Photo Credit: Photo by Elena Rogers @elenarogers
This Black Woman Is Behind North Carolina's Newest Urban Winery
Less than 1% of winemakers are Black women. Let us repeat that again. Less than 1% of the people who create the wines we love are Black women.
Ohio native Lindsey Williams is one of the latest women to be included among that number. After spending over 13 years in her career as a Corporate Attorney, she decided that opening her own business was next on the list.
She recently opened Davidson Wine Co., an urban winery concept just outside of Charlotte, NC.
“I really love wine and I had the chance to visit Italy,” Lindsey told Travel Noire. “I really caught the wine bug after seeing the process up close.”
When people think of wine country or wineries in general, they think of California or international destinations like South Africa or Italy. But, more and more wineries are popping up in unconventional places too.
While the initial plan was to buy a farm, open a vineyard, and grow the grapes herself– Lindsey found that there was a better way to do things for now. She decided to introduce the Charlotte area to its first urban winery.
“With an urban winery you still make your own wine but you don’t grow your own grapes. I source grapes from growers from all over the world like California, Chile, Italy, and France.”
She works closely with an affiliate partner who helps her to choose the best grapes around the world. But, Lindsey has full control when it comes to putting together the flavor palettes for her private label, under the same name as the winery.
“Wine production takes time. A good red takes up to four months,” Lindsey explained. “While I get my private label fully up and running, I also offer wines from other labels.”
She is learning day by day what her customer base enjoys most. She plans to use that to create the different wines that will be offered in the future.
The community where her winery is located couldn’t be happier to have a concept like this. It’s the first of its kind in the Davidson area, which is only a short 30-minute drive north of Charlotte.
As a woman in an industry that is typically ruled by men, Lindsey is just excited to be here. Although, at times people are surprised to see that it is a Black woman that is the owner and maker.
As far as her advice to other aspiring winemakers out there, Lindsey had this to say:
“Do your research. There are lots of opportunities in the wine industry, not just as winemakers. There are all sorts of executive careers as well. Find the path that works best for you, do the homework, and see where you can fit in. Be prepared to hear ‘no’ a lot, but keep going.”