Who doesn’t love wine? Over 1.1 billion gallons of the boozy grapes were consumed in the U.S. in 2021 according to the Wine Institute. The demand for wine leaves plenty of space for wine lovers to create their bottles. However, statistics show that less than 1% out of more than 11,000 U.S. wineries are Black-owned.

Some of your favorite celebrities, like John Legend (LVE Collection Wines), Ayesha Curry (Domaine Wine), and rapper E-40 (Earl Stevens Selections) are a part of the wine industry. Athletes are no strangers to the game of being wine entrepreneurs like former professional basketball player Channing Frye owner of Chosen Family Wines.

The few Black athletes with wine brands are creating more diverse wine spaces. They are raising the awareness of opportunity and diversity in winemaking.

Here’s a list of five Black athletes you may not have known are in the wine industry.

  • Channing Frye

    2016 NBA Champion Channing Frye is the founder of Chosen Family Wines. He played college basketball for the University of Arizona and was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft. Frye recently invited fellow Black athletes including LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Klay Thompson, CJ McCollum, Isiah Thomas, Josh Hart, and Charles Woodson to support The Roots Fund. It is a nonprofit that provides financial support educational scholarships, wine education, and more to BIPOC students interested in wine. Currently, Chosen Family featured wines include a 2021 Pinot Noir and 2021 Chardonnay. Their bottles start as low as $24. Chosen Family Wines is available locally in Portland, Oregon. The good news, they do ship. You can find out where here.

  • Charles Woodson

    Former American football player Charles Woodson is the owner of Intercept Wines. Perhaps Woodson’s career was the inspiration for the wine company name Intercept Wines. He said stated on the Intercept Wines website that his love for wine happened organically while in Napa Valley for training camp while he was playing for the Oakland Raiders early in his career. Woodson played in the NFL for 18 seasons with the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. Intercept Wines features a 2020 Intercept Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2020 Intercept Pinot Noir. Both bottles of wine start at $20.

  • Dwayne Wade

    Wade Cellars was founded in 2014 by former professional basketball player Dwayne Wade. He was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Miami Heat. Wade briefly left the Miami Heat to play for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wade told Forbes that he was never interested in vodka or tequila. “I felt like wine was a bit more up my alley, but it’s also better for my body,” said Wade. Wade Cellars wines are available for purchase at www.dwadecellars.com, as well as restaurants, wine shops, and national retailers in 43 markets throughout the U.S.

  • Chris Paul

    NBA player Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns is a partner of La Fête Wine Company. According to Wine Spectator, Paul discovered La Fête during his time in the NBA bubble in 2020. He shared bottles of La Fête rosé with fellow players Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, JJ Redick and others. The founder of La Fête Wine Company Donae Burston expanded the wine brand as an equity partner. Through a mutual friend, Paul was brought on board to promote the brand.

  • Terrell Owens

    Former San Francisco 49ers player Terrell Owens launched his own wine label Eighty-One in 2020. Owens was inducted into the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class after playing in the NFL for 15 seasons. The wine label name was inspired by his uniform number “eighty-one.” The production of Eight-One began in January 2020 but the grapes were harvested in 2017 according to their website. The featured bottle is a Cabernet Sauvignon that starts at $39. You can also purchase a bottle signed by Owens starting at $135.

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