Over the weekend, 11 women—10 Black, one white—were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train after a customer complained the book club members were too loud. According to one of the women involved, the ladies were paraded through the train into the care of four waiting cops, causing the group to feel humiliated.
Despite the Napa Valley Wine Train debacle, Black people love vino, too. What many don’t know, however, is we also produce it.
From the vineyards in South Africa, to those across the U.S., Black owned wineries are waiting for you to visit.
So here are 5 Black-owned California Wineries to give your hard-earned money to instead of the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Founded in 1997 by Iris Rideau, Rideau Vineyard boasts 16 acres of land which it uses to produce its award-winning Pinot Noir. Located in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara, Rideau Vineyard’s tasting room is open to the public.
Shop online or schedule a visit on the Rideau Vineyard website.
Founded 35 years ago on a “ghost estate” in Napa Valley, Brown Estate began by selling grapes to other wineries. In 1995, the family run business began producing its own label. Next year, the vineyard will roll out its 20th vintage of Brown Estate zinfandel, that can be tasted right on site at its beautiful winery.
Bonus? The owners of Brown Estate have already reached out to the women booted from the Wine Train to set up a private visit to their gorgeous property.
Shop online or schedule a visit on Brown Estate’s website.
Owned and operated by the Sterling Brothers, Esterlina Vineyards specializes in handcrafted wines in three different varieties. Esterlina also owns the only vineyard in the Cole Ranch Appellation, which is America’s smallest American Viticultural Area.
Shop online or schedule a visit on the Esterlina Vineyards website.
Owned by Dan Glover, L’objet noir translates to “the black object.” Glover describes his award-winning Pinot Noir like this: “This wine represents the complete absorption of all that is light in my world… my love of food, wine, family and friends, my experiences in the vineyards and cellars, my fascination with the Pinot Noir grapes that grow and thrive in the Russian River Valley… and the transformation of these energies into the inky dark loveliness that is my wine.”
Shop online at the L’objet noir website.
Everett Ridge Winery
Owned and operated by the Sterling Brothers (who also own Esterlina Vineyards), Everett Ridge Winery is the second oldest winery in Dry Creek Valley, dating back to 1878. The winery specializes in Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay varieties of wine, and the tasting room is open daily.
Shop online or schedule a visit at the Everett Ridge Winery website.
Want to know about even more Black-owned wineries? Check out this list by Tuanni Price, owner of Zuri Wine Tasting .