do you know of any black owned wineries in napa valley ,calif?

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Brown Estate Vineyards, Napa Valley - The wheels in my head began to churn when I read the March 31, 2000 issue of Wine Spectator. In the Upfront section, where the faces of the world's leading food and wine icons (like Paul Draper, the Mondavis, Angelo Gaja, and Julia Child) have found themselves, I spotted the Brown family. The mini feature was entitled, "A Family Affair." (I was fascinated.) Patriarch Bassett Brown is a Los Angeles doctor with a family practice. He and wife Marcella acquired 450-acres in Chiles Valley in 1981, after abandoning their initial thoughts of farming in Bassett's native Jamaica. They planted their first Zinfandel in 1985, and since then have been selling the grapes to such esteemed nearby producers as Green & Red, and T-Vine and D-Cubed, whose winemaker, Duane Dappen, is making the Brown Estate wines.

    I liked the sociological fact that as a people, we're becoming one in this business. But surely, I wondered, there's not just one African American family in the American wine world? There's not. The American dream is alive and well. The Browns are not the only family to turn a weekend project into an outstanding Napa Valley wine.

    Bates Creek, Napa Valley - I first discovered Dr. Ernest Bates in March of 2001. When my husband Jose met with Tom Cline of Rodney Strong, Cline suggested that Jose contact Dr. Bates. Cline knew that Bates was looking for some marketing direction, and felt that Jose might be able to share his thoughts. Meanwhile, Jose and I were thinking of collaborating on a writing project as columnists... sort of like Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher of the Wall Street Journal, in reverse order.

    Bates is an African American neurosurgeon and vintner, who is concurrently president and CEO of American Shared Hospital Services, a San Francisco publicly owned company, for which Bates is also the founder. We met with Ernest, and found a passionately intense, private man who's caught "the bug." In 1990, Bates moved into Napa Valley to get some peace and space from city life. When he bought nine acres of land set against the Silverado Mountains on one side, and the Napa River on the other, he believed that the wine bug wouldn't get him. A sail boat was definitely in his future, he thought. After all those years of intense study and specialized work as a preeminent brain surgeon, he would so appreciate those days when he would be gliding into San Francisco Bay from the north side. Once you've met Dr. Bates, you know that that's not going to happen in a million years. With so much life to live, and such a passion for excellence, the wine industry is a natural place to put his passion to use... and so Bates Creek was born. Dr. Bates refers to it as his "hobby."

    Like all other vintners, Bates has another passion; it's a natural ingredient of the wine world's segmentation - fine art. As he produced his first Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, he contemplated a label. Ernest jokingly said that "the label art ended up costing me more than my Napa Valley juice."

    Bates doesn't do anything in a mediocre way. He went to Benny Andrews, an African American artist born in 1930, who truly blossomed with the emergence of the radical 1960's. A time that was rollicking with unsettled race issues, Benny Andrews surfaced as a major national art force. Born in Georgia, Andrews was the son of a share-cropper family. As a child, he picked cotton on his father's farm. Today, Andrews is an acclaimed painter of people, a teacher, an author, and a lecturer. His work can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Detroit Institute of Art; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; among others, including the Bates Creek's label. Andrews agreed to allow Bates to put his art on his label (after purchasing the original art, "Junk Yard Dog Blues"), as long as Bates agreed to produce high end wines. The mold was cast. In a month, you can visit for more details. Dr. Bate's Web site is due for completion at that time.

    Vision Cellars, Sonoma County - E.G. "Mac" McDonald was born the son of a Texas Moonshine maker. His father, Sue, was considered by many to be the finest Moonshine maker in all of Texas, because he used fine grains to make corn whiskey. His mother, Elbessie, along with her brothers and sister, made wine from various fruits that they grew. Chuckling, Mac told me, "If it fell from a tree, they made it into wine."

    Even though Mac grew up around distilled spirits and fruit wines, he says that he didn't develop a taste for either. It wasn't until he tasted his first Burgundy in 1965, that he fell in love with fine wine. It was then that Mac vowed to make a wine as fine as the one he tasted. His fervor for Pinot has taken him and wife Lil to Burgundy on many trips.

    When it became time to create a label, the art reflected on Vision Cellars is African American imagining. It's a depiction of an African ceremonial mask, bringing the reflection of his roots to bare his souls in a comprehensive package of his winemaking.

    Mac's wine comes from a small vineyard near Petaluma, CA, and in 1997 Mac released 400 cases of Pinot Noir. This vintage is an excellent example of a dream (or vision) fulfilled, "Vision Cellars." Visit www for more details.

    Dr. Marvin Poston - Calistoga ophthalmologist Dr. Marvin Poston has been selling his grapes to Kirkland for the last 26 years. Dr. Poston was a graduate of U.C. Berkley in 1939. He quietly moved in Napa Valley, and has been growing grapes ever since. So, when Alan was asking his question about "Where are they?"... there was an answer, and has been for quite a while, including the Brown Family at the time Goldfarb was wondering.

    Rideau Vineyards, Santa Ynez Valley - Founded in October 1996 by a Los Angeles, African American businesswoman, Iris Rideau, produces Rhone varietal wines. Iris is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She told me that she loves to host winemaker dinners at her winery. Coupled with her authentic Creole cooking for her food and wine events, this lovely restored historic Alamo Pintado adobe is a great place to visit. It dates back to 1884, and is one of a few two-story adobes in California. In March of 1995, when Iris bought the building and surrounding acreage, Iris's dreams came true.

