Hi all, it’s been a minute. Or 621,000 of them to be exact. We’re in a really interesting time right now in terms of COVID-19 and the wine industry, but that’s not what this post is about. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, I present the resource I was seeking but could not find: a list of Black-owned vegan wines.
Some of you may be thinking, “Isn’t all wine vegan?” It’s a tricky topic I covered in a previous post and would be happy to chat more about if you’re interested. Let’s just assume for today’s post that by using animal products in the winemaking process, it’s not.
There are some great resource lists our there of Black-owned wineries, so I just did a little digging to see who’s wines were vegan. I will continue to update this page as I receive more responses and information. Enjoy!
Brown Estate (All Wines) $$$
Based in Napa, California, they’re known primarily for their Zinfandel red wines but also make an array of other red and white wines ranging from $28 to $125. Their tasting room is literally walking distance from my house so I may be biased, but this is one to watch! I’ve personally tried their Duppy Conqueror white which was a perfect summer sipper but has since sold out. Can’t wait to try more!
Wine Enthusiast writes, “Bassett and Marcela Brown bought an abandoned Napa Valley ranch in 1980 and turned it into the region’s first Black-owned winery. The label debuted its own line of wines in 2000.”
According to comments on their Instagram, 100% of the wines made by Brown Estate are vegan. They write, “Our dad was vegan and our winemaking has always and will continue to adhere to those principles.” (6/8/20)
Charles Woodson Intercept (Red Wines) $
Charles Woodson was playing for the Oakland Raiders in the 90s when he visited Napa Valley during training camp and fell in love with wine. He launched Intercept after his time in the NFL to stay connected to his fans, since he saw wine as a great connector. After visiting Paso Robles and Monterey, he was hooked on the Central Coast as the fruit source.
The winery writes, “Currently, our three red wines – the Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Red Blend – are all vegan. Our Chardonnay is not yet vegan-friendly, but we are hoping to adopt bromite as a fining agent in the near future.” (6/10/20)
Corner 103 (All Wines) $$
While working in the finance industry, Lloyd Davis fell in love with wine but realized it was intimidating for most. He left the industry in 2008, took over Viansa Winery and helped revived it before launching Corner 103, named for its location in downtown Sonoma. They strive to make wine tasting approachable and fun, and Corner 103 has been ranked as one of the top 10 best wineries in the country by USA Today.
The winemaker writes, “None of my wines are made using any animal products.” (6/9/20)
Darjean Jones Wine (All Wines) $$$
Owner and Vinter Dawna Darjean Jones says, “as a Louisiana native and first generation African-American winemaker, the love of good food and drink is coded in my DNA.” With a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and passion for wine and fermentation science, she started the label in 2010 with Napa Valley Merlot grapes. Today they work with some of the best vineyards in Napa and Sonoma County, making a variety of red and white wines as well as a rosé. Winemaker Patrick Saboe (Petroni, Pezzi King) also consults.
Dawna writes, “Yes, all of my wines are vegan friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and BPA free.” (6/9/20)
Eunice Chiweshe Golstein Winery (Reds) $$$
Half winery, half tv and film production company, Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery was inspired in part by Francis Ford Coppola. Actor/Writer Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein was a fellow UCLA film school alumni, and always dreamed of being a winemaker. She became the first Black female winery owner in Oregon in 2018 with its launch, and today makes Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, rosé and Chardonnay. Each month they select a charity to support and have unique virtual tasting options.
The winery confirms their red wines being released are vegan. (6/15/20)
Fog Crest Vineyard (All Wines) $$
Fog Crest Vineyard was established by Rosalind Manoogian and her husband James in 1998. Located in the Russian River Valley appellation, they produce Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and rosé, along with the help of French winemaker Jérôme Chéry. This is another one in wine country high on my list to explore!
Proprietor Rosalind Manoogian confirms all their wines are vegan. (6/11/20)
Free Range Flower Winery (All Wines) $$
Ever heard of wine made out of lavender? What about Marigold? Rose petals? Apparently there is something to the ancient tradition of making wine out of flowers, and founders Aaliyah Nitoto and Sam Prestianni have been bringing it to the San Francisco bay area since 2015. They source local, organic flowers for all their wines, and each production is small-batch. The winery is, “dedicated to sustainable practices that yield world-class wine and build community,” and “welcomes partnerships with local farmers, makers, artists, mixologists, event planners, and community-minded organizations.”
