Last month I blogged about Laughing While Black relating to the black women from the Sistahs On The Reading Edge book club who were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine Train in California. They eventually received an apology from the Napa Valley Wine Train CEO but member Lisa Johnson says the group still feels humiliated from that experience.
The Guardian has an article about black winemakers. The article focuses on Oregon winemaker Bertony Faustin. He’s Oregon’s first black winemaker. Mr. Faustin owns the Abbey Creek Winery which is located north of Portland.
Bertony Faustin didn’t set out to be Oregon’s first black winemaker. He just wanted to make good wine. But the disbelief that often comes when customers realize a black man owns the winery has worn on him.
“People are always surprised. Everybody assumes that … I am not the winemaker,” said the 43-year-old, who four years ago opened Abbey Creek Winery about 20 miles northwest of Portland. “The image of the winemaker is an old white guy. To see that it’s a black man, it takes people aback.”
The industry’s stereotype, Faustin said, is one of status and racial homogeneity — photographs in wine publications feature manicured homes, expensive tasting rooms and white families touting well-bred pedigrees. Yet, more African-Americans and other minorities are increasingly making and drinking fine wine and wine-tasting clubs for African -Americans have proliferated. The shift, many experts say, is making the industry less elitist and attracting a diversity of customers, but comes with its own challenges.
Mr. Fautstin is also working on a documentary titled Red, White and Black to bring more attention to black, latino, asian and gay vintners.
Check out The Guardian to read the entire article.