EXCLUSIVE: This HBCU Grad Went From Working For Jay Z To Launching Black-Owned Rose Brand

Rose Day

EXCLUSIVE: This HBCU Grad Went From Working For Jay Z To Launching Black-Owned Rose Brand

Donae Burston went from being Sean Carter's "champagne guy" to creating a rose for the culture.

Published 1 week ago

Written by Jazmine A. Ortiz

CEO Donae Burston has been in the business of beverages for 15 years now. Not Gen Z-approved performance waters or ever-so-trendy CBD-infused refreshments, but the good stuff—alcohol! The Clark Atlanta University then Georgia Tech alumnus has just launched, La Fête du Rosé, the first entirely Black-owned premium rosé out of Saint-Tropez, France where the wine originates.

Like the beauty industry, there are many token-Black faces, but not really Black executives and while it's always cool to have the rapper or athlete present, front-facing advertisements never tell the whole story. 

“Those other brands weren't really talking to us. So for me, when I thought about creating this brand, I was saying, ‘listen, I'm here to talk to that multicultural consumer, whether they be Black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever.’ The people that appreciate the culture because it's so important. This is why I made the wine. Not that we're alienating anyone by any means, but we know that we haven't been spoken to. We're not really educated on rosé and I aim to change that,” explains Donae.

(Photo courtesy of La Fête du Rosé)

Not only has Donae created a rosé for the culture, but he’s taking the “stuffiness” that’s often associated with the drink out, and replacing it with a party, quite literally. La Fête du Rosé translates to “the rosé party,” one that everyone is invited to and a concept that we can certainly get behind.

“When I say a party, a party can be a turn up, a block party, brunches… while it could also be, a night spent in together where there’s a lot of fun and laughter. It's meant to be fun. Wine is meant to be enjoyed and I want to bring that atmosphere around it. You know, typically in the wine industry you have to be so serious. Still authentic, but the fun wine.”

The wine and spirits power player previously held down gigs at brands such as Armand de Brignac (with Jay Z, but more on that to come), Hennessy, and Dom Perignon before branching out on his own so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to both quality wine and a *lit* atmosphere.

Not only does he want folks to know, that rosé is not just for the white consumer, which brands predominantly market towards, but he wants to let it be known that sipping rosé is not exclusively a summertime activity. “You can drink it in the winter. You can drink it on the beach, but you can drink on the mountain. That misconception is something we want to change because for so long people have thought you can only drink rosé when it's hot outside in the summertime. But why? If it makes you feel good and you like it, you should drink it whenever.”

La Fête du Rosé is inspired by Donae’s own zest for life and travel. From the Cannes Film Festival where this idea first sparked of a rosé catered to a margin that has been overlooked in the wine industry to Stateside where he currently splits his time between Atlanta and Miami. Don’t get in twisted though, the “A” is truly his home and has fundamentally inspired the creation of La Fête du Rosé. However, Miami (the number two market in the country behind the New York) comes with it’s benefits, like working on partnerships with the Miami Heat when he was at Moët and hosting private dinners for Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Of course, inevitably in this business you’ll have contact and relationships with tons of celebrities, and yes, Donae has done business with the first rapper billionaire, Jay Z.

“I was the Regional Director for Sampling at Armand de Brignac, of which he owns for Latin America, Southeast United States and the Caribbean,” he says reluctant to toot his own horn. So we’ll toot it for him!

His business ties with Mr. Carter has subsequently dubbed him “Jay Z’s Champagne Guy” by other publications. Donae was responsible for opening up new markets and managing the sales and marketing activity in his region although he didn't have much interaction with Jay.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25:  Singer Rihanna seen on the streets of Manhattan on August 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
(Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)

So what’s in store for the future of Donae and La Fête du Rosé? To go worldwide! Donae hopes to bring things full circle and make La Fête prominent at next year’s Cannes Film Festival. BET Awards, Latin Billboard Awards and more are also on his agenda, but when it comes down to who his dream celebrity clientele would be he doesn’t hesitate to answer.

Rihanna. She has done a very good job of being that icon in terms of the culture.”   We couldn’t agree more. RiRi stepping out of a swanky after hours spot with a glass of La Fête du Rosé in hand has to be the most on brand thing we hope to ever see.

La Fête du Rosé retails for $23.99 is available for purchase online at ReserveBar.com as well as multiple locations in New York, Miami and Atlanta.

(Photo courtesy of La Fête du Rosé)

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