read more about Flo Brands in Cuisine Noir.

Frichette Winery | Washington

Frichette Winery is a family-owned limited production winery crafting wines that showcase the best of Red Mountain and the Columbia Valley AVAs and available in their tasting room and through the wine club and a handful of restaurants and specialty shops in the Pacific Northwest.

Heritage Link Brands | California and New York

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.

Read more about Heritage Link Brands in Cuisine Noir.

Highberry Wines | New York and South Africa

An internationally renowned wine connoisseur and wine columnist, Jabulani Ntshangase developed a keen interest in the wine industry in the late 1970’s while studying towards his business degree on a United Nations Scholarship at the Baruch College in Manhattan, New York. This interest started when he was employed as a clerk in an upmarket Manhattan Wine Shop.

Read more about Jabulani Ntshangase in Cuisine Noir.

House of Mandela Wines | South Africa

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.

Read more about the House of Mandela Wines in Cuisine Noir.

Indigenè Cellars | California

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 | California

J Moss is a small family owned wine producer who creates high quality, handcrafted lots of cabernet sauvignon from the appellations of Napa Valley.

Lina Wines | Ohio

Lina Wines is based in Ohio and founded in 2012 by husband and wife team, Michael and Shareece Curry. The company was birthed from a passion to develop quality wine with an unforgettable taste and offer a variety of wines at affordable prices.

L’Objet Noir | California

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.

Longevity Wines | California

Winemaker Phil Long enjoys the challenge of bigger wines but approaches each varietal with the same dedication.  Favorites in the barrels will always include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, Debruvee (the signature Rhone Style blend of syrah, grenache, mourvedre, and petite sirah), and Philosophy (Bordeaux style blend), and chardonnay among others.

Read more about Longevity Wines in Cuisine Noir.

Love Cork Screw | Illinois

Love Cork Screw by Chrishon Lampley is a lifestyle brand that launched six varietals in the fourth quarter of 2013. Since its inception, the LCS brand has acquired over 45 locations including, Mariano’s, Whole Foods and other Chicago land area stores, restaurants and bars. 

Maison Ilan | France

Maison Ilan is owned by San Francisco Bay Area native Ray Walker and is a micro-négociant winery, sourcing small lots of pinot noir fruit from the Côte de Nuits region in Burgundy, dedicated to exceptional Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. The winery is located in Nuits-Saint-Georges, France.

Maison Noir Wines (Formerly Mouton Noir Wines) | New York and Oregon

Mouton wines are unique and distinctive garage wines produced by Andre H. Mack.  Founded in 2004, Maison Noir began producing wines for New York City restaurants and released their first label, Mouton Noir Wines’ Montgomery Place in 2008.

Read more about Maison Noir in Cuisine Noir.

Marie Césaire | France

Marie Césaire was founded in 2015 is the result of a long journey orchestrated by brother and sister Marie-Inés and Jaïro Romelle who are originally from Guadeloupe.  Named after their parents, the Champagne is made from the grape vines that are grown in the world-famous Champagne village of Ecueil.

Marke Wines | California

Marke Wines is a reflection of winemaker Marbue Marke’s journey.  It is a journey that defies conventional expectations…and leads to unexpected destinations.  The result of this journey is his personal portfolio of the art of winemaking.

Read more about Marbue Marke in Cuisine Noir.

Markell-Bani | Ohio

Markell-Bani is the brainchild of two local visionaries, Gregory Markell Lawrence and Sean Bani Yisrael. The two decided to create a wine brand that embraced African-American culture while maintaining elements and character loved by traditional wine drinkers. Selections include black cherry merlot, kiwi pear sauvignon blanc and rose’.

McBride Sisters Collection | California

Despite growing up 7,000 miles away, Robin and Andrea McBride would eventually find their way to each other in 1999. Their story is proof of the bond that can form over a bottle of wine, a story that comes to life with all McBride Sisters wines.

Read more about the McBride Sisters in Cuisine Noir.

M’Hudi| 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.

MYX Fusion Moscato | New York

MYX Fusions Moscato is co-owned by Nicki Minaj and entertainment industry magnate, Mona Scott-Young. MYX Fusions Moscato combines the excitement of fruit-infused sparkling wine with the infinite drinkability of full-flavored beer.  MYX is currently available in 3 exciting flavors – Peach, Coconut and Original Moscato.

Nyarai Cellars | Canada

Winemaker Steve Byfield is the owner of Nyarai Cellar, one of the small yet growing collections of vintner-directed virtual operations within the Niagara region.