Sam writes, “We use locally sourced, organic ingredients, and our wines are also vegan. Whenever we fine the wine (we don’t filter), we use diatomaceous earth.” (6/9/20)
Frichette Winery (All Wines) $$
Owned by Shae & Greg Frichette, this family-owned winery was started in 2011 in Washington’s Red Mountain appellation. They opened a tasting room in 2013, and today make 2,000 cases annually with events (under normal circumstance) for club members and guests from all over the world. The portfolio includes a varieties of reds as well as a rosé and Semillon.
Kathy from the winery writes, “Frichette wine is made from wine grapes sourced from Red Mountain and French oak barrel aged. We do not use any animal products in production. With that said, please know that we do not have the official title of ‘Vegan’ on our label or affiliated with our winery. ” (6/9/20)
J. Moss Wines (Reds) $$$
Making their first barrels in 2000 from Merlot grown on their Carneros property, James and Janet Moss have come a long way since launching J. Moss Wines. While working full-time James studied oenology on the weekends, and trained under winemakers including Mark Jessup and Gustavo Brambila. They opened their own winery in 2010 and hired on consulting winemaker Julie Hagler Lumgair to help. Their son Westley Moss has also joined the team, helping when he is home with winemaking, bottling and wherever else needed. Today they produce wines from some of the top sites around Napa Valley, and offer in person tastings by appointment.
The winery writes, “The majority of our wines (we specialize in Cab Sauv) are vegan and we do not use any animal products in filtering or fining. However we make a small amount of white wine (Chardonnay) and Rose, we often do use a small amount of Isinglass, which is a fish byproduct.” (6/12/20)
Jenny Dawn Cellars (All Wines) $$
Jennifer MacDonald is Kansas’ first African-American winemaker, and produces both dry and sweet wines from California and Kansas. She has a Master’s Degree in Agribusiness from Kansas State University and following her passion for wine launched the urban winery in downtown Wichita in 2016. Her wines since then have received numerous awards from international competitions. The winery opened its doors in November, 2019 and in addition to its function as a winery and tasting room hosts a variety of events.
Sadie Law, Marketing and Social Media Lead from the winery confirms, “Yes, all of our wines are vegan. We do not use animal products in our processing or fining.” (6/10/20)
L’Objet Noir (All Wines) $$
Before getting into the wine industry, winemaker and proprietor Dan Glover was writing and producing music in Los Angeles. However Pinot Noir captured his attention and he soon found himself working at wineries like Clos du Bois, Armida and Dutcher Crossing to learn this new art. His then created own label, L’Objet Noir, and with it strives to make wines from the best fruit with minimal manipulation. In addition to Pinot Noir he also makes a Sauvignon Blanc.
Dan confirms, “Yes all of my wines are vegan. No animal products were used in the making of these wines.” (6/9/20)
Love Cork Screw (All Wines) $
Négociant Chrishon Lampley launched the Love Cork Screw lifestyle brand in 2013 with six varietals, after years of experience in the industry with an understanding of what the market was missing. Today the brand encompasses much more than just wine, and its playful branding and competitive pricing make it a staple at retail locations across the country.
Chrishon confirms all her wines are vegan. (6/9/20)
MYX Fusions (All Wines) $
Nicki Minaj is a force to be reckoned with, and her line of sangrias and flavored Moscatos is no exception. Created in 2013, her goal was to create a line of irresistible Moscatos and today they can be found across the country in a wide range of sizes and flavors.
Peter Reaske, CEO of MYX Beverage, confirms all MYX Fusions products are vegan. (6/16/20)
Okapi (All Wines) $$$
Producing only 300 cases each year, Dan and Kim Johnson are on a mission to make the best small-batch wines they possibly can from their Napa Valley vineyard. A converted walnut orchard in the Oak Knoll District, today they grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Petit Verdot on the property. They are not open to the public, but the wines are available online and by phone.
