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Wines From Black-Owned Wineries For Under $40 A Bottle That Deserve Your Attention Right Now

It’s no secret that the wine industry is lacking in diversity. Honestly, the spirits industry as a whole could be doing a better job at providing, promoting, and encouraging opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and people of color across the board — from winemakers and distillery masters to sommeliers and importers down to retail owners and shopkeepers. After all, people of all races and backgrounds like to get lit with an adult beverage from time to time, and vino goes just as good with steak for BIPOC folks as it does for any other race or group. Shouldn’t we be involved in producing, selling, and sharing the wonders of alcoholic grape juice too?

That wasn’t rhetorical. The answer is: yes, we should.

There are some Black winemakers in the industry, although they only make up a small fraction of the more than 7,700 wineries across the U.S. Among those that do exist, there are many that produce excellent and even award-winning wines. But wine isn’t the only pursuit for many of these wineries. A number of them are also doing their part to help expand the reach of Black vintners and aspiring marginalized winemakers within the industry as a whole.

To help you get acquainted with Black-owned wineries in the U.S., we’ve selected eight bottles produced by a few of our favorite Black winemakers. We should note, many of the Black-owned wine labels make quality and fine wines that can be quite costly, due to their smaller production runs (including some producers on this list). But this time around we’re only spotlighting bottles under $40. Not every one of these bottles is accessible via retail shops across the U.S. either (do your part, retailers!), but just about all of them are available online and can be shipped directly to customers through their respective brand websites.

We’ve listed the best sources for online purchasing in the linked price point.

Maison Noir Wines “LOVE DRUNK” Rosé

Maison Noir

ABV: 12.9 %
Average Price: $25

The Wine:

It was only 13 years ago when Andre Hueston Mack launched his first wine Mounton Noir—now known as Maison Noir—in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Now the sommelier-turned-winemaker, who once worked at Thomas Keller’s renowned restaurant The French Laundry, has bottles in stores across the U.S. and 11 other countries. Mack’s rose-petal pink rosé, comprised of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, is among the many favorites under his label.

Tasting Notes:

Remember that feeling of a having new crush? That rush down your spine when they enter the room, the sparks you feel when you first lock eyes as they pass by? That’s the sensation you’ll feel with every sip of this wine. It lulls you in with its flirtatious berry aromas, then completely captivates you with its tantalizing juicy fruit flavors of kiwi, watermelon rind, wild strawberries and just the slightest hint of peach.

Bottom Line:

Drink this wine when you’re in the mood for love without all the complications. This wine won’t ghost you or offer empty promises. Instead, it’ll deliver on its vow to romance your palate with intoxicating fruit flavors in every single sip.

You may feel a little heartbroken when the bottle is finished, though.

La Fête du Rosé

La Fête du Rosé

ABV: 12.5%
Average Price: $25

The Wine:

Donae Burston worked in the liquor industry for more than 15 years, helping manage some of the most prestigious wine brands under the LVMH umbrella including Veuve Clicquot and Dom Pérignon, and even Jay-Z’s signature champagne house, Armand de Brignac. Now, with the help of Domaine Bertaud Belieu, Burston is focused on his own premium, sustainable and organic rosé, comprised of Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah, grown on one of the most gorgeous and oldest vineyards on the Saint-Tropez peninsula.

Tasting Notes:

This salmon-pink rosé is bustling with aromas of dried fruits and sweet bread. On the palate, it’s complex with flavors of cherry and unripened strawberry that lean into its mineral undertone. The finish is long and refreshing.

Bottom Line:

This is an easy-sipping wine that captures the very essence and laid-back beauty of true Provencal life. It’s basically Burston and his team’s way of giving everyone a taste of the French Riviera. And with every bottle purchase, the company donates a portion of the proceeds to a number of charitable organizations that give underserved and underrepresented youth the opportunity to travel and learn about cultures and societies outside of their own.

Longevity 2019 Pinot Blanc

Instacart

ABV: 14.1%
Average Price: $26

The Wine:

To think, it all started in Phil Long’s garage more than a decade ago. Now the award-winning winemaker, who is also the president of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV), is pumping out roughly 500 cases of wines every year. The Livermore Valley winery makes grade A Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Mouvedres, red blends, and enticing sparkling wines.

The 100 percent Pinot Blanc is a true standout. The 2017 vintage has won multiple awards including Best White Wine at the 2018 Tri-Valley Uncorked Wine Competition and Best Overall Pairing at Livermore Valley’s annual Taste Our Terroir food and wine competition in California last year.

Tasting Notes:

A perfumey blend of melon and honey, peach, and citrus wake the nose while stone fruit like peaches and pear flush the palate. Subtle vanilla notes give the medium-bodied wine a soft and creamy mouthfeel, which gets a zap of minerality in the long and bright finish.

Bottom Line:

There’s a reason why this wine has won pairing awards. It’s the perfect partner for all things seafood. Scallops sautéed in garlic butter, grilled shrimp and prawns, oysters Rockefeller, clam linguini and calamari… you name it.

If it comes from the sea, this wine is a vibrant liquid counterpart.

