CHICAGO | We were lucky enough to meet Chrishon Lampley at a wine tasting event recently. Her passion for wine and supporting young entrepreneurs lead us to want to know more about her and the journey of her brand Love Cork Screw.
Chrishon is one of the few African-American women vintners in the United States. Chrishon draws on her global experience and prior roles as a sales broker, art gallery and bar owner, and wine enthusiast to bring something unique to the industry. Chrishon has had a name in the Chicago bar industry for several years, particularly since the art gallery-cum-wine bar she owned, Three Peas Art Lounge was considered to have Chicago’s best wine list. After a flood forced her to shut the doors of Three Peas Art, Chrishon was at a crossroads. Down, but not out, she took the next step in her journey developing her brand into her own wine label. Working with wineries, Chrishon now sources grapes to cultivate her own wine.
When did you fall in love with wine?
I fell in love with wine in my early 20’s. I enjoyed visiting new restaurants and pairing wine with great dishes. I listened and took suggestions from sommeliers and discovered my pleasure and passion for great wine.
Do you have any particular role models that helped guide you to break into an industry where you don’t find many women or people of color?
My role model is every woman in this industry who took the plunge into this career. You learn early on that there aren’t a lot of us, and pushing through every obstacle is to be commended. I appreciate them all!
Can you tell us what connects the names to the wines in your range?
Well, I wanted something for both the wine novice and sophisticates. Wine names can be intimidating for some, so I wanted something everyone can pronounce and enjoy. Each wine name is whimsical and identifies the feeling associated with each varietal. Head Over Heels, Riesling, is for the romantics. We’re Movin’ On Up, Cabernet Sauvignon, is for the mature palate. Good Times Good Friends, Pinot Grigio, great to bring to a party. Touch The Sky, Niagara, sweet and light. Hard Knock Life, Concord, awesomely red like Annie.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
If it’s your true passion everything will fall into place. Keep going, keep failing, and keep growing. It’s a process.
What does the future hold for Love Cork Screw?
To keep growing, and eventually turn Love Cork Screw into a national brand.
Love Cork Screw wine can be found at local Mariano’s, Whole Foods, and restaurants, and bars around Chicago. For more info on where to find the brand in Chicago and beyond, check the Love Cork Screw website.