by Samara Lynn
A black-owned winery in the heart of wine country—Napa Valley, California—just landed a major partnership with Delta Air Lines
Brown Estate wines will be featured on Delta’s 2019–2020 winter wine menu aboard its domestic Delta One flights, as per a statement released by the airline.
To kick off the partnership, Delta will host a complimentary in-flight wine tasting of Brown Estate wines for passengers on Flight 1473, which leaves Tuesday from San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. and arrives in New York’s JFK airport at 11:30 p.m.
The idea to partner with Brown Estate came from a member of Delta’s black community business resource group, Carlyne Scott. She originally suggested the winery as part of a way to celebrate Black History Month, but the idea grew into a more long-term partnership.
Andrea Robinson, who serves as Delta’s Master Sommelier, is tasked with selecting the wines for Delta’s ever-rotating wine list. Robinson selected two labels from Brown Estate—its 2017 Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc and its 2017 Chaos Theory.
The 2017 Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor profile is described by the winemaker on Wine.com as “Tropical fruit notes delight the nose, commingled with subtle citrus, fever grass, and lemon verbena. Night blooming jasmine and honeysuckle are shadowed by stone fruit, lychee, and frankincense. Palate delights with a cascade of vibrant pineapple and luxurious guava, finishing with delicate rosewater and effervescent bergamot.”
The 2017 Chaos Theory was summed up by Wine Spectator as “A potent blend, with expressive blackberry, tar and grilled anise aromas and concentrated yet polished raspberry and smoky cracked pepper flavors. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.”
The Brown Estate label was founded in 1996, according to the company’s website. It is headed by president Doreen Brown and winemaker David Brown.
“We are delighted to partner with Delta Air Lines,” said Deneen Brown in a statement “Delta’s all-in commitments to the spirit of inclusion and to their wine program are perfectly aligned with our core values at Brown Estate.”
The partnership reflects what Delta says is its over-20 years commitment to supplier diversity.
“Partnering with innovative, diverse suppliers from small-, minority- and women-owned businesses like Brown Estate is fundamental to Delta’s strategy to keep climbing year-round,” said Heather Ostis, vice president — Supply Chain Management. “Seeking employee perspectives and leveraging unique ideas brings us closer to meeting that goal while creating the highest quality experience for our customers.
There had been a surge of black-owned spirits and wine companies as of late. Vanessa Braxtonlaunched Black Momma Vodka. Longevity Wines is another black-owned wine label located in California’s Livermore Valley wine region.
And most recently, famed NYC fashion boutique, Harlem Haberdashery, launched HH Bespoke Spirits, small-batch gin, vodka, and rum.