Take a “Flight” – Tour northern California’s black-owned vineyards

May 15, 2016

You can spend a month in California’s wine country and feel like you haven’t made a dent in the list of uptown_grapes wineries worth visiting. With nearly 1,000 sprinkled between Santa Barbara to the south and Mendocino to the north, savvy oenophiles design their tours based on considerations such as geography and variety, like trying the chardonnays and pinot noirs of Sonoma’s Russian River or zeroing in on a hot emerging area, such as the Malibu-Newton Canyon. For your next jaunt to Napa and its neighboring counties, here’s a unique plan of attack: Tour the handful of black-owned wine-producing vineyards in the region.

There are fewer than a dozen in the United States—the best guess is just 10, with Sugarleaf Vineyards located in Virginia.

Despite that fact, many of them have made a significant impact on the wine world and have received national accolades. African-American boutique labels have been poured everywhere, from fine restaurants to the White House,  

  where Vision Cellars’ Las Alturas Pinot Noir 2006 and Esterlina Vineyards’ 2004 Cole Ranch Riesling and 2007 Dry Riesling have been served.

Visiting these vineyards will require a bit of planning, but any one of the following locations would be a great place to start your tour of the region. If traveling isn’t in your immediate plans, check these vineyards’ Web sites—many companies will ship to your doorstep.


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