By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Pale pink wine, known as rosé is often linked to summer sun and female-only happy hours. But a Miami-based winemaker is pushing back against those stereotypes and attempting to make the beverage broadly appealing and more inclusive to all races and genders.

Donae Burston is founder and CEO of La Fête du Rosé.

“La Fête translates into the rosé’s party. So our tagline is ‘It’s a party and everyone is invited,” explained Burston.

Burston, who had been in the spirits industry for years in South Florida, discovered rosé during a personal milestone.

Donae Burston (Courtesy La Fête Rosé)

“I fell in love with rosé when I went to Saint Tropez for my 30th birthday party many moons ago. I was just loving the feeling that I had every time I drank rosé.  It took me back to that moment,” he said.

Fifteen years later he was back in the south of France on business and met the owner of a French winery.

“I told him I wanted to create a rosé wine brand that was much more inclusive. Meaning it spoke to men, it spoke to people of color and moved away from traditional stereotypes about pink and flowers and roses,” Burston explained.  “It’s like a real serious wine, but fun.  We were aiming at more of the essence of how people drink rosé in the south of France. I wanted to bring that vibe to United States and he said let’s do it.”

When the Miami-based company launched last summer, Burston made history as the first black owned rosé brand made out of Saint Tropez.  It’s bottled at the oldest vineyard that was established in 1340.

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

Local trendy South Beach spots started carrying La Fête right away.

“In March, when everyone began quarantining, DJ D-Nice held a bottle up on his Instagram live during his infamous set with over 100,000 people including Michelle Obama and Oprah in attendance. That really just skyrocketed us in terms of notoriety and a couple of weeks later, Carmelo Anthony and Michael Strahan held up a bottle and then it’s been out of there since then,” he explained.

Burston’s mission for La Fête is to say is to change the pink drink’s flowery perception, with an emphasis on quality and to market it to everyone, especially those of color.

“When you look at our social media you can imagine yourself in it. You can see Hispanic women. You can see black men and that’s very important because the lack of representation has been a barrier to the wine industry.”

La Fête recently announced it will be donating $2 of every bottle sold on their website to the Roots Fund and organizations that serve as a resource for minorities pursuing a career in the wine & spirits industry.

For Burston, La Fête du Rosé is about everyone coming together at the table.

“I want them to look around the table and say this is what America should be all about. We all love each other without hate, without judgment and really that’s what La Fête du Rosé is all about,” he said.

Local philanthropist Wayne Boich will also be matching that $2 donation on every bottle sold.

For more info: www.lafeterose.com

 

 

Lisa Petrillo

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