In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Donae Burston Founder and CEO of La Fete du Rosé. In this episode we speak to Donae about:
Donae Burston is a luxury wine & spirits leader with over 15 years of industry experience.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Donae achieved a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Mathematics from Clark Atlanta University in 1998. He concurrently completed a second degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, before he began his career in the information technology sector, initially consulting on Healthcare Systems. In 2003, Donae entered the alcohol industry, working on the promotional side of a number of iconic brands in the U.S, before he joined the luxury group, LVMH. During his 10+ years with the company, he worked across brands such as Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Ruinart, Moet & Chandon, Belvedere Vodka and Hennessy Cognac. While with LVMH, in 2011, Donae created the first-ever luxury champagne bar in a sports arena at American Airlines Arena during the Miami Heat’s championship run. In 2016, Donae became the Regional Director of the Southeast U.S, Caribbean and Latin America regions of Armand de Brignac Champagne in which he was responsible for the brand’s commercial and marketing goals in each territory. While with Armand de Brignac, he achieved a 206% increase of sales in the Southeast U.S. for the brand.
Throughout his career, Donae found that in general, the wine industry was not embracing the multicultural consumer (in messaging, marketing/event participation, social media, etc). As an African-American man himself, he wanted to create a quality product inspired by his zest for life and travel that honed in on catering to the margin that had been overlooked, particularly when it came to rosé. With a commitment to create a St. Tropez rosé that is both authentic and exceptional, in 2017 Donae went directly to the esteemed Domaine Bertaud Belieu winery. After several trips and a number of blending and tasting sessions, in summer 2019, La Fête du Rosé was born - a brand that speaks to all demographics with a focus on targeting the multicultural audience; hence the name “La Fête” – which translates to “the rosé party” – one that everyone is invited.
Donae splits his time between Miami and Atlanta, where he lives with his fiancée and their 2 year old son, Noah.
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In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Victoria Robinson of Topaz Vineyards. In this episode we speak to Victoria about:
Topaz Vineyards intends to build a corporation whereby skilled consultants will match performance expectations to industry realities. Our company will initially span 28+ acres of rich agriculture including but not limited to: Muscadine grapes, cultivated into a rich, sweet Moscato and a Prosecco; various fruit trees that will be infused to create Vix Sangria and our signature fruit wines; a hybrid Tempranillo blend conducive to the changing climate and similar soil conditions to its native Spain; a 3.5 acre natural fishing pond for clients who desire to fish and will be created as a Pay-Pond; a commercial kitchen/restaurant that will house “Isabel Kitchens”, which will be used to conduct cooking classes including but not limited to: catering to dining clientele, making vinegar, jelly and creating generational recipes passed down from familial generations, from earth to table. A Tasting Room & Store that will boast the finest wines from Minority and Diverse Vintners across the country (The Minority Room) and wine-related products from local and various vendors. A wellness spa: will boast various steaming rooms, massage parlor and facial room with signature Angel Hill Wellness Spa products such as the Merlot Facial Mask made from red wine, mineral clay and honey, Sangria Sugar Body Scrubs and Signature Perfumes. A Cigar Bar. On additional 50 acres, a 9-hole executive golf course. Finally, the last structure in plans are building condo-style timeshare properties to give individuals the opportunity to stay and enjoy the property at extended amounts of time while renting their time out to others when not utilized.
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Instagram: @topazvineyards and @vlcenterprises
In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with TJ Douglas of Urban Grape. In this episode we speak to TJ about:
TJ Douglas is the owner of The Urban Grape, a ground-breaking and wildly popular wine store in Boston. The store concept is simple, but revolutionary – Drink Progressively. Their Progressively Shelving system of sorting wine by its body, instead of by varietal or region, brings ease and unexpected surprise to customers, and business is booming as a result. The Urban Grape has won multiple accolades as Boston’s Best Wine store from both Boston Magazine and The Improper Bostonian, as well as a 50 on Fire award from BostInno, an innovation think tank in the city. In 2018, Vinepair named The Urban Grape the top retail store in the North East. In 2019, UG was profiled in Food & Wine magazine and was named a Top 100 Wine Retail Store in America by Beverage Dynamics.
As the wine buyer, head sales person, and architect of Progressive Shelving for The Urban Grape, TJ is directly responsible for the stores’ successes. He has been profiled by Boston Magazine, Boston Common, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The Improper Bostonian, Massachusetts Beverage Journal, and Terroirist, and has been featured on Dining Playbook (NESN), New England Living (CBS), Chronicle (WCVB), French Oak TV, and How2Heroes. Thanks to TJ’s leadership, The Urban Grape was also called “Boston’s Revolutionary Wine
Store” in a cover story for Beverage Dynamics. He has taught classes on drinking progressively at, among other places, the Boston Center for Adult Education, Boston University, and the Boston Wine Expo. He’s the co-author of The Urban Grape’s bestselling wine education book Drink Progressively, and the resident wine expert on the New England life style show, “Home, Life, and Design.”
TJ is an active member of his community, serving on the Board of Trustees of The Fessenden School and Summer Search Boston. He is dedicated to increasing diversity in the wine industry especially by creating job opportunities for people of color. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.
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In this episode we had the pleasure of speaking with Akash Patel of Akash Winery. In this episode we speak to Akash about:
Akash Winery & Vineyards is owned and operated by the Patel Family, Ray, Nalini and Akash. With a life long dream of owning their own winery, The Patels invested in a parcel of land in the beautiful Temecula Valley Wine Country in 2010.
The story of the Winery begins at the vineyard. Located in the heart of Temecula’s Wine Country, off of Calle Contento, the vineyard stretches across a 20 acre parcel where the Patels, Winemaker Renato Sais, and the winery staff give the vines the upmost care all year long. Working together, learning and understanding viniculture, curating the perfect grape & vine, and learning the wine business have become a huge passion for the team.
100% estate grown & single vineyard, Akash wines are developed with passion and sophistication. The wines showcase familiar varietals in contemporary, eye catching packaging, and are crafted with consistency of style and quality across all vintages.
The Akash Winery & Vineyards tasting room officially opened mid 2019, though the Patels also hope to open a resort, spa, events venue, and bed & breakfast in the coming years.
From the Patel Family to yours, we hope you enjoy our story and the wine that we produce.
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