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Donae Burston is not a man who settles for average. He is a man that wants to go above and beyond and change things for the better. And that is exactly what he did with the La Fête Wine Co. in 2019 when they launched the La Fête du Rosé and broke out of the tradition and convention seen in the industry before.
With the La Fête du Rosé setting the world ablaze in 2019, it took a few years until a new bottle was dropped. And that came in 2021 with the La Fête du Blanc to give the white wine world a big boost. Some a big boost that this once limited white wine became a permanent addition to the brand in 2022.
The La Fête Wine Co. has been doing great work ever since and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In May 2021, they were the first company to secure an investment from Constellation Brands Ventures during their initiative to invest $100 million in African American/Black and minority-owned businesses n in the alcohol and alcohol adjacent categories by 2030.
In 2021, La Fête Wine Co. was the fastest-growing luxury imported rosé label and continues to be the #3 imported Rosé brand in the US. Things are so hot with this company that NBA legend Chris Paul became an equity partner in January 2022.
Even better is that every bottle sold from the La Fête Wine Co. donates portions of the proceeds to various programs and charities that help send the youth on unique trips. Getting a great bottle of wine and doing some good in the world is something that nobody could argue with.
To get a better sense of the company and the goals at hand, check out the interview with founder Donae Burston below.
1. You started La Fête 3 years ago, and since then, you have become one of the fastest-growing luxury rosés in the market. To what do you attribute the success of the brand?
First and foremost, our loyal customers. Our customers – both individuals and venues/stores – are truly remarkable. They are our brand evangelists creating invaluable, organic word-of-mouth buzz that cannot be replicated. I believe that on top of having fantastic wine, we have created a community of wine drinkers that appreciate our no-fuss approach to drinking rosé while maintaining our luxury positioning of approachable luxury! I believe that community and authenticity have been our keys to success to date.
2. You set out to change the perception of rosé with La Fête. Tell us why.
From the beginning, we have been working to push back against rosé stereotypes by making it more broadly appealing, redefining who drinks rose and when.
Before our debut, there wasn’t a rosé wine that marketed itself beyond women and the warm weather months. With that came an onslaught of brands that marketed rosé as a wine with no substance. It was almost like a gimmick or fad. This, in turn, gave rosé a bad rap almost across the board. So, we wanted to push pause on that era of rosé by ushering in a new day of premium rose. The St. Tropez Way!
3. Explain why you created a brand that also targets men when traditionally, rosé brands were marketed towards women?
As a rosé drinker and lover, I never felt that any of the popular brands at the time were speaking to me or my friends, especially here in the US. And as someone that frequently traveled to Europe, rosé was always present and not gender-specific. Whether in the South of France in the summer, in ski towns in Switzerland during the winter, or in a private membership club in London, everyone drank rosé.
4. It’s summer, which is considered rosé season. How much rosé is consumed during the summer? Do you see more and more people drinking rosé outside of “rosé season”?
Traditionally 60-70% of the rose consumed and/or purchased in the US was done between April and September. That is changing, and we are pleased about it. We are now seeing strong sales and consumption of rosé throughout the year, especially around the holidays; consumers are pairing rosé with Thanksgiving dinner and are gifting it for the holidays. We are also seeing a huge spike around Valentine’s Day. I believe that in just a few years, there won’t be such a thing as “rose season.” French Provence-style rosé will be the new champagne. The perfect drink for every occasion!
5. What are your favorite ways to drink rosé?
My favorite way to drink rosé is to add a few ice cubes to the wine glass – known as ‘La Piscine’ in France. If you prefer it with a cocktail, you can also combine it with tequila, a signature cocktail of ours called The St. Tropez Margarita
6. Outside of your rosé, what else are you drinking this summer?
All things mezcal. Mezcal margaritas, mezcal negronis, and mezcal old fashions.