1st Black woman winemaker in Michigan opens Kzoo tasting room

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s first Black female licensed winemaker is preparing to open a tasting room in Kalamazoo.  

Twine Urban Winery will officially open Saturday in Washington Square by appointment only because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Nicole Triplett says her Roché Collection wines have been experiencing strong sales in Kalamazoo area stores.  

“When I was allowed to be in the stores, we sold out the first two days, and so then it was a task of keeping up with that production,” Triplett said. 

The wines will also be sold at all Meijer locations this fall. 

In an industry known for having little diversity, Triplett hopes her passion for wine inspires others.  

“A lot of businesses that you go into, you might be able to find your cohort or someone that can mentor you or someone that’s like you,” Triplett said. “I’m kind of like on the double spectrum. I’m a minority and I’m a woman.” 

Triplett says she is first Black woman to be a licensed winemaker in the state. 

“A lot of journalists were writing about this and no one could find anyone else,” Triplett said.  

Her new tasting room is also bringing in new technology to serve wine in an environment surrounded by a modern décor.  

“You will be able to purchase your very own wine debit card customized for Twine. All you have to do is you put your card into the slot. It will tell you your balance and then you chose which varietal you would like,” Triplett said.   

She started the process to create the winery last March when stay-at-home orders began and businesses had to close their tasting rooms. 

Triplett is grateful for the support and interest she is seeing in the community.  

“We can all start to increase our incomes and get our livelihoods back and also get our social lives back. Many people were just starving to just get out,” Triplett said. 

For more information on Twine Urban Winery or Roché Collection wines, you can visit the business’ Facebook page or website.

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