I am an avid supporter of small businesses, as it has a huge impact on the local economy and often offers me an opportunity to try rare or interesting goods that may not be offered at larger companies. It is equally as important to support black-owned and minority businesses. In many cases, the profits of these businesses can have a positive influence in our communities, as well as many other benefits.
Some time ago, I read an article that presented a short list of black-owned wineries and wine brands. As an avid wine drinker, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued by many of the brands listed. It was enlightening to see how these often small operations have made a big impact in their communities and in tandem made history.
Fitting perfectly into "28 Days of Soul" here are 6 wonderful black-owned wine brands (located right here on the east coast) that cater to a variety of pallets and each offer unique experience.
1. Flo Brand Wines (Washington, DC)
LO Brands’ mission is to enhance customers’ lives and make each day a little better one sip and sound at a time. Everything that the company creates is about improving that segment of [their] consumer’s life, especially when products are combined like music and wine. FLO Brands’ products include FLO CD series, FLO Wine, FLO Fest and more.
GT's Pick: Flo Moscato
2. Wisdom Oak (North Garden, VA )
Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wisdom Oak once began as a hobby for founder/owner Jerry Bias. Formerly known as Sugarleaf Vineyards, Bias began with the planting of 375 vines in 2001. Almost fifteen years later, Wisdom Oak is still one of the only African-American owned and operated vineyards on the East Coast.
GT's Pick: Cabernet Franc Rose
3. Edelheiss Wine (Washington D.C)
Chic, innovative, yet traditional European wine, which has never been packaged or branded, to the United States. The Edelheiss Wine Team has plans for expansion to other countries after its initial launch in North America.
4. Mouton Noir Wines (Harlem, NY)
Founded by sommelier Andre Hueston Mack in 2007, Mouton Noir incorporates a trademark attitude and personal perspective to wine subculture. The wines are unique and distinctive garage wines, initially created for some of New York's best restaurants for whom Mack was a sommelier and now are available nationwide. - From the Mouton Noir website
GT's Pick: "O.P.P" Noir- Other People's Pinot Noir
5. Serendipity Wine (Washington, DC)
Located in the Washington, DC Metro area, Serendipity Wines was founded by CEO Brenda Williams. Her vision was to create a brand built on the memories shared over glasses of wine. Serendipity offers three types of wines: Chardonnay - Tempation, Curvee Blanc (White Blend) and Carbarnet Franc - Seduction.
GT's Pick: Chardonnay - Temptation
6. Shoe Crazy Wines (Chesterfield, VA)
Shoe Crazy Wines offers delectable recent vintages for your enjoyment and pleasure. The brand was birthed in 2006 when, Founder Gwen Hurt, was given a wine-making kit for christmas. After making and bottling over 120 bottles of wine, she decided to turn her passion into a career. In 2013, Shoe Crazy Wine, LLC was founded. Shoe Crazy creates signature and proprietary blends that are beautifully balanced wine.
GT's Picks: Cabernet Superior