Inside Philosophy: Maryland’s First Black-Owned Winery
Photo Credit: @criene via Twenty20

Photo Credit: @criene via Twenty20

Inside Philosophy: Maryland’s First Black-Owned Winery

black owned business , news , wine
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Sep 15, 2021

Philosophy is Maryland’s first Black-owned winery and one of just two in the entire mid-Atlantic region. The brand was started by friends, Kimberly Johnson, a vintner, and Denise Matthews, a sommelier.

Not only is it the first Black-owned winery in Maryland, but it’s also the first fully female-owned winery in the state.

Born in Baltimore, their friendship and sisterhood started as colleagues. In an interview with the Wine Industry Advisor, Johnson explains how Philosophy was founded after having a bad day at her full-time job in finance and accounting.

Like so many of us, she called her best friend, Denise, looking for some comfort. That’s when a lightbulb went off.


“I said, ‘Hey, I’m so tired of this mess. Do you want to start a winery with me?’ And she said, ‘Yes, sure,'” Johnson explained.

Philosophy Winery began shortly after that initial conversation. The two co-owners refer to it as a “mobile boutique wine business” because you can always find them selling wine at the farmer’s markets, festivals, other events throughout the region.

“We produce small-batch high-quality dry wines,” said the co-owners. “We incorporate characteristics from the old world as well as new theories of winemaking, utilizing French oak barrels and stainless steel fermentation vessels to create wines of unique depth and richness.”

Philosophy’s portfolio includes Cabernet Franc, a Viognier, and Rose. In addition to pop-up locations, you can find the wine in Baltimore-based independent wine shops, including Off The Rox, Serenity Wine Cafe, and The Wine Collective.


And if you’re not in the Baltimore area, no worries. You can purchase all the flavors online. For more information about Philosophy Winery, click here.

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