The first Black-owned winery in Durham, NC, has opened, and a Black woman is at the helm!

Melanated Wines & Spirits, which was opened by LaShonda Fort-Modest on Oct. 22, 2021. The winery opened up in an industrial park in the Southside of Durham, according to WRAL, and Modest said that her goal with the winery is to “uncork the culture.”

“I often felt that when I went grocery shopping or occasionally visited a wine shop or explored a vineyard, there was nothing that spoke to people like me,” Fort-Modest says on her website. “This oversight led to me to ask, ‘what was the wine industry missing regarding people of color?'”

From there, she got work researching any and everything relating to the industry so that she could ultimately ‘decomplicate’ the complexities found in trying to buy wine.

Melanated Wine & Spirits| Facebook

“I believe wine can be fun, educational, delicious, and above everything uncomplicated.”

The wine space is certainly growing for Black men and women — but, most especially, for Black women. Our sister site, AfroTech, recently reported how R&B legend Mary J. Blige recently got into the wine industry with the launch of her proprietary Sun Goddess Wines. And according to Newsweek, while most of the United States’ 11,000 wineries, Black men and women are slowly but surely making their footprint, as well.

And that footprint is one that this Black-owned winery is hoping to take advantage of, as well.

Currently, the line has four varietals. Modest is also hosting a series of events that, she hopes, will introduce her to her Durham neighbors and the community at large. Modest is also taking pre-orders until the end of the month, and all orders will ship out on the first week of November.

Congratulations are in order for this boundary-breaking Black-owned winery! We love to see it.

Melanated Wine and Spirits is located at: 4608 Industry Ln Unit F, Durham, NC 27713.