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Brown Estate

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Delta Airlines to Serve Wine from Black Owned Winery

During a surprise wine tasting at the San Francisco Delta Sky Club, Delta today announced a new partnership with Brown Estate, the first and only black-owned estate winery in California’s Napa Valley.

And as a toast to Black History Month, Brown Estate is making its first onboard appearance today in a surprise in-flight tasting for customers on Flight 1473 from San Francisco to New York-JFK.

The innovative idea to partner with Brown Estate started with Carlyne Scott, a member of Delta’s black community business resource group (BRG) and BRG Program Manager. Scott originally suggested the winery as a special for Black History Month, and that seed germinated into a larger relationship between Delta and the winery. Delta will feature Brown Estate wines in the winter of 2019-2020 as part of its commitment to supplier diversity.

“Partnering with innovative, diverse suppliers from certified 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.”

After Scott’s suggestion, a selection of Brown Estate wines were passed to Andrea Robinson, Delta’s Master Sommelier, for consideration in the airline’s seasonally rotating wine menu. Robinson’s year-round wine selection process – including both in-the-air and terra-firming tastings—culminates annually with a final tasting of more than 1,500 bottles over one week. Only the very best selections earn Robinson’s stamp of approval. Two Brown Estate selections made the cut.

Domestic Delta One customers will see two Brown Estate wines on the winter 2019-2020 menu: 2017 Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc and 2017 Chaos Theory.

“We are delighted to partner with Delta Air Lines,” said Deneen Brown, president of Brown Estate. “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.”

Chaos Theory, a well-balanced red blend of Merlot, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel, greets the nose with a lively aroma of ripe Rainer cherries, blackberry compote, winter spice and heavy cream. Hints of Asian apple and Meyer lemon are followed by dark chocolate, tiramisu and fresh-baked croissants.

On a lighter note, Brown Estate describes its Betelgeuse Sauvignon Blanc as “endless summer in a bottle” — straw gold in color, with refreshing clarity. Tropical fruit comingles with subtle citrus, fever grass and lemon verbena, while night-blooming jasmine and honeysuckle are complemented by a cascade of stone fruit, lychee, pineapple and guava.

 

Source: Delta

 

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Brown Estate: Napa Valley’s First Black Owned Winery

Brown Estate Vineyards is the first and only Black-owned estate winery in California’s Napa Valley, and is best known as one of that region’s most well-regarded zinfandel producers receiving a score of 91 points by Wine Spectator.

brown estate
Brownestate Facebook

In addition to zinfandel, Brown Estate produces cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and petite sirah.

This two-generation culmination is an investment made by parents Bassett Brown (from Jamaica) and Marcela Brown (from Panama) back in 1980. They acquired 450 acres in the Chiles Valley AVA of the Napa Valley after being informed by local family friends that the property was for sale.

Brownestate Facebook

Abandoned for some ten years prior, the land and its two structures – an 1859 stone and redwood barn and an 1885 Queen Anne Victorian home – were derelict.

The senior Browns cut roads and brought in plumbing and electricity, ultimately earning an award from the Napa County Historical Society for their restoration of the residence structure.

Bassett and Marcela Brown via Brownestate Facebook

They planted zinfandel vines, selling them to established winemakers (including Mike Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate) – for more than ten years.

Founded in 1995 by siblings Deneen, David & Coral Brown, Brown Estate produced its first Napa Valley zinfandel in 1996 and decided to move the winemaking in-house.

Siblings Deneen, Coral and David Brown

As of 2016, the Brown’s have bottled their 20th vintage and in April of this year they debuted their Brown Downtown location on the re-emerging First Street corridor in the heart of downtown Napa.

Brown Downtown Napa Location

The Brown Estate established themselves as a winery to watch in the arena of Napa Valley zinfandel. Simultaneously, in the January 31, 2000 issue of the Wine Spectator, the 1997 Brown Estate zinfandel received a score of 91 points.

In Fall 2010, the Brown family celebrated their 30th year in the Napa Valley, and Brown Estate’s 15th crush. The family posted the following message on their Website to commemorate these occasions:

“This year we celebrate our thirtieth year in the Napa Valley, and Brown Estate’s fifteenth crush. We thank all of you, with all of our hearts, for your continued enjoyment of our wines and your truly stupendous support of our once little endeavor. Each time you open and share a bottle of Brown Estate, you wrap your arms around us. It is an embrace that we cherish, a gesture that gives meaning to all of the passion and commitment we put into what we do. Thank you for making us a part of your lives, and for being a part of ours. Now onward & upward! The sky’s the limit!”

You can purchase here or visit them here:

Brown Downtown Napa
11-7 daily by appointment, walk-ins subject to availability
1005 Coombs Street (NW corner of First Street, 2nd Floor), Napa CA

Brown Estate Winery
Hours: 11-2 Th-Su, strictly by appointment
3233 Sage Canyon Road, St. Helena CA

 

by Sam Mathis

 

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