NORTH PLAINS, OR (KPTV) - A local winemaker is trying to spread the word about the role of minorities and people of color in Oregon's wine industry.
According to the Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield College, Bertony Faustin is Oregon's first documented black winemaker. He runs Abbey Creek Vineyards out of a small storefront in North Plains.
Last year, Faustin produced a documentary titled Red, White, and Black, which explores the intersection of wine and race.
"It’s not a malicious personal thing on every level. It’s just, I think the global industry paints the picture of what a winemaker is supposed to look like," Faustin said.
Faustin recalls customers coming into Abbey Creek who asked him who the winemaker was reacting with surprise after learning he not only produced the product, but owns his own vineyard.
In producing the documentary, he reached out to other winemakers who were also underrepresented minorities.
"Even though we were all unique and different, they were still facing the same challenges that I was in the fact that we didn’t look the part," Faustin said.
Faustin, who is the son of a Haitian immigrant, bought the land for his vineyard from his in-laws.
"It’s a tough barrier in that, where does land come from? Land being passed down from generation to generation. In the documentary, we cover some of Oregon’s dark history. When it was the white Utopia," Faustin said.
Faustin's documentary had a public screening at the Mission Theater in November.
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