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Thursday, April 18, 2019

5 Critically-Acclaimed Black-Owned Wineries

Dr. Bassett Brown, founder of Brown Estate Vineyards
Dr. Bassett Brown, founder of Brown Estate Vineyards

Wine has been a part of American history since colonization began. There is an abundance of wineries in America which produce high-quality wines. Below you’ll find five critically-acclaimed Black-owned wineries that are sure to impress.

1. Indigené Cellars

IndigenĂ© Cellars is a family-owned business in Carmel Valley, California. The wineries’ owner, Raymond Smith, fondly recalls watching friends of his father making wine in their garage. He eventually began learning the art himself, and it wasn’t long before his talent caught the attention of others. Smith is known for his masterful approach to crafting sophisticated blends. Smith has high standards when it comes to the creation of his wines, and his attention to detail has made him an award-winning winemaker.

2. Theopolis Vineyards

Theodora Lee, known by many as Theo-patra, was a lawyer before she got into the wine business. Many of Lee’s mentors in law owned wineries, which inspired her to open her own. Initially, Lee intended on merely growing and selling grapes, but she eventually progressed to creating her own wine. Lee’s award-winning wine is truly one-of-a-kind–you’ll have to try it for yourself.

3. Bodkin Wines

Iowa native Chris Christensen founded Bodkin Wines in 2011. His love for wine inspired him to create America’s first sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. Though it was a risky move, the wine was a success and received critical acclaim. Though Bodkin wine is increasing in popularity, Christensen and his partner, Andrew Chambers, are content to keep their business the small, unique venture that it was upon conception.

4. Brown Estate

In 1980, Bassett and Marcella Brown purchased the homestead which would eventually become Brown Estate. They rehabilitated the land, and in 1996 their children established the winery. The company’s Zinfandel is their most well-known blend, earning astonishing scores from Wine Spectator. The estate also creates a host of different types of wines. In 2020, the Brown family will be celebrating their fortieth year in Napa Valley.

5. Wisdom Oak Winery

Established in 2001, former banker Jerry Bias created Wisdom Oak Winery. Their product is of such high quality that it was served at the White House Candlelight Celebration in 2013. For anyone who enjoys their product, they can sign up for one of Wisdom Oaks wine clubs, in which they will receive discounts and other perks.