December 3, 2021

California winery tasting room owned by Black women in the San Francisco Bay Area working to change the face of the industry

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) — You’d count on to see cute eating places and outlets on Park Avenue in Alameda. However a safari? Not a lot.

Till you step inside Karibu Wine Lounge.

“What we’re doing is a mini safari,” Dr. Chris Wachira defined. “It’s a wine safari. And it’s called a wine safari because each of the varietals have one of the big five of the Kenyan safari on the bottle.”

First up, the Rhino, a cabernet.

“It’s very well balanced,” Dr. Wachira defined. “The grapes are from Napa, Lodi and Paso Robles. And I crafted it to pair specifically with my mother’s lamb stew.”

Dr. Wachira crafted the wines herself to be sure she had the excellent wines to go along with her Kenyan-American mom’s favourite dishes.

“These bubbles are the lion of the Wachira Safari,” she stated. “Now it pairs well with my mother’s cake. My mom bakes a mean old vanilla lemon cake. This is amazing with that.”

“And your mama lives in Alameda too so I’m coming over,” stated ABC7 Information Anchor Kumasi Aaron.

Wachira Wines is the solely Kenyan American winery in the nation.

Dr. Wachira and her household immigrated to Alameda in the late Nineties.

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Karibu Wine Lounge is the first Black lady owned winery tasting room in Alameda County.

“Karibu is a Swahili word that means welcome,” Dr. Wachira stated. “So it’s a place where everybody should feel welcome.”

Dr. Wachira wished to create a spot not just for women and folks of shade to take pleasure in wine, however for these in the industry who craft and promote it. So not solely are you able to drink, dance and have a superb time at Karibu, however you possibly can try wines by different makers of shade.

“Folks of color are hugely underrepresented,” Dr. Wachira stated. “We are 0.1% of the wine industry in this country. So creating a space that allows us not only to showcase our talents, but also to feel welcome and included, is core to who I am.”

Additionally core to who she is, science. Dr. Wachira additionally works absolutely time in medical outcomes at Stanford Healthcare. Intrigued by the science of winemaking, pursuing that keenness wasn’t precisely simple.

“We don’t have that exposed to us as a community as a culture because it’s an industry that’s been closed to us,” Dr. Wachira stated. “It was the allies that supported me, that helped me learn how to craft the wines, that helped me learn the business of the wine.”

Now she’s working to pay it ahead via her firm’s wine incubator program that enables Wachira to mentor and produce individuals into the industry. She says illustration issues.

Dr. Wachira stated, “For me to be in this position today that allows another young lady or young man to see themselves reflected in me as a Black immigrant woman, it allows them to believe they can.”

Utilizing wine to craft neighborhood and a brand new imaginative and prescient of the industry.