~ Grapes, changing perspectives, and living the vintner life. ~
I love Bertony Faustin's story, and he might just be getting started. Besides being Oregon’s first black winemaker, working on a documentary with an emphasis on the industry's stereotypes, and just being an awesome dude from what I've heard, what's not to like? I personally am not attracted to the stiff and homogeneous circles the beverage industry draws, but have a lot of hope based on the change I've seen the last two years. We need more individuals like Faustin. It was great that he took some time with me to dive deeper into a wine lover's daily life and passions. - Jason
The LAB: In 5 words, being a vintner to you is?
Bertony: It's like being a rockstar!
The LAB: You and the rest of the Abbey Creek team finished an intense week of work and hosting. What is your ideal paradise to unwind with your family only after the crazy work week?
Bertony: Netflix and chill. I'm a homebody at heart. Always being "on" makes me want to regress and chill when not working.
The LAB: I can totally relate to that.
A little love for the crime fighting Falcon
The LAB: You have to give up the wine industry for a year as a super hero. What is your super hero name and power?
Bertony: I'd be "BLACKMAN!", and I'd have the power to persuade those who spread hate, and bigotry towards race and gender to see that love and respect is the answer. Just like the Jedi mind trick. Also, to maintain your own lane, and for those that were immune to it, I'd have to resort to my rapid fire foot-to-ass technique.
The LAB: Man, I'm totally getting one of those action figures.
The LAB: You meet a young man or woman from Haiti that has dreams to own a winery some day, and they ask for your insight. What bit of advice do you give them?
Bertony: The best advice I'd give is to find a small winery/label to volunteer at. Though us smaller guys might not be as fancy, you'll have more opportunity to learn all of the aspects of the industry. Definitely gives you a different appreciation for all that goes into it.
*Sidenote: Bertony's parents were Haitian immigrants.
The LAB: Which city is cooler: Portland or Brooklyn?
Bertony: Ha, you're trying to get me in trouble here! BK of course, bruh!
The LAB: Glad I'm not having to answer that, but I can safely say I used to live in Brooklyn.
Your favorite chill, or relax, food pairing with a fruit bomb bottle of Pinot Gris?
Bertony: Green thai coconut curry!
The LAB: Two billionaires team up to finance a viticulture & enology program at a HBCU under your consulting. Which school do you select to launch the program?
Bertony: FAMU and the Rattlers, baby! I was a Gator for a minute, so being in the South you got to expereince the black college bands.
The LAB: Which sport will have more popularity in America in 50 years, soccer or American football, and why?
Bertony: Definitely soccer since everyone and their momma plays it, both male and female alike. Women playing the sport is what's going to take the popularity over the top.
If you have time when visiting Portland to make it to wine country, Abbey Creek Vineyard would be a trip worth making. The wines are also available online. We'll be rooting for Bertony and his family winery, and keep an eye on the documentary progress. Thanks again to Bertony for being part of our Q&A series! Sip on. - Jason