Kim confirms all their wines are vegan. (6/9/20)
Sip & Share Wines (All Wines) $
If you are looking for artisanal vegan wines, look no further! Based in Indiana, owner Nicole Kearney crafts bothy, dry, sweet and sparkling wines with grapes from California. She caught the wine bug while pursuing her MFA and sharing wine bottles with friends, and soon became her friends’ go-to host for wine tasting. She launched Sip & Share in 2016 and was named one of 40 African American Tastemakers (Under/Over 40) in 2017.
The Sip & Share website confirms their wines are all vegan. (7/11/20)
Stoney Wines (All Vegan) $$
Winemaker Donna Stoney is blazing trails as Oregon’s first Black female winemaker. She launched her wine label in September 2019, with guidance from Bertony Faustin of Abbey Creek Vineyards.
Before getting into the wine industry she had a career in social services and was the first Black female Case Manager in the state’s Department of Human Services, supporting those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Because of this, a portion of the proceeds from Stoney Wines are donated to programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The winery writes, “The 2017 Bayani Pinot Noir and the 2018 Sisterfriends Chardonnay are unfiltered. The wines were both allowed to settle naturally without fining agents of any kind. The 2017 Rose, Pinot Gris and Reserve Pinot Noir are filtered but the filtration system has no known animal or biologic materials in the filters. (6/16/20)
Stuyvesant Champagne (All Wines) $$$
Originally made to be the house label at her upcoming Champagne bar, Marvina Robinson launched Stuyvesant Champagne in 2020. Named after her hometown of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY, she collaborated with a vineyard in France to create the brand’s first two offerings: a Rose and a Grand Reserve Brut.
The vineyard stretches from the Ardre Valley to the Aisne via the Marne Valley, is hand farmed and uses integrated pest control methods. Both wines are blends of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.
The winery writes, “No gelatine, albumin, casein or isinglass [have] been used to make Stuyvesant Champagne! In the coming weeks we will be applying for Vegan Certification.” (6/9/20)
Theopolis Vineyeards (Reds) $$
Located in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley, within Mendocino County, Theopolis Vineyards was established in 2003. Founder Theodora Lee, a Texan and San Francisco trial lawyer, is known for her Petite Sirah (both as a red wine and rosé) but also makes a variety of Pinot Noirs and a white wine called Symphony. Early on, wine made from the vineyard received high ratings from Robert Parker, and since then numerous other awards have followed.
The winery writes, “All of our red wines are bottles [unfined] and unfiltered. All of our wines are bottled unfined.” (6/9/20)
Tympany Vineyards (All Wines) [Price Unknown]
Celebrating great food, great wine and great jazz is central to Tympany Vineyards. Louis and Lynda Jordan planted their vineyard in Healdsburg in 2003, and harvested their first vintage in 2006. Their specialty is Cabernet Sauvignon, and less than 100 cases are produced each year. Since Tympany Vineyards’ inception, over $60,000 has been donated to charities like Room to Read and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Lynda writes, “As a Vegan (sometimes Vegetarian) I can confirm our wine is Vegan. We produce one wine per vintage, a Cabernet, that also contains Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, & Malbec. It is not filtered or fined.” (6/10/20)
Wade Cellars (All Wines) $
NBA star Dwayne Wade found his passion for fine wine and food through his friends and teammates Chris Bosh and Lebron James. After connecting with Jayson Pahlmeyer in Napa Valley and witnessing the magic of harvest in 2014, the inspiration for Wade Cellars was born. Together they produce three wines each year: a red blend, white and rosé.
The winery confirms their wines are vegan. (6/9/20)
Zafa Wines (All Wines & Ciders) $$
Ever wondered what it would be like if wine and cider had a baby? Vigneronne Krista Scruggs of Zafa Wines would be happy to show you. Located in Burlington, Vermot, Krista produces unique, small production lots made from sustainably farmed grapes and apples, often co-fermented to create something entirely its own.
Krista writes on their website, “No fining, filtering, additives or funny business in the winery. No herbicides or synthetic pesticides in the vineyard. Just f*cking fermented juice from responsibly farmed living fruit.” (7/11/20)
$ – Most wines under $25
$$ – Most wines under $50
$$$ – Most wines under $100
$$$$ – Most wines over $100
If you know of any I am missing please do not hesitate to drop them in the comments and I will reach out to confirm with the company and add them to the list. Please note this list only includes US-based wineries at the moment, although that may change in the future.
Do the work team, it’s always worth it.
Last updated July 13th, 2020.