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A new wine company wants you to discover wines from unknown producers

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“Wine is a way of taking our message to the world. We want young women in Georgia to believe in themselves and to know that they can do their own thing and earn their freedom,” says Gvantsa Abuladze, who makes wine with her sister Baia in the Imereti region of Georgia.

“My winery is called Ses’fikile, which means ‘We have arrived’. It speaks to the arrival of women in an area traditionally reserved for men,” says Nondumiso Pikashe, a winemaker in the Paarl region of South Africa. “And also the arrival of the peoples of Africa. There is a feeling that we can rewrite history, that we can take the road less traveled.”

One of the oldest grapevines in the world is about to take off in America

“Wine builds community,” says Tara Gomez, a member of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, who was recognized by California legislature as the first Native American winemaker in the Golden State. Gomez and her wife, Mieira Taribó, make wines under their Camins 2 Dreams label and mentor young women who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color exploring careers in wine. “You see people like her making wine, and they think anything is possible,” says Gomez.

These are just a few winemakers represented by a visionary new label called Go There Wines, launched in late June by Washington, DC restaurateur Rose Previte, her husband, former NPR host David Greene, and her boyfriend, the Social -Impact entrepreneur Chandler Arnold, was launched.

Go There Wines is an online company designed to provide a platform and megaphone for winemakers who struggle to be heard. This is not about wine as fermented grape juice, Chateau This or Terroir That. It’s about history, community and the belief that we can bring the world together through a shared love of wine.

In this way it is an extension of the restaurants of Previte, Compass Rose and the Michelin-starred Maydan, two gastronomic celebrations of the power of food to create community across political and ethnic boundaries. It’s a perspective Previte gained traveling with Greene across Russia, the Caucasus and the Middle East when he was head of the network’s Moscow office from 2009-2012.

Previte came up with the idea for this venture in the early weeks of the Covid pandemic as restaurants were closing and struggling to survive by selling their wine stocks at deep discounts. Even then, she held fast to her ideal that wine, like food, is a means of social impact. “We only sold Georgian and Lebanese wines,” she says, “because I still wanted to help these winemakers.”

At the same time, in the context of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, the wine industry has been attacked for its lack of diversity. Online wine sales went from a trickle to a boomlet as consumers got used to buying everything online. Previte saw an opportunity.

“Look at the wine industry and you’ll see how it’s still dominated by western Europeans and, no offense Dave, white men,” Previte said on a phone call from Chicago, where she was attending the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony had attended. Maydan was nominated for an outstanding wine program this year.

“The politics and hierarchies of wine, its geography and its wars are all European and male-centric,” she continued. “So we reached out to marginalized winemakers — refugees, women of color, women around the world who don’t have access to the US market.”

As Arnold told me a week later at a launch event at Maydan, Go There Wines aims to “uplift people who have been left out of the conversation for too long” and who were “undercapitalized and underrepresented.”

Profits from Go There Wines are shared with the winemakers who benefit from guaranteed sales and marketing from Go There. But this is not just a business to make a profit. It also wants to change something. Previte and her partners want us to “go there” – not just by traveling to see the world, but also in conversation. How many times do we hold back and say, “Don’t go there”? These wines are meant to broaden our conversation beyond our normal, limited horizons.

And that’s part of the appeal for their winemakers, which include Abdullah Richi, a Syrian refugee who fled the war there and now makes wine in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The label on his Pinot Noir Pet-Nat explains his dream: “I will make wine in Syria again.”

“This wine celebrates all matriarchs,” says Pikashe on the label of their sparkling Cinsault.

“We fell in love with winemaking,” announce Gomez and Taribó on their Syrah from the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara, California, as if every sip we take renews their vows and celebrates their union.

“Winemaking is freedom; a value we never take for granted in our country,” say the Abuladze sisters of their amber wine, made from Georgia’s native Krakhuna grape variety. Even more haunting is the label on its bright, refreshing red of the Dzvelshavi variety: “Men have been making wine in Georgia for 8,000 years. It is our turn.”

Do I even have to tell you that these wines are delicious?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2022/06/30/go-there-wines-venture-rose-previte/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_lifestyle A new wine company wants you to discover wines from unknown producers

Chris Estrada

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