7 LGBTQ+ Winemakers You Need On Your Radar
The LGBTQ+ community has always shaped our culture, and wine is no exception. Take a look at seven of our favorite queer makers representing excellece—and pride—from coast to coast.
By Author: William Smith
June 21, 2022
Happy Pride, All! We wanted to take a beat to acknowledge seven amazing LGBTQ+ winemakers who have been integral in pushing culture—and the wine industry—forward. Cheers to them, cheers to you, cheers to love!
1. Gary Farrell Winery
Theresa Heredia of Gary Farrell Winery left her chemistry Ph.D. to work on what she really loved—making wine. Theresa hasn’t only been nominated for Winemaker of the Year, but she’s also led a partnership with the Human Rights Campaign. Her work with HRC ensures that those fighting for equal rights can always count on a great glass of Pinot.
If you’re headed to the Russian River Valley, you can sit down with Thesera as she takes you glass by glass through the best Gary Farrell Winery has to offer.
2. Camins 2 Dreams
Tara Gomez and Mireia Taribó met as co-workers in J. Lohr’s cellar but fell in love while traveling across Mireia’s native Europe. Now married, their label, Camins 2 Dreams, brings their natural, European sensibility into Califonia sunshine. You can taste the game-changing results for yourself in Maker’s latest collab. The Camins 2 Dreams’ Albariño is a Spanish-style white wine that’s perfect for sipping all summer long.
Co-founder and co-winemakers Tara and Mireia of Camins 2 Dreams.
3. Gentleman Farmer Wines
Husbands Joe Wolosz and Jeff Durham started off making wine in a garage in 1999. Over 20 years later, they’ve grown their micro-operation into the small production/big impact Gentleman Farmer label.
Joe and Jeff are looking forward to launching “The Bungalow” later this year, adding a new tasting experience to their gay-friendly winery. Members can anticipate the couple drawing on their roots in the hospitality management to provide great wine, music, and hors d'oeuvres straight from the kitchen.
4. Zafa Wines
Zafa Counterspell Wines founder Kritsa Scruggs likes to keep things simple. “Just fermented juice,” reads the headline of her website. As an LGBTQ+ owned vineyard, Zafa has three guiding principles—diversity, equity, and regeneration. This approach to justice both for people and for the land makes for an operation that treats its makers as well as its natural wine.
If you’re feeling bold, check out Zafa’s Co-Cellars Project to find non-prototypical fermentations that experiment by bringing in apples and peaches to the fermentation process.
Krista Scruggs, founder and lead winemaker at Zafa Wines. Photo credit: Robb Report.
5. Remy Wines
Remy Drabkin grew up in the Willamette Valley—the heart of Oregon wine country. Her gay-friendly vineyard prides itself on looking forward to emerging varietals while keeping a healthy respect for traditional Italian grapes. Remy’s passion for her community extends beyond winemaking. She’s the city council president and cofounder of Wine Country Pride—a nonprofit dedicated to bringing pride celebrations to rural Oregon.
If you plan a visit during pride month, you can even join in on “The World’s First Queer Wine Fest” and stick around for “Lez Be Smart: Brunch, Wine and Gay Trivia.”
6. Bergevin Lane Vineyards
Annette Bergevin has deep roots in Oregon’s Walla Walla Valley. Her ancestors have tilled the soil their for five generations. Despite their acres in wine country, it wasn’t until Annette approached her father about the idea of a vineyard that they made the jump from wheat to grapes.
Twenty years after that leap of faith, Bergevin Lane Vineyards boasts its own lab, a 20,000 square-foot facility, and a new tasting room in downtown Walla Walla. Stop by from Wednesday to Saturday to try their Cab Reserve or treat yourself to a glass of their limited-production Syrah.
7. Eco Terreno
Mark Lyon founded Eco Terreno vineyards after witnessing a bird forage for food on a fungicide drench field. To him, this made clear that a vineyard should be nurtured as a part of the greater ecosystem, not at its expense. Eco Terreno embraces this philosophy by using cover crops and allowing goats and chickens to graze the vineyards freely—controlling pests and weeds. This ecosystem-first approach has allowed Mark’s LBGTQ+ owned winery to thrive without relying on harmful chemicals.
Devotees to this natural method will be able to sample the breadth of Eco Terreno’s wines as they prepare to open their SF tasting room in summer 2022.
We're excited for you to check out and support these LGBTQ+ owned or operated wineries! Have another one we should add? Email us at email@example.com.
Bonus: here's a map that you can save for later: