Celebrating Diversity in the Wine Industry
More than ever now is a time for us to come together in unity with love for everyone from every walk of life. The wine industry is a diverse entity, but too often incredible, noteworthy people of different races or orientations are overlooked. In this very special piece, we’re excited to take a step back and feature several amazing people and wine brands from diverse backgrounds to help highlight how colorful this industry truly is, and give credit where credit is due. More than anything, it’s a testament to the fact that any of us – all of us – can come together to do great things.
Brown Estate is a family-owned and operated private estate winery located in the Napa Valley. In 1980, Basset and Marcela Brown purchased and rehabilitated the Brown Estate land. In 1996, the Brown family began making wine under the Brown Estate label.
They established the Brown Estate in 1996 when they harvested what would become their first bottling of Brown Zinfandel. In January 2000, they debuted their first three vintages at the annual ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates & Producers) Grand Tasting in San Francisco. Fast forward to September 2016 when they bottled their 20th vintage, and the rest is history!
To make their wines and hospitality experience more accessible, in April 2017, they opened their Brown Downtown tasting room on the First Street corridor in the heart of downtown Napa.
You can learn more about Brown Estate on their website, here.
Kieu Hoang Winery
Kieu Hoang is an American scientist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist originally from Vietnam.
Since 2010, Hoang has focused his research on areas of wellness that improve the quality of life. His interest peaked while studying red wine, eventually leading him to purchase a vineyard in Napa and begin Kieu Hoang Winery. He works with experts, including renowned Winemaker, Charles Hendricks, to establish the Kieu Hoang Winery.
The winery is located in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Napa, which is the southernmost grape-growing region in the Napa Valley. The fog and evening breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay make the Carneros AVA the coolest wine-producing region in the valley, ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
To learn more about Kieu Hoang Winery, click here.
Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery from the Russian River Valley was founded by Gary Farrell in 1982 when he crafted his first Pinot Noir from fruit grown in the now-legendary Rochioli Vineyard. Today, Gary’s legacy continues as they seek out vineyards that possess a truly unique voice. They craft their wines to tell their story from the Russian River Valley and beyond.
As a specialist in small-lot, single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, their Winemaker, Theresa Heredia – a member of the LGBTQ community – leads their team. Theresa leads with a keen appreciation for Farrell’s hallmark style of balance and elegance while adding her own signature to the wines through an adventurous spirit of innovation and a strong camaraderie with the land.
In an interview, Heredia said she’s encouraged by the acceptance of same-sex couples in Sonoma County. “Maybe the reason we don’t come together as gay people in the wine business is that we don’t need to anymore,” she said. “Society welcomes us more openly today than it would have even a decade ago. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.”
Heredia joined Gary Farrell in 2012 and quickly learned that the winery had the same sensibility in supporting causes. Farrell has been a major donor for the Human Rights Campaign and has also participated and donated wine for “Out in the Vineyard,” the Gay Wine Weekend in Sonoma, among other contributions.
To learn more about Gary Farrell Winery and Theresa, click here.
Madrigal Wines owner Chris Madrigal has a family history similar to that of many Mexican immigrant families. His grandfather came to the Napa Valley from Mexico looking for farm work, as a means to improve the life of his family, which included 12 children. Jesus Madrigal, Chris’ dad, was one of those kids.
After working in the vineyards for many years, he established his own vineyard management company. As years passed, the company became one of Napa’s most respected vineyard management companies and Jesus is recognized as one of the Hispanic leaders in the Napa Valley business community.
The father and son shared a dream to own a winery and produce wines under the family name, and they’ve been incredibly successful in doing so with their beautiful portfolio of wines. In 1993 they produced their first vintage, and in 2008 Madrigal Winery completed building a $3 million dollar wine-producing facility and tasting room.
To learn more about Madrigal Winery, click here.
We encourage you to either visit these properties if possible! Or, shop their online wine collections to appreciate the heart and soul that goes into these wines. One of our main philosophies here at Scarlett Wines is that wine is meant to be delightful, approachable, and above all, enjoyed with loved ones! Should you wish to see what’s new and exciting here at Scarlett, click here.