    Esterlina Vineyards and Winery - Formerly Pepperwood Springs Vineyards in Anderson Valley, Esterlina Vineyards is owned and operated by the Sterling Family. The 10-acre vineyard consists of seven acres of Pinot Noir and three acres of Chardonnay. The Sterlings' focus is Burgundian techniques in making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery also produces Sauvignon Blanc from the Ferrington Vineyard near Boonville, Zinfandel from Napa Grapes, as well as Cabernet, Merlot, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay from the family-owned vineyards.

    Source(s): www
  • 1 decade ago

    Only a little over 1% of the population of Napa Valley is black, so it wouldn't surprise me if none were winery-owners :)

    However... here you go:

    I think you'll enjoy the article and it'll give you all the information you seek. I love it... I live in Virginia where 50 years ago, folks who wanted to plant grapes were told they were insane... can't grow anything here but tobacco and apples... can't do it. Folks did it. Never believe someone when they tell you it can't be done. Small batches of folks choosing what they love to do will make a big sound in the industry soon enough :)

    Let me add this:

    I didn't thumb through to see if any were in Napa Valley... but what is with all the snippy responses from the folks up above me? I patron where I hold a belief... and if you want to support African American Winegrowers, then for goodness sake, what's with all the uppity attitude from folks? It's not like you said you were never going to drink whitey's wine again - lol


  • 1 decade ago

    No, I don't, but I'm just wondering what the response would be if one were to ask about a white-owned winery.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am mixed-race. My two kids are Black. I love wine. But, what difference would it make if the winery is Black owned? I'm interested in the quality of the product, not the color of the vintner.

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  • ZICO
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Don't know and don't care. My favorite however is Dominus Winery.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


    Here is a good resource about how to grow grape vines

    I had 0 experience and now I have a nice vine in my backyard.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Why does it have to be black? Whats wrong with Mexican or Greek or German or White? Whats so great about black? Maybe a mexican would make it better anyways. Ever think about that? Huh? Huh? Didnt think so mista.

  • 4 years ago

    ARE YOU READY FOR CONGRESS TO HEAR YOU? IF our members of congress won't listen to the outcry at the Town-halls and insist on bring the Nationalizing/ Federal Option Healthcare bill to the floor for a vote then we the people need to send a message that they will hear - silence. The GREAT AMERICAN SICKOUT, when they don't hear the people at work, the construction site sounds, the taxi on the road, the stores and restaurants empty and/or closed. The silence of economic activity as we the people send the message to congress that they work for us. If they won't get that then we won't work at all. This is about the private sector and not Government. If you work for government, vital services and emergency services DO NOT call in sick, but participate by not buying anything that whole day. Bring your lunch from home. The first business day before the full floor vote in either the house or senate which ever comes first will be the day we send our message of silence in the GREAT AMERICAN SICKOUT. You can participate by doing the following things: 1) If you own a business don't open your doors for business 2) If your boss didn't close call in sick to your private sector job 3) DO NOT BUY ANYTHING AT ALL THAT DAY a) Shop the day before or after b) gas up your car the day before or after c) don't buy anything online either d) don't sell anything Lastly - Stay Home or go to a free park have a barbecue or do any other activity that is FREE and involves not buying anything. Congress is dismissing us as manufactured mobs and paid protesters. The White House is asking your fellow citizens to send your email to the email if they think your email is "fishy" which must be code for opposed to their healthcare agenda. Isn't that intimidation of our free speech 1st amendment rights? If they won't listen to us roar then let them hear the silence. Let them hear the silence in the streets and in the stores as we call in sick as one giant cry to our representatives that we do NOT want Federal Options, end of life counseling, pain pills instead of needed operations and we do not want a Washington Bureaucrat between our doctors and us. What can you do to help. Copy this message and email it to every email address you can. Put your own personal message to friends then a copy of this message or just post the copied message. Go to the message boards and and answers.Google and post the message in forms of questions and answers no matter the topic. Send this message out in every way you can. Don't want to have your contacts know it is you sending the message or are you afraid of White House "fishy" email snitches then set up free email accounts with yahoo or gmail and give fake name and no other email address and send it out anonymously The GREAT AMERICAN SICK OUT will once again be the first business day BEFORE the house or senate which ever is first sends the healthcare bill out for a full floor vote. If they pass it anyways regardless of the sickout then when the next house of congress Senate or Representatives sends it version of the bill out for a full floor vote we will have a second GREAT AMERICAN SICKOUT day the first business day before it goes to a full floor vote. IF again the congress won't listen to us then we will continue the sick out till they do. Even when passed by both houses of congress they must go to a committee to reconcile the two bills into one saying the same exact things and it returns for up or down votes in both House and Senate. We will continue the sickout till they declare the bill dead. SO COME TOGETHER AMERICA AND LET THEM HEAR OUR SILENCE AS WE TELL CONGRESS NO WAY, NO HOW ON NATIONALIZED/FEDERAL OPTION HEALTHCARE.

  • 1 decade ago

    There maybe a few, but isn't wine just wine?

  • 1 decade ago

    That shouldn't matter who owns it.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    I think it depends

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