Starting Summer with La Fête du Rosé

It’s officially the beginning of summer (even though it’s felt like summer in Miami for a while), which means it’s time for long Rosé-filled days outdoors. To toast to the occasion, I grabbed a bottle of La Fête du Rosé 2018.

Founded by Donae Burston, this Black-owned wine label is produced in collaboration with notable winemakers from the oldest vineyard on the Saint-Tropez peninsula, established in 1340 and spanning over 65 hectares. The Domaine is committed to sustainable agriculture, the environment, and protection of nature.

There is a huge diversity problem in the wine industry (we need to do better), so I was curious as to what led Donae down this tasty path. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Donae shed his math, engineering, and IT background to pursue a career in the alcohol industry. He worked on the promotional side of a number of iconic brands in the U.S, before he joined LVMH. His 10+ year tenure with the luxury group allowed him to work across iconic brands like Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Moet & Chandon, Belvedere Vodka, and Hennessy Cognac. In 2016, Donae became the regional director of the southeast U.S, Caribbean and Latin America regions of Armand de Brignac Champagne (you know, Ace of Spades). He was responsible for the brand’s commercial and marketing goals in each territory and achieved a 206% increase of sales in the Southeast U.S. for the brand (hot damn).

Even though Donae found great success everywhere he went, he wanted to make a difference in the industry and lift up diversity. A perchance encounter at a Cannes Film Festival cocktail party with the owner of Domaine Bertaud Belieu winery was just the spark he needed to ignite his dream. They struck up a conversation about the growth of the rosé industry in America and Donae explained his vision of creating a rosé brand that was much more inclusive than the others on the market. One that also spoke to men, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Caucasians. A brand that really embodied a multicultural lifestyle—not pink logos, sundresses, and the Hamptons. Intrigued by this vision, they continued to have conversations over the next six months and finally agreed to work together. After several trips and numerous blending and tasting sessions, in the summer of 2019, La Fête du Rosé was finally born.

I decided to enjoy this wine by the pool—it is summer after all. It is made up of 80% Grenache, 14% Mourvèdre, and 6% Syrah. The wine was pale salmon in color with a fresh nose of strawberries and grapefruit. It was dry and crisp with medium acidity and notes of red berries and citrus. Simply delightful and perfect to get you in the summer frame of mind.

One of the things I like most about La Fête is that giving back and celebrating diversity are an integral part of its brand culture. Through August, La Fête will donate $2 from every bottle sold on its website to Color of Changean organization fighting for racial justice and other organizations that serve as a resource for minorities pursuing a career in the wine and spirits industry. Get yours here.

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