Meet Tanisha Townsend, France’s top wine influencer and an incredible Black woman wine tour hostess. Wine tourism is booming, to put things simply. Tanisha navigated an already flourishing industry and added her own unique spin on what wine tourism could look like. Using a combination of her expertise, love for travel and a widely successful podcast, she has carved out a special space in this industry.

In this Travel Noire exclusive, discover everything about the highs and lows of being a top wine influencer. Bonus, find out which are the top countries for wine according to this expert.

How did you start traveling the world?

Credit: Krystal Kenny, Miss Paris Photo

I started traveling and exploring when I was a child. My family would take road trips every summer to amusement parks, carnivals, fairs, etc around the States. I really liked roller coasters and funnel cake back then!


What led you to life within the wine industry?

Credit: Chen Sands Photography

It started when I lived in the DMV, I used to go to wine festivals. At one in particular I became fascinated with a wine I tasted (I wish I remembered the name of it, I didn’t know how important it would be in my life at the time!) so I wanted to know everything I could about it; why the color and the flavors were as they were, how did all of that come from a grape? I took the WSET Level 2 certification after that and then and then… I found myself in a career I really liked and was really good at.

What were the main challenges you noticed while getting started in this industry as a Black woman?

Courtesy: Tanisha Townsend

People didn’t think I knew anything about wine, definitely not fine wine. I was uncomfortable and less than confident in tastings and other wine situations because I was the only black person.

What is the best advice you received when getting into wine tourism around the world?

Credit: Krystal Kenny, Miss Paris Photo

I am only in competition with myself. Don’t worry about what tours other people put together or what they seem to be doing, you are the secret sauce. Go and be you.

Talk to us about your recent win with the Wine Travel Award



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A post shared by Tanisha Townsend (@girlmeetsglass)


I was so surprised and excited! I won the award due to my podcast (Wine School Dropout) season on wines from Italy. I incorporated the people behind the wines, food pairings, and tourism into the season and people really enjoyed it. 


What are your top 3 favorite countries for good tasting wine?

Credit: Apron & Sneakers

Clearly, France is first! I visited South Africa this summer and was blown away. I also really enjoy the wines of Spain.