When Angela Mack was visiting her mother in Springfield previously this year, she found herself in the midst of a tough day. That’s when she Googled neighboring red wine vineyards.
“Glendale Ridge turned up as an outcome,” Mack said. “I eliminated there and I was so unwinded. I was having a fun time simply in solitude since there were probably about 4 other people out there.”
A recent study of Black Red wine Business owners found that Black-owned wineries represent less than 1% of all U.S. wineries, while Black people generally comprise more than 10% of American wine consumers.
Mack states a huge factor in her experience was how she was dealt with by the owners of the vineyard, Mary and Ed Hamel.
“This may sound crazy, however I didn’t feel Black when I went out there since I wasn’t treated differently,” she stated, noting she was the only Black individual present at the time.
“I ‘d purchase white wine and they ‘d go ‘pay when you seem like it.’ And so that typically is not the Black experience,” Mack stated. “Usually it is, you understand, of being followed around the room or, you understand, definitely, leaning into stereotypes about who we are as customers.”
Mack said she had a vision of giving all individuals, especially Black women, that experience and that haven. That’s when she envisioned the New England Noir red wine celebration.
“Just see that visual of Black [people] versus all of the colors of the trees, the grapes– we deserve those experiences, too. We don’t want to be limited to the bars, you know?” she stated. “We deserve daytime experiences on a white wine vineyard.”
Teeka Jones of Springfield at the New England Noir Red Wine Festival.
Paris Alston/ GBH News
The very first celebration, held last fall, drew about 350 people. The crowd grew this year, as nearly 600 individuals concerned sip and soak up the vibes in Southampton in early October. Many of them, like Teeka Jones, originated from neighboring Springfield.
“It is a fantastic experience, it’s a fantastic sensation,” Jones said. “It’s a true blessing we can have many people come together at a positive event, celebrating and enjoying ourselves. It resembles a substantial household reunion.”
Celebration goers crowded around tables and on blankets as they soaked up the fall sunshine and sipped a glass, listening to the mellow tones of Grammy acclaimed singer-songwriter and musician Bilal, who was carrying out live. Many of them brought their own spreads of cheese, crackers, fruit and other drinks. Buddies and acquaintances greeted each other with hugs, whether they ‘d known each other for a long time or just fulfilled.
Guests at the second New England Noir wine festival.
Paris Alston/ GBH News
“We rockin’ today,” said DJ Mars, who was spinning on the ones and 2s all afternoon, along with DJ WHYNOT and manufacturer Bryan-Michael Cox. “The ambiance is electrical. … just the energy of the neighborhood. People from all over New England [are here]”
Glendale Ridge happily booked a couple acres of their vineyard for the festival, nestled within the altering leaves of the Pioneer Valley mountains.
“We’re actually delighted that we can offer this area and the actually good red wine that we have here,” said Mary Hamel.
Among those on site was Sabrina Bolden, owner of Sabrina’s Divine Wine, promoting her home red wine tastings. She was also offering some beneficial items.
” [This is] the white wine condom,” she stated as she held up a pouch holding a bottle, corked by a plastic cap. “It holds the bottle insulated. We’re all about enjoyable,” she said with a smile.
Guests also checked out the grapevines themselves, benefited from media event around the residential or commercial property, and took turns positioning versus a 1970s-themed backdrop complete with classic furniture, design and vinyl covers of Teddy Pendergrass and Sis Sledge.
Mack and other organizers state they hope the festival– and Black red wine lover community– continue to grow.
“This is going to be the Essence Celebration of the North,” Mack proclaimed, invoking the yearly music and cultural occasion in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“We’re inviting folks into this location and we’re making it clear that in the fall it’s a location,” she stated. “We desire it to grow past that vineyard, we want pop up stores that are hosted by Black women. We want the region to know how we are having an economic impact by bringing in visitors during this time of year.”
Let our headings concern you.
Morning Edition co-hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel bring an entire new vibe to mornings. Sign up for their newsletter, “The Get up,” landing in your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday early morning.