Miami-Based Winemaker Donae Burston Gets Boost From Alcohol Giant – CBS Miami

MIAMI (CBSMiami / AP) – Miami-based winemaker Donae Burston, founder and CEO of La Fête du Rosé, has caught the attention of Miami Beach hotels, Target and Trader Joe’s. Now the wine label will partner with beverage company Constellation Brands, which announced Thursday that it will acquire a minority stake in the company.

CBS4 News first presented La Fête du Rosé in August 2020. Burston told CBS4 News that he wants to fight against the stereotypes of rosé wine and make the drink more generally engaging and inclusive for all races and genders.

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It seems to work.

La Fête du Rosé is the first company to receive investment funds from Constellation as part of the Focus on Minority Founders initiative launched last summer. Constellation Brands has pledged to invest $ 100 million in minority companies in the beverage alcohol industry by 2030, according to a company spokesperson.

Donae Burston (courtesy La Fête Rosé)

“Donae has created a truly unique and distinctive lifestyle brand and we believe the rose category continues to offer great growth potential,” wrote Jennifer Evans, Vice President of Ventures at Constellation, via email.

According to Evans, Constellation is looking for brands that want to stand out and grow in the market. She recognized La Fête du Rosé’s consumer-centric approach to building a brand that reflects today’s multicultural consumer values.

Constellation’s confidence in the product will add further energy to the brand, Burston said.

“For so many minority-owned companies, access to capital and infrastructure is the hardest part,” he added. “We want to keep growing and growing in the right way while maintaining our brand’s story.”

Burston started La Fête du Rosé in 2019.

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La Fête du Rosé (Courtesy of Gary James / Courtesy of La Fête Rosé)

“La Fête translates into the rosé party. So our motto is “It’s a party and everyone is invited,” said Burston in 2020.

Burston has been in the South Florida liquor industry for years. During his career, he had noticed that rosé was being marketed as a feminine drink that was little more than alcohol-flavored pink water.

But Burston knew better. He had had ample opportunity to visit the south of France, where rosé is a popular summer drink with men and women alike. At a cocktail party during the Cannes Film Festival 2017, he made contacts with Domaine Bertaud Belieu in Saint-Tropez. Shortly afterwards, he launched the first black-owned rosé label to be produced in the region.

Its rosé tends to be dry, with notes of fresh strawberries and hazelnuts. The magazine Wine Enthusiast gave La Fête 90 points and praised it for a maturity that is “spicy and fresh at the same time”.

It goes with anything, said Burston. On the brand’s Instagram page, visitors can see photos of it alongside caviar, French fries or grilled branzino. You’ll also notice the label’s target audience: everyone. And yes, especially colored people.

“For so long, minority wine drinkers have been overlooked,” said Burston. “We weren’t seen as serious consumers in this area.”

Growing interest in black-owned brands has broadened the industry’s perspective, he said. The quarantine and booming popularity of rosé – with sales growing more than 40% per year in the US, according to the Wine Economist website – have also created a snowball effect that is rapidly raising the label’s profile.

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