The fine wine industry has long been dominated by Europe, and the world of respected spirits hasn’t historically strayed much further.
Though American contributions to both industries have been formidable in recent years, garnering awards and acknowledgment from master tasters and competition judges around the world, both fields, like many others, are still dominated predominantly by white males, leaving minority and female voices in the shadows.
But not everyone is content to accept the status quo, and an ever-growing number of Black women are helming successful wine and spirits brands at a seemingly unstoppable pace. To help diversify your palate, check out these 20 buzzy wine and spirits brands currently owned and operated by Black women.
AVM Wine Company
Alaitra McGrone has always had a passion for wine and finally put that passion into practice when she recently launched her own label. Taking advantage of the custom crush facilities at Pacific Coast Services in Central California, AVM Wine Company’s first blend is the 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, Lai’ Vines, from Paso Robles.
House of Mandela
With more than half a dozen bottles from diverse wine growing regions across the country, the Mandela family continues to challenge racial and gender barriers in South Africa. Nelson Mandela’s daughter and granddaughter helm House of Mandela, which currently offers three collections that pay homage to their ancestral lineage.
Love Cork Screw
Accessible and always down for a good time, the wines of Love Cork Screw are produced from grapes grown across the nation and selected to delight all of your senses, from the first look at a playful label to the last sip of a beloved bottle. Love Cork Screw is an entertainment brand, so expect a good time from any of the seven bottles currently available.
You may be more familiar with the Curry name from NBA star Steph Curry, but he’s hardly the only one in the family making a splash. Curry’s wife, Ayesha, and sister, Sydel, are the masterminds behind Domaine Curry and its popular pair of sauvignons. There’s a Sauvignon Blanc for fruit fans and a bold Cabernet Sauvignon for a bigger adventure.
Ole’ Orleans Wines
A complete homage to The Big Easy, Ole’ Orleans Wines evokes the riverside city’s jazz and Creole traditions, and many of the brand’s bottles are crushed from Louisiana grapes. Designed to linger, the balanced wines range from a fruity Blanc du Bois to a delicate Merlot, and each bottle is dedicated to a different element of NOLA history.
Charles Wine Company
This family-owned and -operated business only produces small batches of quality wines, intent on perfecting each blend. All grapes for Charles Wine Company wines come from the Lodi region, and the Symphony and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown directly in their own vineyard, bringing a true California authenticity to all of the brand’s bottles.
Davidson Wine Co.
The first urban winery in Davidson, North Carolina (about a half hour north of Charlotte), Davidson Wine Co. is owned by lawyer-turned-winemaker Lindsey Williams. With a drive to bring affordable, local wine to her community, Williams converted a former organ-making shop into a winery, and the rest is history.
Expect big, intense flavors from former trial lawyer and Queen of the Vineyards Theodora R. Lee, lovingly called Theo-patra, owner of Theopolis Vineyards in California’s Anderson Valley. Not all of Lee’s wines are as bold as her personality, though; there are plenty of wines to please gentler palates, like the Muscat and Grenache Gris Symphony blend.
P. Harrell Wines
Paula Harrell caught the wine bug during her time living and studying in Madrid, and she ultimately launched her private wine label, P. Harrell Wines, in 2015. Harrell spent years assisting her family’s real estate business, and her wines are an homage to her family legacy, with her signature Riesling and Zinfandel each named in honor of San Francisco addresses important to her history.
Famous for becoming the first Black sisters to establish a wine brand, Robin and Andréa are the forces behind McBride Sisters. The brand’s core values include sustainability, empowerment, innovation and community, and it has launched several new collections since its inception, including the popular Black Girl Magic collection, produced from California and New Zealand grapes.
Frichette Winery on Red Mountain is a family affair that started when husband and wife Greg and Shae Frichette moved to Washington state after a coin toss, setting a goal to start a business that would give them goosebumps. Today, the thriving program focuses on fruit-driven, medium-bodied wines with smooth, assertive tannins.
Ebony Wine and Spirits
Ideally vibrant for special occasions and affordable enough for daily meals, the Ebony Wine and Spirits collection includes a festive Brut Rosé sparkling wine, a delicate Riesling, and a refreshing Moscato. Don’t forget Fusion Red for everything from tailgating to an elegant steak dinner.
Florida’s first Black-owned, woman-owned wine brand, Mermosa produces a collection of sparkling wines from the grapes of Oregon’s premier wine region, the Willamette Valley. Available in elegant bottles and party-friendly cans, Mermosa pays homage to family hero Celestine Noisette, whose powerful voice negotiated her own freedom from enslavement in pre-Civil War South Carolina.
You already know the owner, creative director, and brand ambassador of MYX Fusions. It’s none other than Nicki Minaj. The popular line of sparkling, fruit-infused Moscato and the sangrias are available in both traditional bottles and in four-packs of splits, perfect for taking the celebration anywhere, whether you drink them straight out of the individual-size bottles or blend into cocktails.
Named for lightning and presented in a royal purple, bolt-shaped bottle, Fou-Drè is an infused vodka with a five-ingredient blend that includes exotic fruits and ginger. At the time of its founding, Fou-Drè made owner Chanel Turner both the first Black woman to own a vodka brand and the youngest woman to own any spirit.
Whether it’s the seductive red of the vodka itself or the award-winning design of the bottle that draws them in first, it’s the superfruit-packed infusion that keeps fans coming back for more from Sukari Spirits. Blood orange and dragon fruit lead the way in this woman-owned, Black-owned, veteran-owned spirit.
Nathan “Nearest” Green taught Jack Daniel how to distill whiskey and eventually became a prominent Black businessman in the mid-19th-century South, but his contribution to American whiskey was nearly forgotten until Fawn Weaver launched Uncle Nearest in 2017. Today, the premium whiskey brand has racked up dozens of awards and is available worldwide, with a distillery and tasting room you can visit on an epic Tennessee property.
HH Bespoke Spirits
From the family behind Harlem Haberdashery, the famed boutique storefront of custom apparel brand 5001 Flavors, the HH Bespoke Spirits collection includes rum, gin and vodka. Like everything the fashionable family touches, this distinctive new spirits line evokes the history and style of the Harlem Renaissance.
From Frederick, Maryland, Look Vodka was created by founder Carmelita Hilliard to amplify the voice of minority women in the spirits space. The look was designed with the sophisticated Black woman in mind, and the corn-distilled vodka currently comes in two fruity flavors: apple and mango.
Saint Liberty Whiskey
Saint Liberty Whiskey honors the bootlegging women of Prohibition in a larger nod to all of the strong women in American history who’ve provided for themselves and their families in the face of adversity. Today, the brand is partly owned by minority women-led spirits advisory group Harris and Simms, and each bottle tells the story of a female bootlegger to amplify the voices of the unsung women of American history.