Photo Credit: Photo by Nathan Lefebvre
Meet Donae Burston Of La Fete du Rosé: The Black-Owned Rosé Brand That Also Gives Back To Underserved Youth
Baltimore native Donae Burston has worked in the luxury spirit industry for over 15 years. From brands such as Dom Perignon and Veuve Clicquot to Hennessy and Moet & Chandon, Burston is no stranger to the business. In that time he’s seen the ins and outs of how spirit brands market to people of color, more specifically to Black people.
While on a business trip in Saint Tropez, he was introduced to the owner of Domaine Bertaud Belieu, the oldest vineyard on the Saint Tropez peninsula. The two struck up a conversation and Burston pitched the idea of creating a new Rosé brand that caters to and benefits Black people.
The idea was a hit and La Fete du Rosé was soon born.
“All of the Rosé brands that I came across catered to white women,” Burston told Travel Noire. “I wanted to create something new. Something that was by us and for us.”
The wine is created at the vineyard in Saint Tropez while Burston has 100% control and ownership. He chose the name Fete, a Caribbean word meaning celebration because he felt that the word held power.
While there are dozens of Rosé brands out there, Burston has taken his time to create one that’s different.
“Rosé typically has one of two flavor profiles. It’s either bitter and acidic or overly sweet and heavy. Ours is light with fruit-forward notes. I even lowered the alcohol content slightly so that it gives a smoother taste.”
Burston rolled out his first small test batch in Miami in 2018. After selling out in only a few months, he knew he had a great product on his hands. In May 2019, he officially launched across the United States. Right now his biggest market is Atlanta, where bottles can be found in Whole Foods stores. Additionally, the brand is in Miami, D.C., New York, and Southern California.
Once things clear up with COVID-19, there will be additional rollouts across the nation. For now, if you aren’t in one of the listed markets you can order your bottles via the company’s website.
In addition to being a Black-owned brand, Burston has incorporated a giveback model into his business. For every bottle sold, proceeds are donated to various programs that provide travel opportunities to underserved and underrepresented youth. As a man who enjoys travel himself, Burston hopes that by donating to these programs he is helping to develop new global citizens.
We asked Burston to offer advice to those wanting to get into the industry as well. He said:
“If you want to create your own brand someday, start by working for another brand first to get a good grasp of the industry and the lingo used. Once you start working for a brand, never let them pigeonhole you based on what they think you match better with based on race.”