When Whitney Gates was young, she loved to go to her uncle’s house and watch him make wine. He used fruits and vegetables, even corn on the cob, rather than grapes, and his wine had more of a “kick” with its higher alcohol content. Whitney was too young to drink, but she enjoyed the way her uncle and his wine drew the community to his house, where all were welcome and where the wine and conversation flowed.
Whitney’s memories of her beloved uncle and of the community gatherings were always part of the background of her life, but one night, those memories took center stage. Whitney and her husband Chaz were relaxing with glasses of their favorite wine, when Whitney thought about how much the camaraderie of those long ago days veered from the present day reality of the wine industry. The pretentiousness and exclusivity, the intimidating atmosphere that kept would-be wine consumers at a distance and denied them entry to the premium wine experience. The lack of interest in accommodating wine drinkers who have non-traditional tastes. Why not re-imagine the wine experience? Why not produce wines that are more innovative, more approachable and stronger? Why not crack that glass ceiling in a wine industry where fewer than 1% of American winemakers are Black?
And that was the start of Wondry Wine—semi-sweet wine crafted from all-natural, organic berry, citrus and exotic fruit extracts, with heightened alcohol content (13.9%), perfectly balanced, luxuriously smooth, and enchantingly aromatic for an indulgent, sensory adventure.
Wondry Fruit Infused Wine and Cream Collection
Sangria Especial: A red sangria that delivers a fresh, delicious twist on the traditional Spanish beverage, light-bodied with notes of organic Seville oranges and juicy limes.
Watermelon Rosé: An unforgettable rosé flavored with juicy, organic watermelon extract.
Peach in Peace: An interpretation of a Riesling infused with notes of organic orchard peaches.
Coastal Fruit Infusion: A sophisticated take on the perfect party punch or a tropical Sangria with an irresistible blend of organic tropical fruits.
Cran Apple en blanc: Another interpretation of the traditional Riesling, this one infused with cranberries and apples.
Forbidden Fruit: A high-octane version of Starbuck’s Mango Dragonfruit Refresher.
Mango Passion Spritz: Think Prosecco, exceptionally crisp, with the aroma of tropical fruit, organic orange, mango and passion fruit extracts.
Southern Country Cocktail Creams: Enjoy chilled or over ice for an adult milkshake or drizzle in your favorite coffee, hot cocoa, cocktail, or ice cream.
- Sweet Hazelnut is Wondry’s signature cocktail cream made with fresh, velvety dairy cream with a decadent hazelnut flavor.
- Strawberries and Cream Colada is a luscious spin on a traditional piña colada made with real dairy cream blended with strawberry flavor and a hint of coconut cream.
- Vanilla Caramel Cream is a swirl of organic vanilla and caramel in fresh dairy cream.
Wondry Wine Founders: Whitney and Chaz Gates
- Whitney has a degree in marketing from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA in brand management from WU’S Olin Business School. She gained invaluable experience during her 13 years in the Food & Beverage industry. Her positions included brand manager for 7 Up, senior brand manager for the Coca-Cola Company and Fresca, assistant brand manager for Friskies at Nestlé Purina, and business planning associate at General Mills. In addition, Whitney taught herself the winemaking process, from the lessons learned in her uncle’s garage and her studies in enology at Grayson College in Texas, one of the top-ranked institutions for wine education.
- Chaz has a degree in communications from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University. He began his career path in banking, then became a policy advisor to the US Congress on matters related to trade, homeland security, and foreign affairs in Asia. He decided to pursue a PhD in law, which he received from American University Washington College of Law and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Prior to starting Wondry Wine, Chaz was an in-house attorney for Texas Instruments.
In addition to wanting to leave a legacy for their children, Whitney and Chaz want to be role models in creating more diversity in both the wine industry and in the customer base. There has been little innovation in the variety of wines. Chardonnays, Cabernets and Pinots still reign. There has been much innovation in spirits, beer, seltzers and ciders that aim to appeal to diverse tastes and expand their markets. Wondry Wine takes the best from all those beverage formats to create diverse full-body flavor options in a healthy, preservative-free product. It is only fitting that the wine be presented in beautiful, uniquely designed bottles.
A portion of every purchase is donated to help under-represented entrepreneurs and overlooked consumers move toward unity and inclusiveness.
Wondry Wine Award Winners
Lone Star International Wine Competition
- Sangria Especial, Peach in Peace and Sweet Hazelnut Cream: 2022
- Mango Passion Spritz: 2021 & 2022
- Watermelon Rosé: 2021
- Sweet Red Blend: 2022