Growing up in South Central, Los Angeles, California, Tuanni Price was not exposed to the business of wine. The culture of wine tasting and quite frankly... having access to a community of experienced wine enthusiasts that have substantial knowledge in the of area wine, is something that is not always available within underrepresented communities and families in Los Angeles. Wine clubs, Facebook and meetup groups were far and few.
In fact, the knowledge of any achievements from black wine professionals were quite unknown and the awareness of of certified sommeliers or even the possibility of an extended education in wine were almost non-existent.
On one fall evening in the early 2000s, Tuanni Price's destiny became just a sip away from creating an already well lived, life...well...magical.
"I grew up in South Central Los Angeles and was not exposed to wine early in life. I was in my 30’s when my interest in wine peaked. One evening while dining at the St. Regis Hotel, I was snubbed by the Sommelier".
It was at this moment that Tuanni's future to not only having an experienced palette in wine was born, but her entrepreneurial life and journey into the business of wine was created. From that moment on, her goal was to learn and share as much as possible about wine and its accompanying lifestyle, enabling her to help others avoid that same feeling of intimidation she received that fateful night at the St. Regis.
Tuanni started a wine club with her friends, diving into different brands, variations and tastes. She then decided to study with the Society of Wine Educators, North American Sommelier Association Abe the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Tuanni then began to travel the world sipping and learning about wine. She immersed herself within the wine community, creating and forging relationships not just with well known craftsman of wine but with black winemakers, farmers and sommeliers. She not only learned the history and culture of winemaking from root to cellar, but began to understand and develop an effective and fun way to communicate wine tasting to her audience.
(Speaking from my own tasting experience) Tuanni just has a unique way to make you feel as if you're family. Outside of wine, her true skillset is her natural love for her community and her ability to make anyone feel like she's known them for years. It really exudes when she explains the foundation of wine, a particular variation, regions or even the best food pairings to try. Tuanni is a natural.
In March of 2010, Tuanni launched Zuri Wine Tasting with a mission to make wine fun and approachable. In a short period of time and through grassroots marketing she managed to build a strong brand and great reputation for making wine fun.
"Our motto is "wine is complicated, we make tasting simple". We are wine educators, wine event planners and a super fun~fabulous wine tour company.
We especially love wines that interpret a human story. At Zuri Wine Tasting our vision is to introduce people to wines, showcasing boutique wine brands and family owned vineyards around the world. Our goal is to change the way people view wine by integrating the contributions of the growers, wineries, and distributors to make wine more accessible and easy to understand for the average consumer. "
After launching with wine tasting group events, Tuanni then scaled her business by providing professional wine services including wine tasting classes, tours, wine list consulting, education and small-to-large scale events for enthusiasts, corporate and non-profit clients.
Then in 2018, Tuanni took it one step further and expanded her business to Cape Town South Africa. Just shortly after, Tuanni became a certified Sommelier, which offered her now the opportunity to spend part of each year contributing to the diverse and exciting wine country industry in South Africa.
Just as she did in the United States, Zuri Wine Tasting now offered its services to clients and wine lovers full-time in South Africa including virtual education and tasting events (which became essential during the pandemic). From the Cape to Johannesburg to the rolling hills of Stellenbosch and regions in between, Tuanni has been developing relationships, curating wine lifestyles and expanding her business into a well sought after company.
Most recently she hosted Gabrielle Union And Dewayne Wade during their 2022 South Africa trip, exploring the South African winelands and sharing the culture of winemaking from her perspective with the couple and their family (YouTube).
Now calling South Africa her home (and in addition to managing the day-to-day operations and her many events), Ms. Price has expanded her reach even further by creating and launching several programs via her YouTube channel Wine With Tuanni. From her shows, Chasing Harvest to What's In Your Wine Cellar to Meet The Winemaker to her accessible Blacc WSET Level 2 Study Group (where you can follow along and dive into the education of wine tasting) as well as her blog and publications, Tuanni has truly created her own lane.
With her relationships and knowledge of wine, she has also made it her priority to promote black winemakers, vineyard owners, farmers and black educators within the vintner industry.
From volunteering with the Pinotage Academy that develops and offers talented black South African youth (ages 18 – 25) with meaningful economic opportunities in the wine industry to working with historical black winemakers such as Iris Rideau that first embraced and welcomed Tuanni into the industry, she has wittingly created a bridge for the consumer to know and appreciate persons of color in the wine industry.
Additionally, partnering with well-known black winemakers like Ntsiki Biyela, or working with Paul Siguqa and Rodney Zimba "newcomers" (that have farmed the winelands since childhood and now own vineyards themselves) as well as many, many more black wine professionals, Tuanni has made it her duty to amplify black winemakers, brands and wine professionals by heavily promoting their wines and including them on her tours and special events.
In a recent interview, Tuanni was asked how she defined success.
Success to me is creating a business that results in a legacy and a positive impact on the community. There are so many people who have learned about wine and become engaging members in wine culture. Whether these people spend money with me or not, I know my influence has directed them to a wine-filled life where they travel and dine on new levels. This is the best success. When I look at wine events as of late and I am not the only one in the room. I feel proud. I feel successful!
Tuanni Price is presently changing the face of the wine industry by way of inclusion, with simply being an amplified source of knowledge, creating bridges from consumer to winemaker and creating opportunities for everyone to enjoy wine from beginner to well-versed enthusiast.
To find an extensive list of activities and events such as her most recent endeavor, Wine Week South Africa, classes such as wine tasting or palate and aroma cleansing, purchase wine kits, schedule tours, or even join her Zuri Wine Brand Ambassador program head over to zuriwine.com.
Cheers to an amazing, radical and beautiful life!