P. Harrell 2019 Dry Riesling, Haight Street, Dry Creek Valley

P. Harrell Wines

ABV: 14.8%
Average Price: $26

The Wine:

Here’s another award-winning stunner, courtesy of Paula J. Harrell, the owner of Sonoma’s P. Harrell Wines. Harrell launched her private label in November 2015 and has made waves in the wine industry ever since, with her Riesling, Zinfandel and Rosé. The 2018 Haight Street even won the Gold Medal in the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition.

Tasting Notes:

This wine offers up aromas of juicy pink grapefruit, limes and jasmine. Citrus leads on the palate but gets rounded out with hints of honeydew, tangerine, and apple. Cut like steel, this is a dry wine that gets a crunchy boost from its natural effervescence. However, it all smoothens out with a hint of white flowers in the finish.

Bottom Line:

With just five years in the game, Harrell is proving to be a winemaker who understands the powerful notes an American wine can exude. And she’s doing it by creating wines that should be double the price, which makes this bottle even more worth purchasing.

2019 Okapi Sauvignon Blanc

Okapi Wines

ABV: 13.9%
Average Price: $30

The Wine:

Lawyer-turned-winemaker Dan Johnson and his wife Kim run the show at Napa Valley’s Okapi Wines. The family winery only produces 300 cases per year, opting to concentrate on creating the finest full-bodied, quality wines without having to make compromises on winemaking or farming in lieu of a bigger production. Maintaining a smaller vineyard is worth it though—many of Okapi’s wines have won top prizes at wine competitions across California.

Okapi’s latest Sauvignon Blanc hasn’t yet wielded award acclaim, but it’s definitely a winner in our book.

Tasting Notes:

This zesty and bright California Sauvignon Blanc tastes like sunshine on a cool, breezy day. Submerge your senses in the lively and tropical smells of honeydew and melons, lemon curd, orange peels, and tangerine, while your palate bathes in citrusy flavors of grapefruit, nectarine, and a little bit of apricot. The stony, mineral finish is as long and addictive as lemon sorbet.

Bottom Line:

This wine is refreshing. It’s invigorating. It’s a good day in a bottle that doesn’t cost nearly as much as it should.

McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Red Blend

McBride Sisters Collection

ABV: 13.5%

Average Price: $25

The Wine:

Sisters Robin and Andréa McBride have been working in and making wine since 2005. Along the way, McBride Sisters Collection has become one of the largest Black-owned wine companies in the U.S. Wines under the sisters’ Central Coast, California and Marlborough, New Zealand estates are loved among vino enthusiasts across the globe—even their SHE CAN wine cans have become beloved picnic and beach-bag must-haves—thanks, in part, to the company’s advocacy for sustainability and inclusivity.

This blend of Merlot and Cabernet is a fruit-forward gem that celebrates the resilience and ingenuity of Black women, yet is meant to be enjoyed by everyone.

Tasting Notes:

Aged for 18-months in oak barrels, this red wine blend is bursting with grippy character. The nose is full of tobacco and vanilla while the palate is rich with syrupy hints of cherry, blackberry, and plum. The Cabernet kicks in during the long, robust finish that’s sprinkled with white pepper and spice.

Bottom Line:

This is an easy-drinking wine that has a bigger purpose than just pairing with pasta and pizza. As active members of the AAAV, the McBride sisters often share their experiences and help women gain access to the world of wine. Earlier this year, they launched the SHE CAN Professional Development Fund to help provide women with the resources they need to get their own wine ventures off the ground.

2018 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah

Theopolis Vineyards

ABV: 14.5%
Average Price: $40

The Wine:

You can thank Theodora R. Lee for the terrific, high-quality wines produced at Yorkville, California’s Theopolis Vineyards. The winemaker has won more awards than we have time to list, and her finely-structured, black-purple Petit Sirah of all vintages have become fan favorites over the years.

Tasting Notes:

This is a medium-heavy wine that has a subtle punch of tannins, or rather, the natural polyphenol in fruit skins and seeds that give the wine its complexity and astringency. Cedar aromas and fragrances of black cherry, dried herbs, and ground spices ooze from the bottle.

On the sip, the wine is velvety with cola and vanilla notes that get a blackberry boost. The finish is long and savory.

Bottom Line:

With such a boozy content, this is a wine you’ll want to sip with a bite to eat. It will pair perfectly with stews, chilis, and hearty red meat dishes. And if you want to save it for the summer barbecues, you can enjoy it then with grilled lamb and smoked pork.

2018 Three by Wade Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Drizly

ABV: 14.9%
Average Price: $40

The Wine:

Here’s the granddaddy Cabernet Sauvignon you’ve been waiting for. And it comes from NBA champion and wine aficionado Dwayne Wade’s label. The former basketball star partnered with renowned winemaker Jayson Pahlmeyer to create a few mighty stellar wines, but Wade’s Cab Sauv reigns supreme in form and finesse, which shouldn’t be all that surprising considering Wade’s history on the court.

Tasting Notes:

This medium to full-bodied wine is lush with dark fruit aromas like blackberry, plum, black currants, and spice, but it gets an edge from expressions of slate and graphite on the palate. It’s a classic Cab with all its earthly complexity and velvety tannins.

Bottom Line:

Yes, this is a celebrity wine, but there are no gimmicks with this juice. It’s just good, old delicious and enjoyable wine that captures the style Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons are loved for. And, once again, for a lot less than what it probably should be priced at.

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