If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift for the wine or champagne-lover in your life, look no further than these twelve black-owned wine and champagne brands. From fruity reds to crisp whites, there’s something for everyone on this list. And what could be more festive than giving a gift that celebrates black excellence?
Wine harvest season may not start until late summer (don’t tell the sommeliers that we’re celebrating early!), but with so few Black-owned and -operated wine and champagne brands around, it’s never the wrong time to uplift and support the ones that do exist. Consider adding one of these Black-owned brands to your holiday gift list. You’ll be lifting a toast to Black innovation, passion and history while you power through the holidays.
Our story begins in 1788, when a Catholic priest from Landreville, France with the last name Cheurlin first began making the champagne that would become the backbone of his family. Over two centuries later, the current generation of the Cheurlin family continues in the storied tradition of their ancestral founder. Today Cheurlin Champagne is considered by many to be some of the best champagnes in the world. NBA legend Isiah Thomas discovered champagne after winning the 1989 NBA Championship.
Known for his business savvy and philanthropic endeavors as much as his storied athletic career, Isiah and his wife Lynn wanted a healthier, great tasting champagne without the added sugar. Isiah is quick to point out, “it had to be reasonably priced and it definitely couldn’t come with a headache the next day. It took years but that’s exactly what we found in Cheurlin Champagne.”
Black Fire Winery is one of those places you’ll spend a good chunk of your afternoon sipping Catawba grapes and marveling at a vineyard that can be compared to those of Napa Valley. Owner Michael Wells, former lieutenant of the Ypsilanti Fire Department, says it’s the perfect place to relax away from the city and set your phone on airplane mode because you can’t get a signal anyway.
Located about an hour and five minutes away from Detroit in Tecumseh, Michigan, Black Fire Winery is the only black-owned vineyard and tasting room in the state, according to Wells. A bottle of vino starts at $17.50 and wine tastings range from $16 to $25, which can include a meat and cheese tray or other seasonal items. Currently on the shelves is P.S. I Love You, a red, slightly-sweet petite sirah wine, and Cat, a red semi-sweet made from Native American Catawba grapes.
A Detroit-based wine brand that launched in 2021, coins itself as luxury but the journey that got it to this point makes it memorable. An Opulence Wine display was just a distant dream for sports physical therapist, wife and mother of three, Dr. LaToya Thompson.
4Drew Ryan Wine
Drew Ryan Wine is a vino and urban vineyard that’s soon to come to the east side of Detroit. For right now, owners Matt Jones, Peter King and Merrick Steele are gearing up for a tasting between Thanksgiving and Christmas with beloved House of Pure Vin, showing off what they’ve been working on over the years. “We are going to try and keep our wine as natural as possible. We won’t be adding sulfites to preserve the wine,” says Matt Jones. “So we are recommending you drink our wine within the first 24 hours of opening it because we know that oxygen is the enemy of wine.”
Slightly sweeter than Moet Imperial Rose, this is the perfect drink for summer parties, barbecues, weddings and many more ocassions.
Luc Belaire is made from Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault grapes. They are grown in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, one of France’s most beautiful regions.
We guarantee you’ve never seen a cooler looking wine than this. Amour Genève, owned and created by Coviello Salinès in Europe, is the world’s first blue wine. Salinès was inspired by his father’s adoration and collection of all things blue and, as a tribute to him, used molecular gastronomy to create the wine by adding natural pigmentation from Italian Nebbiolo grapes to fermenting Spanish Verdejo grapes. The result is a deep electric blue color, with floral notes of white peach, grapefruit and citrus. Amour Genève can be purchased online and shipped worldwide. And, right now, the brand is running a fundraiser for Spelman College with limited-edition bottles.
Nothing quite expresses the scarcity and plight of Black winemakers like the phrase, “We few, we happy few.” That has been Bodkin Wines’ motto since Chris Christensen founded the brand with his partner in 2011 in Healdsburg, California. The quote is from the famous Shakespeare play Henry V, and it’s apt that it’s spoken by a king. Bodkin Wines was the first U.S. brand to produce sparkling sauvignon blanc, which remains their most popular and highly-praised variety. Christensen is quoted on the website as saying: “I want to make wine that can be enjoyed in the here and now, wine for the connoisseurs and for the novices. Bodkin Wines should be enjoyed at family events, momentous occasions, picnics and barbecues – not hoarded in someone’s basement.”
8Armand de Brignac
French luxury giant LVMH has purchased a 50% stake in his Armand de Brignac champagne brand, known to fans of his music by its “Ace of Spades.” Branded with an ace of spades and sleek metallic bottles, the drink can cost hundreds of pounds a bottle or more.
The rapper, whose given name is Shawn Carter, has owned the brand since 2014. According to Forbes, the deal valued Jay-Z’s champagne brand, Armand de Brignac, at over $600 million.
Marvina Robinson stands out as one of the few Black women to own a champagne brand. Hers is inspired by the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn where she grew up. Robinson recalls how her love of champagne started in college when she would pool her money with friends to purchase a bottle of Moët & Chandon White Star. Stuyvesant Grand Reserve Brut is a crisp, dry, pale golden color with sea-green highlights and fine bubbles.
Mopkins earlier this year launched the wine brand Roselawn Select, as a nod to the Detroit street he grew up on. Mopkins’ Roselawn Select isn’t widely available for purchase yet, but he has done wine tasting and bottle signing events in Detroit since the brand launched. Mopkins said customers can find out where and how to buy his wine on Instagram.
Nichole Johnson has launched a 100% Pinot Meunier champagne called Lapin Rouillé in the UK – the first female Black-owned champagne brand to go on sale in Britain. Meaning ‘rusty rabbit’ in French, the champagne takes its name from Johnson’s drinks distribution company, Rusty Rabbit International. Lapin Rouillé champagne is a traditional style champagne, crafted from hand-harvested Pinot Meunier grapes from Massif de Saint-Thierry, Reims.
This brand is what it looks like when you turn the phrase “Black girl magic” into a wine. In fact, they did; that’s the name of their most popular vintage. Half-sisters Andréa and Robin McBride founded their vineyard in 2005 after discovering their family ties. They source from California and New Zealand. They also created the SHE CAN professional development scholarship fund for women in the wine industry. According to Refinery29, McBride Sisters is the largest Black-owned wine company in the U.S. They also host a monthly wine and book club that celebrates Black women authors across different genres, and also their most popular offerings, like Black Girl Magic Riesling.