Oregon’s First Black Winemaker

Discussion in 'Food and Diet' started by OckyDub, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. OckyDub

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    The Crick PDX is a new tasting room that encourages guests to listen to hip hop and chill with wine in a relaxed, inviting environment.

    For Bertony Faustin, Oregon’s first known black winemaker, making wine is far more than a profession – it’s a platform for amplifying voices that have been routinely marginalized in an overwhelmingly white and privileged industry.

    Since founding Abbey Creek Vineyard in North Plains in 2007 after his father, a Haitian immigrant, passed – “I wanted to live up to his legacy, by not letting anything or anyone control my life’s mission,” says Faustin – he’s delivered on that promise by removing the snobbery and technical jargon associated with wine and by introducing unexpected touches to make it more accessible to everyone.


    And at his new tasting room in Portland, The Crick PDX, Faustin continues to build on his legacy. Unlike other stuffy and pretentious tasting rooms, The Crick PDX features a raw, industrial design (think concrete floors, exposed ceiling ducts, and metal stools) and catches the attention of passerbys with a hip hop soundtrack curated by Faustin himself.

    ”Hip hop is my savior and life,” explains Faustin of how music shaped him. “It’s where I found my escape and solace, so it was important to create a place that’s surrounded by it.” Beyond the curated tunes, nods to Faustin’s love of music can be found throughout the space, from the “Hip Hop, Wine & Chill” headphone logo hand-painted on the main wall to even to the menus.

    Because instead of a traditional tasting, Faustin offers “The Crick Playlist.” Each wine is referred to as a track, and has a unique hashtag to promote across social media. (The 2020 Rose De Pinot, for example, is listed as Track 4 with an #OooWeee hashtag.) The food menu draws inspiration from music as well, with small snacks (like fried plantains and skillet cornbread) listed under EP, and heartier bites such as the “Yardbird Fried Chicken Sammich” found under Deep Cuts.

    While it would have been easy to just push his own product at The Crick PDX, Faustin is adamant about collaborating with other brands: “As an entrepreneur, it’s my duty to uplift other people – especially because I never had that when I started. At the end of the day, relationships matter more than transactions.” On the shelves you’ll also discover Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn, a historic local brand that was acquired by fellow black entrepreneur David Ferguson a few years ago, and Brazilian De Cabron hot sauces. “The owner is a friend from São Paulo, and we share a similar immigrant story,” says Faustin.


    No matter when or why you decide to visit, though, you’ll always feel welcome and part of Faustin’s family. “Everyone can come to The Crick,” he says. “This is a place to commune and break bread.” And despite the highly political times we’re in, Faustin loves what he’s doing now more than ever: “It’s a great time to be a black business owner, but it’s never enough to just be doing my thing. It’s easier to complain about racism and and gentrification, so I always ask what are you doing about it? Making and sharing wine, this is how I protest.”

    Inside The Crick PDX: Portland’s New Tasting Room By Bertony Faustin, Oregon’s First Black Winemaker
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