Artiste Winery’s Archie McLaren Bastille Day Blend

Winemaker Bion Rice and Artist James-Paul Brown Collaborate to Honor Late Friend, Fund Social Justice

Photo: CourtesyArchie McLaren Bastille Day Bottle

To celebrate Bastille Day on July 14, honor their late friend, and raise money for a social justice cause, Artiste Winery’s winemaker and owner Bion Rice collaborated with artist James-Paul Brown to release a red blend that features the painted face of legendary bon vivant Archie McLaren. Responsible for hosting the influential Central Coast Wine Classic for many years, McLaren was also a proud proponent of civil rights since his early days in Memphis, so 10 percent of sales of the blend of 29 percent syrah, 29 percent grenache, 29 percent mourvèdre, and 13 percent cabernet sauvignon are going to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Bastille Day reminds me of Archie every year because he was such a Francophile,” said Rice, who met McLaren through Brown in 1994 and then sponsored many of his events through Artiste and his family’s Sunstone brands. “He was very much in support of what we now call Black Lives Matter, as am I. He always believed and said, ‘We are all created equal.’” 

Rice, who’s had to focus on digital marketing and virtual tasting during the pandemic to keep Artiste moving forward, expects the wines to sell out quickly. 

See to buy a bottle. 

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