Rapper ‘pairs’ with Richmond winemaker on natural wine

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Rapper ‘pairs’ with Richmond winemaker on limited release natural wine
Uncle Larry’s Natural Orange. (Photo courtesy of Purity Wine.)

By Kathy Chouteau

It’s a tale that might be told only in Rich City: Richmond organic winemaker meets rapper and they make wine together. That’s exactly what happened when Purity Wine’s Noel Diaz—who also runs The Study Wine Bar—met Bayview-born rapper Larry Eugene Hendricks III, known as Larry June, after being introduced through mutual contacts, according to an article by Eater SF.

The end result of this uncommon collab? What Diaz says was a “very limited” release wine called Uncle Larry’s Natural Orange, first unveiled by the rapper at an album release party in mid-August, per Eater.

And although the wine—which the article describes as a “Contra Costa 2021 Verdelho with a design invoking the Orange Crush sodas of summer,” has already sold out at $45/bottle, Diaz confirmed to the Standard that there’s the potential for a “broader release” in the future, but “it’s up in the air” at this time.

Diaz said he and June share mutual interests that made the concept of a wine ‘pairing’ make sense. He said the rapper is “into organics and health,” also noting that his “theme color is orange and he likes orange wine.” For his part, the local winemaker has been working in the natural wine space for a long time and he’s interested in “opening up natural wine to a broader audience.”

Another avenue for Diaz to share his love of natural wine—while also supporting worthy causes—is by hosting intermittent wine fairs with various beneficiaries. Past causes have included farm laborers, Ukraine and the LGBT community and, on average, have raised $5,000 for each beneficiary.

Diaz will host his next natural wine fair, “By the Way” (a play on “By the Bay”), Sat., Nov. 12 from 1-5 p.m. at The Study Wine Bar, 1401 Marina Way South, Suite 280, in Richmond. After costs, proceeds from the tented outdoor event, which will include wine, food and a DJ, will benefit Richmond schools, per the winemaker. Tickets are $30 per person. Contact Diaz at (510) 295-5442 or [email protected] for more info.

The Study Wine Bar has indoor/outdoor seating and offers lite fare as well as wine from Diaz’s favorite local and international wine makers (Purity Wine shares a warehouse adjacent to the wine bar with several other vintners). The Study Wine Bar’s hours are Thursday and Friday from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3-9 p.m. Learn more about Purity Wine or The Study Wine Bar here or read the Standard’s previous article here.