Updated: Aug 2, 2021
Black Girls Wine members visit Argyle, Oregon's Premier Sparkling Wine House and African-American industry luminaries Bertony Faustin at Abbey Creek Winery; Tiquette Bramlett, President of Vidon Wines and Donna Stoney.
I formed the Wine Sisters Cheers to Change Vlog to emphasize the commonalities Regina and I shared despite our skin color. And the discussion about our commanalites continued the day I picked four members of the Black Girls Wine group up on the record breaking
hot day - 110 and counting - at Abbey Creek Winery, whose slogan says " you'll find a blend of wine, hip-hop and chill." It's owned by Bertony Faustin, a first generation Haitian-American.
The BGW Atlanta chapter members were relieved when I arrived as the limo air conditioning had gone out. We headed to Argyle to for to see Jazz Saxophonist legend Mike Phillips for the inauguaral Summer of Sparkling series and to meet Donna Stoney, Oregon's first winemaker of color. We talked about how much we loved sparkling wine, to listen to Jazz and travel.
Since I attended virtually almost all white schools - and am mortified to say one of the only handful of black people played Jim the slave in Huck Finn in 8th grade - I marveled at my remarkable luck getting to know Regina and in turn these remarkable African American women from Atlanta, Georgia.
Video at Argyle Winery with Black Girls Wine Atlanta Chapter members Luella Henderson-Ross, Karen Myers, Joal Joyner and Dahna Batts.
About Black Girls Wine Society
Shayla Varnado Aims To Create A Safe Space For Black Women To Engage And Learn About Wine Through BGW Society - From ENSPIRE by Re’Dreyona Walker:
Black women entrepreneurs have been making their mark in the wine industry by building their own spaces where women of color can grow, learn and celebrate one another while actively seeking to change the narrative about Black wine consumers. Honestly, when you think about the representation of Black women in the wine industry, you’ll soon realize that it’s basically a reflection of the lack of diversity within the industry.
According to The Zoe Report, the Association of African American Vintners reported that only 50 out of 10,000 U.S.-based wineries are Black-owned, although Black consumers account for at least 11 percent of wine drinkers across the country. But to push the industry to develop, Shayla Varnado founded Black Girls Wine in 2016 to celebrate diversity and to create a unique wine experience for African American women.