3 BIPOC-owned businesses to patron during your visit to Napa Valley

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  • Published on March 16, 2023
  • Last Updated May 15, 2023
  • In Lists

From wine to BBQ, these businesses have made their mark in the famed wine region.

For wine lovers, popping the cork on your favorite bottle, listening to the gentle glug as it makes its way into your glass, smelling the initial aroma and tasting all of its notes as it hits the tongue, is one of life’s simplest, yet divine pleasures.

Enjoying your favorite blend on the couch while watching your favorite show is always a viable option, but sipping on a chardonnay at a winery is next level. As the weather warms up, winery trips are a great way to spend the spring and summer months. The gorgeous views, calming atmosphere, and delicious food all pair beautifully with a glass. Being able to see the product that you’re drinking is pretty cool, too. Napa Valley is arguably one of the best known wine regions in the U.S. The region features more than four hundred wineries and grows grape varieties including merlot, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel. AFAR recently profiled BIPOC businesses that are thriving in Napa Valley. Add them to your itinerary when you make your next trip.

Maryam + Company

Founder Maryam Ahmed’s consultancy business works to “amplify vibrant communities and build impactful connections through the celebration of food and wine.” The murder of George Floyd in 2020 and subsequent racial injustices prompted her to start her business as a means to support communities of color.

“Our mission is to help purpose-driven food and wine brands grow their businesses and deepen their impact through diversity, sustainability, and community-based educational initiatives and programs,” reads Maryam + Company’s mission statement.

In 2022, Ahmed launched Fields Blends, which is an immersive wine trip over the course of multiple days. The trip works to highlight lesser-known, yet high-quality wine regions. The inaugural year took participants to Walla Walla, Washington. This year, Field Blends will be traveling to Finger Lakes, New York.

RD Winery

This winery is the only Vietnamese-owned winery in Napa Valley, and CEO Maliynh Phan takes great pride in this. “As we all know, being the first or the only comes with a set of pressures, but it also comes with a lot of rewards,” Phan told AFAR. “I am approached pretty often by folks who are so happy to see us in the Valley. Whether or not they are Vietnamese in particular, they identify with us, they’re rooting for us, and they often feel welcome in a world they may have felt unwelcome in before.” Founded eight years ago, RD Winery produces two blends: Fifth Moon and Hundred Knot. They also have a tasting room, which features pan-Asian inspired eats including veggie spring rolls and shrimp cocktail.

Buster’s Southern BBQ

BBQ, anyone? Owner Charles “Buster” Davis is at the helm of one of the most popular eateries in Napa Valley. Located in the town of Calistoga, Buster’s Southern BBQ has been feeding the folks of Napa Valley for almost 24 years. Menu items are a reflection of Southern tradition, as Buster learned to cook from his mother, who was taught by her elders, and recipes for sides and bakery items were developed by his sister and mother. Pro tip: never drink on an empty stomach. Instead, fill up on ribs, tri-tip, hot links, baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni salad and more. Buster’s Southern BBQ also has live music from jazz and blues musicians to add to the overall experience.