Read more about Nyarai Cellars in Cuisine Noir.

Okapi Vineyard | California

Producing 300 cases per year, Okapi Vineyard produces full-bodied wines with opulent flavors balanced by sufficient tannins and complexity ages beautifully. Wines are available online and via telephone.

Charles Wine Company | California

Charles Wine Company is family-owned and managed with a portfolio of premium wines representing the rich diversity of the Western States: California (Northern, Central, and Southern), Washington and Oregon appellations.  The portfolio includes a chardonnay, zinfandel, pinot noir and symphony.

Read more about Charles Wine Company in Cuisine Noir.

P. Harrell Wines | California

The creation of P. Harrell Wines has emerged from owner Paula J. Harrel’s long-standing passion and appreciation for wine. Her 2013 zinfandel, Three Fifteen, is named after her childhood home in San Francisco. The 2013 reisling, Haight Street, is a tribute to her family’s legacy.

Popcorn Chardonnay | California

The brainchild of chef and entrepreneur R.C. Mills, Popcorn Chardonnay is a fun, accessible, unpretentious Californa chardonnay brand, yet a serious wine from quality vineyards throughout coastal AVA’s. Near 100 malolactic.

Serendipity Wines | Virginia

CEO Brenda Williams believes that wine is the epitome of sophistication and fun. Living by the motto, “Be rich in life, rich in love, and rich in family and friends.” She introduced “Temptation Chardonnay,” “Cuvee Blanc,” and “Seduction Cabernet Franc,” to bring fulfillment to every conversation, every meal, and every moment that you share with a glass in hand.

Seven Sisters | 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.

Shoe Crazy Wine | Virginia

Founder Gwen Hurt was given a winemaking kit for Christmas and hasn’t looked back since. The brand name is inspired by her passion for shoes. The wine is made from superior grapes in optimum conditions. Shoe Crazy Wine creates signature and proprietary blends that are beautifully balanced. Its mission is to deliver the ultimate wine drinking experience by never forgetting the customer is everything.

Silk Bush Mountain Vineyards | South Africa

Silkbush Mountain Vineyards hails its name from the Sybasberg (Afrikaans for Silkbush Mountain), one of the highest peaks above our vineyards. The Silkbush leaves, when torn, produce silky threads of latex – hence its name. Just as special and unique as the Silkbush is, so are the soils, slopes, and vineyards. This unique mountain terroir manifests in their wines, beautifully.  In 2016, Heritage Link Brands acquired equity in the brand.

Simply Love Wines | Illinois

Barbara Jackson created Simply Love Wines to be enjoyed and shared in the company of those who are most important to us.  Being in love with love, Jackson offers a petite sirah, cabernet sauvignon and serene blanc.

Simply Vino | California

Simply Vino’s Vina Sympatica™ is a bubbly blend of super fruit and wine and as its name suggests, quite simply “a likable wine.” The concept is a play on the traditional wine spritzer – cool, classic, light and enjoyable.

Sosabe Cellars | California

Pronounced (Soh-saa-bee) meaning “ fun” in the Cape Verdean language, this is the essence and inspiration of Sosabe Wines. Well-balanced, with flavors, smoothness, and complexities Sosabe Wines are enjoyable for all occasions. Sosabe Cellars’ Wines are sold in many restaurants and stores throughout California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida and as far as Japan with direct shipments available in other states.

Taste Collection Cellars | Texas

Inspired by her travels to historic wine regions of both old world and new, executive chef and winemaker Rhonda Russell developed a passion for the way our food and wine are expressed across cultures. Chef Rhonda Russell has brought that into her winemaking with the award-winning Taste Collection Cellars, and now she shares her love and passion with you in your home.

Read more about Taste Collection Cellars in Cuisine Noir.

Theopolis Vineyards| California

Theopolis Vineyards is a small lot vineyard and hand-crafted winery located in California’s prestigious Yorkville Highlands of the Anderson Valley.  Owned by Theodora Lee, wines made from the grapes harvested on the vineyards have received stellar ratings of 94-96 points by world-renowned critic Robert Parker.  In 2014, Lee started bottling and distributing her wine releasing a Petite Sirah and Symphony (a white wine that is crossing of muscat and grenache gris).

Read more about Theopolis Vineyards in Cuisine Noir.

Thandi Wines | South Africa

Established in Elgin in 1995, Thandi – a Xhosa word meaning ‘nurturing love’ – is a wine that niches on quality, spawned the Fairtrade trend, and uplifts and empowers previously disadvantaged communities. In 2003, Thandi became the first wine brand in the world to receive Fairtrade accreditation.

