The Napa Valley wine brand co-founded by Ayesha Curry and Sydel Curry-Lee releases its first vintage
Domaine Curry, the Napa Valley wine brand co-founded by Ayesha Curry and Sydel Curry-Lee, releases its highly anticipated 2021 vintage. The reimagined Cabernet Sauvignon and newly introduced Founders Blend have been meticulously crafted in collaboration with The Prisoner Wine Company, reflecting shared values of inclusivity, quality, and innovation, and representing the essence of the co-founders’ dedication to empowering women.
Haute Living had a chance to sit down Ayesha Curry and Sydel Curry-Lee the inspiring winemakers and discuss their new wines:
So why did you choose The Prisoner Wine Company to make your wine?
A.C. We had this list of dreams and hopes for the brand, what we wanted it to look and feel like, and the people we wanted to work with. And so, when The Prisoner Wine Company came to us, it was a no brainer. The team is this robust group of primarily women inspiring the world of winemaking. It was a seamless partnership, and we’re so excited to be able to reemerge this brand and enjoy it.
What dish that you make would you pair with your Cabernet Sauvignon?
A.C. Oh, easy, easy for me. It would be some pan-roasted lamb with a balsamic reduction and plenty of rosemary and garlic—something with truffle, like a mashed potato or asparagus. I would definitely have freshly shaved truffle over the top.
S.C.L. My favorite dish to eat would be my braised short rib. I even put a little bit while cooking it. It’s my husband’s favorite, one of those things I cook on his birthday.
What was your favorite part of the winemaking process?
S.C.L. My favorite part is sitting down like a chemist and mixing and trying to figure out what inspires me. It’s funny because, during the planning process, one of us was pregnant at different times. Our palettes are different when we’re pregnant, so our tastes change but stay the same together. We like different things about the wine, but it is still the same.
A.C. I love the blending process, really getting our hands in there and putting something in the bottle that we came up with ourselves. It is like science and serious. The subtle way in which you can like to change something is just it’s mind-blowing. We always learn so much on those days. Then, when you think you’re starting to know your stuff, you realize there is more to learn.
Tell us about the Cabernet you two created.
A.C. & S.C.L. It’s no secret that we love big, bold Cabernets. We like robust reds on the palette that linger a little bit. Big ripe red fruits and stone fruits. But something that also packs a punch.
What did you learn about yourself in this process?
S.C.L. We’re blending this wine and getting into the chemistry of it, and I am constantly learning new things about the process. There’s so much more than just picking out a pretty packaging. I always find new things to talk about regarding wine. And that’s what I love about it, especially at this stage of my life. Working with Ayesha is excellent. She is so creative, and I’m learning a lot from her.
A.C. I’ve learned that my brain still works! I’m still able to retain new ideas, so that’s been fascinating, but for me, it would have to be how beautiful the wine industry is. That makes the industry so attractive: there are different wine options for different occasions.
What do you hope for your consumers who pour themselves a glass of Domaine Curry?
A.C. & S.C. We’re big on creating moments around wine or bringing wine to your moments. Creating something memorable is essential to us. I think, like, we would encourage people to savor the moments. Like, smell the cork, pour the wine in the glass, let it sit a little. Then, give it a smell. What do you smell? What do you taste? I like to take it in and enjoy it. We know people will like spending their hard-earned money on our wines; I want them to know we put a lot of love into it, and it’s worth it.
Why did you start Domaine Curry?
We have a very close family, we’re blessed in that sense, and we’re aware of it like we’re fortunate there. And we don’t take it for granted, so, it’s probably the most important thing when it comes to empowerment is that it does start within our home. And now, for us girl moms, it’s essential to build something we can pass down to our children. This is the whole reason we set out on this journey. It’s so interesting that the men in our family have their legacy. We asked, “What would it be like if we, as women in our family, had our legacy that would grow and evolve and be here for our next generations? What would that be if we had something to leave our families?” Our family is big on impact over legacy, but legacy is still important. We are planting seeds in a garden we’ll never see grow.
At the heart of Domaine Curry is a tribute to the strong women who have shaped the Curry family’s heritage, honoring Ayesha and Sydel’s mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters, as well as generations to come. The inspiration for Domaine Curry arrived during a family dinner in 2015, where Ayesha and Sydel toasted to the strong, graceful women in their family, qualities that were mirrored in the characteristics of the glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon in their hands. In that moment, they recognized the project that would tap into their shared passion for wine while honoring the incredible women in their lives.
Ayesha Curry shares, “Throughout our lives, wine has always been a way to bring our friends and family together. We are fortunate to be surrounded by so many impressive women who inspire us each day, and we hope Domaine Curry will serve as homage to them while also empowering future generations.”
Sydel Curry-Lee adds, “Our partnership with The Prisoner Wine Company has allowed us to infuse our personal touches into the look and taste of these new wines, and we’re thrilled that more women will have the opportunity to enjoy them, just as our family does.”
Domaine Curry wines are produced in small quantities with grapes sourced from grower partners throughout Napa Valley. The reimagined Cabernet Sauvignon and newly introduced Founders Blend were created through a close collaboration of constant conversation and countless blending sessions between the co-founders and The Prisoner Wine Company’s head winemaker, Chrissy Wittmann. The wines embody the beloved balance and structure of previous vintages, with a newfound soft boldness that brings out the strength of each varietal and embodies the women’s personal wine preferences.
“The Prisoner Wine Company and Domaine Curry are driven by the shared values of inclusivity, authenticity, and innovation. We’re aiming to define and lead the wine category for Black and multicultural women, and we’re committed to combating barriers to make the space more approachable for women working in and enjoying fine wines, “ says Bukky Ekundayo, General Manager of The Prisoner Wine Company.
The 2021 Domaine Curry release includes:
2021 Domaine Curry Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, CA) – $80: A bold and balanced wine comprising Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc
2021 Domaine Curry Founders Blend (Napa Valley, CA) – $65: A celebration of uniqueness, this blend incorporates wines such as Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Merlot to create a smooth, full-bodied wine worth celebrating.
The wines will be available for purchase online via allocation, in select markets (FL, NY, AZ, CA, IL, TX, MI, NC), and at The Prisoner Wine Company Tasting Lounge in Napa Valley. Inventory is limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis to those who sign up to receive an allocation. Join the mailing list to receive instructions on setting up your account, wine will begin releasing to new subscribers on November 13. Click here to learn more.