How Chrishon Lampley became first Black woman in the Midwest to go national with a wine brand

Abu Mubarik December 26, 2023

What sets Chrishon Lampley’s Love Cork Screw wines apart from others is that her labels are fun, whimsical, and not intimidating, she said in a recent interview. The labels include “Be the Light” Sauvignon Blanc and “Good Times, Good Friends” Pinot Grigio which appeal to the brand’s target demographic of 25- to 44-year-olds.

Some wine brands even started imitating her, which makes her proud. “When I set out to launch Love Cork Screw, I wanted to touch lives through my story. I want to inspire others and break glass ceilings,” she noted on Shout Out LA. 

She developed a strong awareness of what the traditional wine novice and enthusiast enjoy after spending 15 years pursuing her passion. To produce her quality wine, she traveled around the world and made it a priority to ensure that her brand adds nutritional value to every label, she noted

Prior to venturing into the wine industry, she co-owned an art gallery in Chicago’s South Loop. However, a terrible flood ruined the building and compelled her to close.

“During that time, I was also working with well-known distributors in sales, so I was on the frontlines regarding newly released wines and consumer demands,” she said. She used these two stepping stones to plateau herself into creating Love Cork Screw wines, she stated.

“My thought process was even through the challenges, I can leverage my knowledge and skillset to launch my own wine brand and fill in the gaps for what consumers were missing,” said Lampley. “I knew I would be able to use whatever platform I learned to inspire other entrepreneurs. And that was enough for me to get started.”

In 2022, WGN reported that she is the first Black woman to have a national wine brand, with more than one million bottles sold following her wine’s launch in 2013.

Research shows that out of more than 11,000 wineries in the U.S., only about 1% have a Black winemaker or are Black-owned. 

Working in an industry dominated by White males has not been easy for the entrepreneur. According to her, she is usually mistaken for the promotional girl and not the owner. This, she said, means working extra hard to be taken seriously and to be heard. “I’ve learned through perseverance and resilience that as long as I don’t give up, I will reach my goals,” the Chicago-based negociant and wine enthusiast told Shout Out LA.

She credits her mom and dad, Ann and Lou Lampley, for their unconditional support. Lampley said, “My parents have shown me the meaning of resilience, unconditional love, and the importance of entrepreneurship. I am forever grateful.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 22, 2023


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