Dallas couple among 1% of US black wine business owners – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Whitney Gates and her husband Chaz had an idea. They wanted to get into the wine space, but knew the odds were stacked against them to make it a successful business.

Less than 1% ownership of the wine and spirits industry is represented by black people. The Gates couple are part of that 1% and now serve their “WONDRY Cocktail Wines” at area targets as well as select Total Wine stores.

While the concept isn’t entirely foreign to Whitney, she knew it would be a challenge.

“We want to reinvent the wine experience,” Whitney said. “But it was something a little daunting when my husband and I decided to get into the business because there’s not a lot of representation. We don’t know what obstacles you might encounter. But it’s been really rewarding to come and shake things up and show them that within the African American community, there are a lot of talented people with thought leadership who can contribute as well.

For Whitney, it’s also about carrying on a family legacy.

“I had watched my late uncle, around the age of 10, make wine in his garage,” Whitney said. “He was paralyzed, but that didn’t stop him from being a creator of many things. He was walking around making wine out of different fruits, even vegetables, things like corn cobs. He was so inspired to see the reaction of his family and friends when they tasted his wine.

Whitney took her dreams from there.

She describes her product Wines Cocktails WONDRY like a collection of fruit-infused sangria with an increased alcohol content. Aged in small batches, tastefully crafted for all occasions. Their fruity semi-sweet wines contain organic berries and exotic fruit extracts for a luscious, sweet and juicy finish.

The WONDRY brand became a reality in August 2021. Whitney knew she and her husband were trying to launch the brand during the pandemic, but she said she believed in their product.

Whitney said it’s not just about their brand. They hope to help other entrepreneurs like them.

“We donate a portion of our profits to other entrepreneurs who just need to get started in a space they’re passionate about,” Whitney said.

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