Small Town Big Heart: Astoria, Oregon
Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein – Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery & Chiweshe Company
Written By: Jordan Peden
The quaint, coastal city of Astoria, Oregon, is home to many things: cliffy shorelines, ancient pines, a bustling and historic downtown district, and let’s not forget that it’s the site of one of America’s greatest films–I’m speaking, of course, about The Goonies. You might be surprised to learn, though, that Oregon also possesses the type of rich land that makes it an ideal home for a lush vineyard. Better yet, it’s become the flagship for Oregon’s first Black female winery owner and winemaker, Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein.
To know (or, in my case, speak to) Eunice is to be inspired by her. After launching a successful career in the film industry, Eunice found herself pulled to winemaking, drawing on the influence of her grandparents in Zimbabwe. “My grandfather, when I was little, used to brew beer, so I would watch him. And then my grandmother was a big cook; she was big on cooking different foods and also making wine. I was heavily influenced by them from an early age,” she told us.
Merging her love of film and wine was a natural next step for Eunice. She spent her time at UCLA film school brewing fruit wines for her friends. Guidance from mentors–like fellow UCLA alumnus Francis Ford Coppola–planted the seed of belief that she could forge a fruitful path in both. Lured by the dreamscape created by its natural beauty, Eunice soon found herself purchasing property in Oregon.
Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery came to fruition in 2018, followed by a tasting room housed in Astoria the very next year. The wine, however, was only part of Eunice’s vision. She set out with bold intentions of creating wine as an agent for change, and through the #purposewine campaign, her dream is realized each month as the winery donates a portion of its profits to an organization in need. The concept of charitable wine is deeply embedded in the blueprints of ECG Winery, as service and community are in Eunice’s DNA. “My parents and my grandparents, they just help,” Eunice shared. “Watching them do what they do really opened up my eyes because they help all the time. I think #purposewine was meant to uplift my grandmother, my grandfather, and the ancestors before me, and it feels right. I feel like we are connected, the world is one, and the faster we realize that the better things get. So it makes sense to have this wine with purpose where we help other charities or organizations.”
By paying homage to her ancestors and continuing a legacy of giving, Eunice has been able to further humanitarian causes, from food insecurity to racial justice. ECG Winery has supported organizations like NAACP, Women for Women International, Airway Science for Kids, Inc., Stone Soup, Black Lives Matter, Breast Cancer Awareness, the Brian Grant Foundation–the list goes on and on, not to mention local efforts. The winery also partners with organizations to produce special, limited edition bottles, like Pinot for Parkinson’s, I Can’t Breathe, and Pandemic Relief Rose, just to name a few. Eunice is especially enthusiastic about the 2023 release of the Rise of She bottle, promoting gender equality.
As Eunice continues to spread the message of human connection, ECG Winery continues to grow and expand. The brand has already added the Chiweshe Company line of family and handmade soaps and candles. In 2023, it will further diversify by venturing into beer–a natural and exciting development for Eunice and her team.
So what makes Astoria the perfect place for an actress/filmmaker/screenwriter and Oregon’s first Black female winery owner and winemaker? For Eunice, this is an easy question to answer. “There’s something about small, little towns. They have a big place in my heart–Astoria, especially, I hold in my heart because it gave me my licenses. It’s an amazing town that just drew me in. It has a lot of personality. It’s home for our winery, and my gratitude for it is beyond what I can express in words.”
Astoria has given ECG Winery a village in which to display its beauty, a beauty that Eunice defines by what’s in the heart. “It’s what’s inside. I think that’s where the beauty lies–the heart. If you have a heart of gold, you win all around.” Eunice believes that there’s nothing you can’t fix with the right heart, and her heart is in the right place. “Whether it’s through the wine or whether it’s through film, I want to say something, and I want to keep pushing a message and making a difference because if we don’t, what are we doing? What are we here for?”
As I said, to know her is to be inspired by her.
You can find Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery and Chiweshe Company at:
Facebook: @eunicewinery & @chiweshecompany
Instagram: @eunicechiweshegoldsteinwinery & @chiweshecompany
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