There are a thousand words to describe the chaos that was the year 2020. One thing that was very positive and eye opening for me was the realization of where I am putting my money and energy when deciding to purchase wine. Who am I supporting? One goal I set for myself this year, is to promote more diversity in the wine industry and particularly black owned and black produced wines and wineries. An industry with diversity is an industry that is a better place for all. I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while now, so no time like February- Black history month to share some outstanding black owned and black produced wines with you! Here’s 3 black owned / black produced wines you should check out!
Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards
Out of Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley, we find these lovely Pinot Noirs from Thomas T. Thomas Vineyards . These Burgundian inspired wines came to life in 2001. Thomas visited Burgundy, France and was inspired to bring that environment to California. From the Dijon, Calara and Pommard clones these Pinots are complex with earth and ripe fruit. Very well balanced with oak notes and acidity. Highly recommend checking them out! The Anderson Valley Pinot retails for $45 and the Estate Pinot retails for $65.
Also from Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley we find the bold wines of Theopolis Vineyards. Founder and Winemaker Theodora R. Lee is a “bold and dynamic Texan and San Francisco trail lawyer and is now bottling her own wines.” I had the pleasure of tasting the two wines pictured above. The 2017 Petite Sirah is bold and lush. It’s rich in black fruits and complex with black pepper and earth tones. It’s beautifully balanced. The Theopatra’s Cuvee Cerise has an intriguing spice component that adds so much complexity, red and dark fruits yet refreshing with a balanced acidity. This wine is a blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah. These wines have been highly rated, and I can’t help but agree! The Petite Sirah retails for $39 and Theopatra’s Cuvee retails for $36
Longevity Wines Family Winery
Moving to the Livermore Valley, we find the unique wines of Longevity Wines.” Longevity Wines is a boutique family operated, urban style winery located in the Livermore AVA, whose focus is on quality not quantity.” Winemaker Phil Long has over a decade of experience and started in his garage with his wife! I had the honor of tasting the 4 wines above. The Pinot Blanc is ripe and fruity with a creamy mouthfeel and stunning minerality. The Pinot Gris was is beautiful! I love the hint of skin contact as shown in the “Pink” color. It has orchard fruit notes with a touch of phenolics for complexity. Super fun wine! I also enjoyed the Grenache with ripe fruits of cherry and strawberry. It has beautiful oak notes of vanilla and coconut. Lastly, I tasted the Deb-Ru-Vee blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah. This deep and rich wine has aromas of dark black fruits and lively red fruits. Finishes with a chocolate note and will only get better with age! The Pinot Blanc retails for $26, the “pink” Pinot Grigo is $26, the Grenache retails for $38 and the Blend at $36. Fantastic wines coming from Longevity Wines, definitely recommend!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you go and do your part to support and celebrate diversity in the wine industry!