Updated: May 9
Q&A Blog Series: Melanated Queens of the #VAWine Scene
There are so many bad-ass women doing wonderful things throughout the world of wine. And, right here in Virginia we have some amazing women winemakers, bloggers, business owners and more who are doing their part to put Virginia wines on the map. And, that’s why I originally started this Q&A series.
But, in light of recent events within the Black community I thought it would be important to expand the
series to now take a look at the many women of color who are sipping their way through Virginia wine country. In this first feature I am excited to introduce you all to Carlita Pitts. She’s a lifestyle and wine blogger (Divinelita.com) who is taking wine and fashion to whole new level! Most recently she was featured in a Martha Stewart magazine article in which she recommended some of her top Virginia wines and winery destinations.
In the series, I’ll be posing the same questions to the women I’m featuring so we can get a better look into what they love about Virginia Wine and why it’s so important for them to share their adventures with us all. So, please have a read and be sure to follow Carlita on Instagram and subscribe to her blog which also includes insights on fashion, style, travel and more!
Carlita Pitts, Lifestyle & Wine Blogger IG @iamthelita / Website: Divinelita.com
Q: What led you to become interested in visiting and blogging about Virginia wine/wineries?
Answer: Whew, now that’s a loaded question! I moved to Northern Virginia from Ohio 9 years ago and quickly grew tired of the nightlife and bar scene. I’ve always loved the outdoors, so I wanted to go to places where I could relax and sip wine outdoors. I mentioned this to a guy I was dating at that time, and he said “I have the perfect place for you.” He proceeded to take me to visit both Hillsborough Winery and Sunset Hills Vineyard in Loudoun County, and I instantly fell in love. Oh, I should clarify – I fell in love with the Virginia Wine region – not with him, lol! That is another story.
I visited the wineries often – almost every weekend, to sip wine and take photos of the venues, the wine and the scenery. I became obsessed with sharing my experiences with friends but my enthusiasm was met with a lot of hesitation. I received numerous messages asking about diversity, safety, etc. I wasn’t surprised by this, as you don’t see a lot of Black people in Virginia wine country. There also isn’t much diversity in the marketing, such as photos on their websites or social media. Most Virginia wineries haven’t historically considered diversity when choosing live entertainment either. It’s these reasons (in combination with others such as Virginia’s history) that make some people of color feel more comfortable going to the wineries in Maryland. While those wineries aren’t perfect either – some do a better job with diversity marketing.
That’s why I started blogging. I wanted to be able to showcase the beauty of Virginia travel in its entirety (not just the wineries) and to be able to highlight the places I love, while documenting my experiences. I realized that by blogging maybe people’s perceptions will change. I hope that my recommendations will inspire those who look like me to travel to this region, even if it’s outside their comfort zone. I think my plan is working, because I have received more requests for VA travel advice – which makes me happy.
Q: Do you have a preferred Virginia wine varietal or style of wine? If so, what is it and why?
Answer: Yes, I have two: I love a great Petit Verdot – especially the Petit Verdot from Pippin Hill and Potomac Point. I also love a chilled glass of Viognier – yummy! I haven’t had a Viognier from any winery that I don’t like.
Q: Now for the tough question! If you have out of town guests who want you to take them to a Virginia winery for the day, where would you take them and why?
Answer: This is a VERY tough question. I have three. Normally when guests come to town, I take them to either Bluemont Vineyard, Hillsborough Winery, or Stone Tower Winery. Those are my default selections because of the beautiful views, customer service, and just overall vibe. However, I just learned that Delaplane Cellars is minority-owned, so I’ll probably start taking them there and follow up the trip at Salamander Resort for dinner since it’s black-owned as well! *** Thanks so much to Carlita for participating in this series. And, while we haven’t actually met in person yet, don’t be surprised when you see us together at a Virginia winery near you sooner than later. Cheers!