Single Mom Starts Charlotte’s First Black-Owned Winery

Ebony Wine - Camillya Masunda

Camillya Masunda is a Black woman to pay attention to. She is a single mom who has launched Charlotte’s first Black-owned winery. The entire state is home to over 200 different wineries, but fewer than 30 actually have Black owners. Therefore, Masunda was able to create something that was an easy stand-out.

She launched Ebony Wine & Spirits in September 2020. Since then, she has sold her range of wines across the southeast. She plans to start selling to additional states soon, like New York, Florida and Texas.

According to Travel Noire, Black women own less than 1% of all wineries in the United States. Masunda did her research and realized that this figure was unacceptable. To her, it felt like a call to arms that urged her to do something about the unfortunate gap in the market. Creating products “for us, by us” is incredibly important, and after all, black women love them some wine, too!

She developed the brand to satiate the taste buds of everyone from seasoned connoisseurs to ladies enjoying a well-earned girls’ night. She also drew inspiration from the Congolese roots in her family to develop four varieties of red and white wines, such as Riesling and Moscato. Masunda empathized with her forebears’ struggles coming to the United States and found herself inspired by their perseverance and evolution. 

The Making of a Black-Owned Wine Brand

To create her high-quality wines, the entrepreneur uses grapes from a small, private vineyard in Napa Valley—a region in California that is aptly known as “wine country”. Her formula apparently works well because she has received plenty of feedback from enthusiasts who love what she has to offer! Some have even mentioned how surprised and shocked they are at the superior quality of the wines; which actually shouldn’t be too surprising given the amount of time, effort, and love Masunda put into her company. 

Black-owned winery - Charlotte

But Masunda isn’t just working hard at growing a brand—she’s also trying to build generational wealth. She has enlisted her daughter, Lanayah Masunda, to be the creative director of the brand. Her daughter, a high-achieving high school senior, is focused on growing the brand as much as possible. She wants the image of Ebony Wine & Spirits to pop in one’s mind every time they hear the word “ebony”.

This is a lofty goal, for sure. However, the mother-daughter team is determined to silence all the naysayers. They have a spectacular product, and they are among the brave few who attempted to start a brand in the middle of a worldwide pandemic that most of us have ever experienced. While many other businesses are struggling, Ebony Wine & Spirits is thriving.

Camillya Masunda appreciates the people who gave her a leg up. The CEO of Charlotte’s Members Only Tasting Room & Social Lounge, Kimberly Wilkinson-Goines, is one partner full of praise for Masunda. Her establishment was among the first to stock and sell Masunda’s products. She takes Masunda’s progress as an inspiration and a challenge for other women to also step up and follow their dreams because they just might work out. 

In addition to Ebony Wine and Spirits, Masunda also owns an educational center that enriches learning for children below seven. This is in addition to Ebony Wine and Spirits parent company, Camellias Organics, which is a brand that offers high-quality CBD products for consumers looking for alternative healing methods. 

As you can see, Masunda is dedicated to being an entrepreneur who truly meets the needs of the people in every way possible. Learn more about Camillya Masunda and her various businesses by checking out the official website and instagram here. 



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