For some, wine is a symbol for elegance and sophistication, and for others, it’s just f’cking fermented fruit. This week we are highlighting Zafa Wines, a Black-owned wine label based in Isle La Motte, Vermont and founded by Krista Scruggs in 2018. The establishment of Zafa Wines was inspired by Scruggs innate passion for winemaking, foraging, and farming. She holds the firm belief that experimentation and collaboration are not only necessary for success, but also for her wine. Her unique winemaking style of co-fermenting biodynamically farmed grapes with foraged apples helps create fusion of fruit flavors that are tasteful and distinct.
As an Oakland, California native, Krista Scruggs was first introduced to the special craft of farming when she was just a young girl. She used to work on her grandfather’s farmland and garden with her grandmother in Visalia, California. During this time spent with her grandparents, Scruggs developed a true passion for farming, learning the importance of cultivating crops and plants with the utmost tender, love, and care. Although Krista did not foresee a future career in farming (as she did with basketball), she would eventually use her talents to advance the wine industry, establishing a defined niche that encourages the experimentation of combining various fermented fruits and calling it wine.
When the Zafa Wines label originally launched in 2017, Scruggs offered seven wines and ciders in her collection including Jungle Fever, Anchors Aweigh, Against All Odds, No Love Lost, bam·boo·zle, Maximilane, and Naïve Melody. Now, Scruggs has released her latest varietal, Carver 2019, a traditional method sparkling wine, as part of her new collection, The Visions of Gideon. Carver 2019 was made through artisan techniques of handpicking grapes (from Mad Meadows Vineyard – Warren, Vermont) and foraging wild apples (Canamack Farm Orchard, Grand Isle, Vermont) that were eventually foot crushed and milled. This varietal consists of 50% Marquette, 17% Brianna and 33% Wild Apples, with additives organic maple syrup, or as Scruggs would call it, “just f*cking fermented juice.” In addition to her wine label, Scruggs also owns a tasting room called CO Cellars, where they offer a variety of wines, ciders, and wine-cider hybrids. Currently, you can purchase her wines and ciders at their winery and tasting room located at 266 Pine Street, Suite122, Burlington, Vermont. Be sure to also follow Zafa Wines on Instagram (@zafawines) and Facebook (@kristascruggs) to get the latest updates on her new vintage releases.
Published August 21, 2020 | Chelsea Stephens, CEO
Image Credit: Zafa Wines
Sources:  Zafa Wines;  PUNCH;  Healthyish;  VINEPAIR;  Robb Report;  The Vintner Project