The Vegan Vine | California

Retired basketball star John Salley has embraced his vegan lifestyle and love for wine by partnering up with Clos LaChance Winery for his first foray into the wine industry. Wines are sold online and at select retail locations.

Read more about The Vegan Vine in Cuisine Noir.

Vanilla Puddin | California

Fun, elegant, stylish and approachable are just a few words to describe the 2012 Vanilla Puddin Chardonnay from Napa Valley, CA.  Created in conjunction with Gabrielle Union and JaM Cellars, Vanilla Puddin Chardonnay has characteristics of pears, light French oak, white chocolate with dollops of vanilla, the perfect wine to make any day a special occasion.

Vina Sympatica | California

Owner Sherrijon Gaspard created Vina Sympatica wines to celebrate small wins and large victories, rooftop picnics and black-tie affairs. Premium yet met to be enjoyed every day, Vina is as versatile as you are.

Virgo Cellars | California

Founded in 2007 by winemaker Stefanie Jackson, Virgo Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery specializing in small lots of ultra-premium zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon.

Vision Cellars | California

Owner and winemaker Mac MacDonald has become an icon of African American winemaking. He is the co-founder of the Association of African American Vintners and produces several pinot noir wines from various vineyards in California.

THE BEER – BREWERIES AND BREWERS

The first black-owned brewery is recorded as Peoples Brewing Company that was founded in 1911 in Oshkosh, WI lead by John J. Nigl, read about it here. Since then, Blacks have slowly entered into the beer industry with black women really leading the charge.

Black Frog Brewery | Ohio

Chris Harris, a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, began his brewing journey on the user-friendly Mr. Beer machine.  After his co-workers began tasting the beer, requests poured in and today he is the owner and brewer of the first minority-owned nano brewery in Ohio.

Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer | Massachusetts

Brazo Fuerte Artisanal Beer (BFAB) is a new craft beer company by Beverly Armstrong that brews world-class, full-flavored session beers for active, passionate beer drinkers who enjoy the social aspects of sharing a “hard-earned” beer with friends.

Cajun Fire Brewing Company | Louisiana

Cajun Fire Brewing Company was founded on Halloween 2011 by Jon Renthrope. The start-up brewery is operated by a team of young passionate individuals who lend their expertise to collectively produce a rich culturally stimulating experience in every pint.

Read more about Cajun Fire Brewing Company in Cuisine Noir.

Harlem Brewing Company | New York

Owner Celeste Beatty started making her first brews in her studio apartment right across from Marcus Garvey Park after finally opening the gift of a homebrew kit that sat in the closet for several weeks. She kept brewing and with the amazing support from family and friends, Harlem Brewing Company launched at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Today she is one of two black women who own a beer brand.

Soweto Gold | South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

Owned by “Madmaster Brewer” Ndumiso Madlala, the name “Soweto Gold” means” being the home of the brewery and “Gold” being the very reason for the existence of Soweto as we know and love it today. Madlala also says, the connotation of “gold” as a label depicts something valuable and precious. It shows that Soweto Gold is a premium product.

MEET THE SPIRIT PRODUCERS

Bou’Jae Vodka | Pennsylvania

Founded in January 2015, Stephania Lauger created Bou’Jae Vodka to accommodate her gluten-free lifestyle. Bou’Jae was created with health in mind. Consumers can enjoy Bou’Jae and not have to worry about allergic, inflammatory, or autoimmune responses.

Down South Beverage Company | Texas

Down South Beverage Company produces STILL MOON moonshine that has a crisp and clean flavor with a warm and smooth mouthfeel.  Signature flavors include their Special Reserve, Apple Pie, Strawberry, and Lemon drop.  STILL MOON is currently available throughout Indiana as well as in Humble, Houston, and Friendswood, TX.

Rivulet® Artisan Pecan Liqueur  | Kentucky

Rivulet begins with the finest slow-distilled brandy, gently aged to perfection in small oak casks, resulting in a spirit that some say is smoother than silk. Their brandy is distilled and aged using the same time-honored methods and traditions that have been passed down for generations.

Read more about Rivulet in Cuisine Noir.

Uncle Nearest | California

Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, a national whiskey brand inspired by the best whiskey maker the world never knew, Nathan “Nearest” Green.

Read more about Uncle Nearest in Cuisine Noir.

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A diverse group of global journalists who love to write and talk about all things food, wine and travel.

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