Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein is a deep thinker. That is becoming as a result of as Oregon’s first Black feminine vineyard proprietor and winemaker, she has rather a lot to consider. Actually, there are the every day challenges of operating a enterprise; however there are additionally the struggles folks like her face within the business, the place historic lack of range has led to an absence of function fashions from related backgrounds.
Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Vineyard launched in 2018 and opened its first tasting room within the small city of Astoria, Ore., the next 12 months. The vineyard focuses on wine from the Willamette Valley, and every month, a portion of the gross sales is donated to totally different charitable causes.
Goldstein grew up splitting time between her house in the US and her grandparents’ farm in Zimbabwe. Her grandfather brewed beer whereas her grandmother had a ardour for consuming and sharing wine. She noticed firsthand the best way beer and wine opened up conversations and introduced folks collectively. It left a profound impression on her.
Though she went to the UCLA College of Theater, Movie and Tv and graduated with a level in filmmaking, there was by no means any doubt in her thoughts that, sometime, she wished to create one thing linked to wine. In spite of everything, she says, Francis Ford Coppola, one other UCLA movie faculty alum, had efficiently pursued careers in each industries. If he might do it, she might, too.
This unwavering perception in herself is certainly one of Goldstein’s defining traits. Nonetheless, it’s her perception in humanity that actually units her aside, each as an individual and as a vineyard proprietor. She believes we will all do higher, and can do higher, for one another in addition to the planet. This hopefulness and the sense of accountability that comes with it shines by with Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Vineyard labels like Black Lives Matter Pinot Noir, marked by wisplike letters spelling “I can’t breathe” within the form of a cross. The wine was impressed by the homicide of George Floyd. Goldstein says she integrated the cross on the label to replicate the truth that George Floyd was a human being who didn’t should lose his life.
VinePair spoke with Goldstein to be taught extra about why she feels it’s essential to mix wine with social justice, the challenges Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery has confronted in the course of the pandemic, and the groundbreaking function each wine and winemaker have within the Oregon wine scene.
1. You have been residing in California once you determined it was time to open Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Vineyard. How did you come to the conclusion that Oregon was the appropriate house for it?
I used to be in California, so the logical place would have been California. I thought of Malibu however there’s a lot site visitors. L.A. went from being not as congested to, like, two hours to get wherever. I even have some associates within the Napa space and there are nice grapes there, however I’m in love with Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
I knew nothing about Oregon aside from there are bushes and nature. So, I simply booked a flight at some point and began exploring all the wonder right here. I simply felt so drawn to Oregon, and so drawn to this little city — Astoria is the place “Goonies” was filmed, and the Oregon Movie Museum is right here. It’s an cute city and it has a lot character. I simply felt, “OK, that is the place to do it.”
2. How does it really feel to know that you just’re the primary Black feminine vineyard proprietor and winemaker in Oregon?
I didn’t know the historical past of Oregon earlier than coming right here. I didn’t know, prior to now, when a Black individual acquired property, first, they needed to get signatures from the white folks in one thing like an eight-block radius. Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman and all these girls fought so onerous to get us to the purpose the place we’re now on the desk, however we nonetheless have up to now to go. We noticed in the course of the summer time [of 2020] how divided our nation is. We simply must suck it up and are available collectively and determine this out.
Being Oregon’s first African-American or Black feminine vineyard proprietor and winemaker means I must maintain pushing to verify we’re welcomed on the desk as a result of we haven’t been for thus lengthy. I consider we will create a desk that’s inclusive of everyone; someplace with extra room for folks like me. And I all the time assume to myself, “If there’s any approach I might help and encourage others like me, I’m so grateful for that.”
