January 10, 2019 | Press Release



California WINE, FOOD and ART
Winemaker gathering, new features, 8th annual event
Salute to African American Vintners

8th Annual Black Vines
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Defremery Park, 1651 Adeline Street, Oakland
1:00pm – 5:00pm

OAKLAND, CA – Statewide, nearly 20 million gallons of wine are produced annually, according to industry reports at the Wine Institute.

Equally strong is the interest in, appreciation of, and consumption by African Americans whose affinity for fine wines is celebrated during the annual Black Vines event, a salute to African American winemakers, with delectable food and culturally expressive art.  Hundreds attend the annual affair, founded by Fern A. Stroud who states, “We created this event (in 2011) as a showcase for winemakers and an opportunity for guests—those new to wines or seasoned tasters—to celebrate African American culture. It is also a gathering place where trade connections are made and community fellowship is real.  Proceeds from the event benefit area charities.”

The 2019 event returns to DeFremery Park (1651 Adeline Street) in West Oakland, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Held indoors, it is complemented by jazz music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, art and wine sampling, of course.  Highlighting African American winemakers is a focus of the event explains Stroud. “We see this event as an extension of their collective and independent outreach efforts to increase awareness, visibility and market demand for these labels.”  There has been a steady loyalty factor borne out of the Black Vines annual event.

The first wineries to showcase at Black Vines included Mac McDonald of Vision Cellars and Lou Garcia of Stover Oaks.  Shortly, Theodora Lee Esq., of Theopolis Wines (www.theopolisvineyards.com) joined the showcase event and a few years later, Paula Harrell of P. Harrell Wines (www.pharrellwines.com) too, became involved as a returning participant.

Today, some 20 winemakers showcase during this Black History Month event and the list of vintners is increasing.


Fern A. Stroud had a vision nearly 10 years ago to conceive this event. "I created Black Vines with Black excellence in mind. I wanted to bring the Oakland community together in a positive, uplifting setting to envision our future."  Founded in 2011, by the Silicon Valley technology professional, Stroud’s vision is in full effect.  Black Vines is A Toast to Black Wineries and Diverse Art™.

The result is evident.  Black Vines is California’s preeminent curator of Black wine experiences and special events. Hosting an annual celebration of culture, art and wine education that brings together Black artists, Black musicians, Black winemakers and vintners; an outdoor summer soiree featuring delectable light fare paired with sparkling rosé, and sangria, on the last Saturday of February.  Further, it has become a year-round itinerary of custom events in partnership with key influencers and industry specialists. To date, thousands of guests have been served from more than 130 varietals.

Expertise, quality and inclusivity remain at the forefront of the Black Vines vision.

For additional information or to send queries, please email info@blackvines.net.

Sandra Varner