I remember the day I learned black people make wine too”
It was 9 years ago, I was teaching a private in home wine class in Ladera Heights, Ca. This beautiful older woman asked if “I had been to the black owned winery, Rideau?” I had not but made it a point to visit the following weekend.
I fell in love with my passion for wine after visiting Rideau Vineyards and seeing Ms. Iris Rideau in action. I visited again for the next several years. Every month bringing with me groups of 50 people at at time.
I made it my mission to find more like Iris. When I found them I made it my mission to showcase these brands. Eight years ago I started a wine festival and hoped at least 35 people would show up so that I could recover my cost for the venue. They did. Seven years later that festival turned into a popular 3 day weekend coined "Wine Over LA" with a sold out train trip to Santa Barbara for wine tasting ,a four course dinner and wine pairing featuring black owned brands and a party on a yacht featuring 16 Black owned wine brands.
Fast forward to Covid-19 and a new norm. The festival will still be three days but virtual featuring 14 brands!!!!! Friday Night "Cooking and Sipping" with Iris Rideau, Saturday, a virtual tour and Tasting with native American winemaker Tara Gomez and on Sunday our annual wine festival with virtual tastings, wine lessons and wine talk with 15 black leaders in the wine industry.
Iris retired and sold Rideau vineyards in 2018. Last time I visited her with a group of friends we sat down to talked about her upcoming book, her contributions to the wine industry and the current state of black people in the wine industry. On that day Iris final words of encouragement to me:
“I’m so proud of what you have accomplished in the wine industry, I’m passing the torch”
The video is on my YouTube Chanel.
Purchase Wine Over LA: Diversity Wine Route
Tuanni Price, the owner of Zuri Wine Tasting. A wine Enthusiast and adventurer, loves everything about the wine experience