3. How do you are feeling in regards to the wine business’s relationship with Black customers?
I keep in mind studying an article on VinePair, “Why Is the Wine Industry Ignoring Black Americans With $1.2 Trillion Buying Power?” And I simply don’t know. Is it simply an assumption that Black folks don’t like wine? — which I feel will not be correct, as a result of there are a variety of Black those who like wine! — and it doesn’t make sense to me why we aren’t advertising and marketing to them extra, as a result of that could be a massive shopping for energy. And I additionally assume spending that $20 mark on a bottle of wine is one thing that Black individuals are keen to do. I feel now individuals are beginning to notice that.
4. You’re a comparatively new vineyard. You earned your wine-producing and bottling license in 2018 and opened your tasting room in Astoria quickly afterward. How have been you pressured to regulate when the [Covid-19] pandemic hit?
We needed to shut our tasting room to most people for now. We have been initially down in a basement space, which wasn’t a good suggestion with Covid. We’re transferring subsequent door the place we’ll be on the higher degree, and we’ll be capable to do outside tastings on the patio in the summertime.
One other factor that shifted was specializing in drop shipments, as a result of earlier than [the pandemic] we made most of our gross sales out of the tasting room. We simply needed to regulate. You go searching, and also you’re simply pondering to your self, “Wow, that is actually taking place.”
5. You deal with “Goal Wine.” What impressed you to entwine social justice and winemaking?
The Goal Wine side has been a core worth from the start, impressed by my grandmother and my grandfather in Zimbabwe. They have been simply so nurturing and caring. All they wished to do was maintain everybody. My grandmother was keen about being concerned with something that was taking place within the village. She invited everyone over and every time there was someone that was in want of assist, it was her mission to assist them. That is the place the Goal Wine focus was born.
The entire thought of Goal Wine is to proceed uplifting organizations which may not get the eye that they want or deserve [by donating] a portion of all our proceeds every month. Organizations like Black Lives Matter or the Brian Grant Basis, which does superb work for these with Parkinson’s; one other one is Airway Science For Youngsters, which helps underprivileged kids and women inquisitive about aviation careers.
6. Are you continue to concerned in filmmaking tasks, too?
Sure, there’s a documentary in regards to the Flint, Mich., water disaster which I’ve been engaged on for a couple of years. So many politicians went by there, and whether or not Democrat or Republican, mentioned that they have been going to do one thing — and nothing actually ever occurred. Clear water ought to be accessible to everybody.
After which there’s additionally going to be one [documentary] on the pandemic. In two months, 5 folks I knew handed away. It’s stunning and heartbreaking and unbelievable how a lot Covid actually modified our lives. Perhaps this could deliver folks collectively and present us that we’re one thread.
7. What’s subsequent for Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Vineyard?
Summer season is coming, and we’ll be transferring to the place subsequent door the place we will serve wine on the patio. We’re additionally within the technique of getting our brewery licenses and opening a brewery on the identical block. We even have a stunning property in Rockaway Seaside on the Oregon coast we’re growing. It’s so lovely. You look throughout and there’s simply nothing however a wonderful view so that you can absorb whilst you sip your wine. There’s an enormous rock of about 16 toes by 30 toes and we’re engaged on placing a desk setting there so that individuals can soak it in with their wine.
So, the growth to 3 places. I’m taking pictures for the summer time, however clearly, it’s as much as the governor and when issues can safely be open. However summer time is the goal aim.
8. Congrats on the brewery! What number of Black-owned breweries are there in Oregon?
Simply the opposite day, I noticed there are not any Black-owned breweries in Oregon. And there are a variety of breweries! So, we’re going to be Oregon’s first Black-owned brewery. It’s so essential to knock that door down and say, OK, right here we’re. And from there we will maintain pushing to incorporate everyone.
9. What are your long-term objectives?
One of many key classes of being on this planet is that we’ve to maintain one another. We’ve to do higher. I’m an enormous fan of Paul Newman and all of the charity work he did by his meals model. I’d like to do one thing like that so I can proceed to assist folks. As a result of on the finish of the day, we can’t take it with us. The Egyptians tried it and it didn’t work.