Most people do not know that there are winemakers of color who make award winning wines. These winemakers have trained and worked with the giants in the industry. From the culinary side to the vineyards of France these winemakers have been taught to know what makes exceptional wines. Please seek them out and support them. If you know of a winemaker of color and want the Divas to promote them send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars
I am one of a handful of African American winemaker / owner. I was born the son of a Texas Moonshine maker. My Father, Sue, was considered by many to be the finest Moonshine maker in all of Texas, because of the fine grains he used to make his corn whiskey. Years later, after enjoying many Pinot Noir wines and several trips to Burgundy France, my wife Lil and I purchased the best California grapes available to us and I achieved my personal vision as a winemaker. READ MORE!
Andre Mack of Mouton Noir
Despite having a successful career with Citicorp Investment Services, André Hueston Mack decided to leave his “desk job” to pursue his passion for wine. While working as a sommelier in San Antonio, Mack discovered the joys of introducing guests to the little known vineyards that first attracted him to the business and “the instant gratification of a guest’s reaction.” While still in Texas, Mack was awarded the prestigious title of Best Young Sommelier in America by the highly regarded Chaine des Rotisseurs. READ MORE!
Ernie Bates of Black Coyote Wines
In 1997 Dr. Ernest Bates found his refuge in the Napa Valley and inspired by the vines. "I've always enjoyed fine wine and being inspired by the vineyards on my Napa property, I decided to create one of the first African American wineries in the Valley." He saw the wine industry and the Napa Valley lifestyle to be a refreshing break from his work in the competitive world of medicine and medical supplies. So in 2000, he formed the Black Coyote label with a few close friends, Stanley S. Trotman and John F. Ruffle. READ MORE!
David Brown of Brown Estates
In 1980, our parents acquired land in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. We were farmers first, and farmers we remain. In 1995 we decided on the strength of our fruit to make wine under our own label. The following year we produced our first vintage of zinfandel, and along the way we have added cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, petite sirah, and the occasional dessert wine. READ MORE!
Ron Gault of Passages
A word about a special wine made by Ron Gault & Charlayne Hunter Gault…
“Our passages through life have been often serendipitous, many times sweet, and always soul-satisfying. We have drunk from the waters and the wines of the world, settling in South Africa, where its people have enhanced our taste for all things good. READ MORE!
The Sterling Family has been making wine for several generations. As California farmers with over 30 years of experience, we have carefully selected each of our vineyards. READ MORE!
Vance Sharp of Sharp Cellars
Vance and Monika’s love for wine began in 1968 in Saarlouis, Germany where they met in a discotheque. Monika was born and raised in Germany, while Vance’s stint in the U.S. Air Force took him there in 1968. READ MORE!
Iris Rideau of Rideau Vineyard
Rideau Vineyard was founded in 1997 by New Orleans native, Iris Rideau. Early on in the winery’s inception, Iris Rideau decided to dedicate her estate vineyard entirely to Rhône varietals. She felt that Rhône wines were not only ideally suited to the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, but also instinctively felt that they were best suited to the Creole cuisine of her childhood. READ MORE!
Selena Cuffe of Heritage Link Brands
Selena Cuffe is the President and CEO of Heritage Link Brands, LLC. She presides over the company's strategic and operational direction. With over a decade of general management experience, she has served in key roles for United Airlines, Procter & Gamble, and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), overseeing initiatives for over 20 countries. READ MORE!