As the first Kenyan-born winemaker in California, Chris Wachira has made a significant impact in the wine industry. She holds a nursing doctorate degree in healthcare system leadership from the University of San Francisco and is the founder of Wachira Wines, a thriving business in the US. Her passion for winemaking stems from her commitment to improving science and exploring cause and effect, which led her to the study of viticulture.
Wachira has crafted five varietals that celebrate Kenyan culture and values, including muscat, sparkling wine, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel black label, and chardonnay. Each of these brands is associated with the big five safari animals from Kenya and are known for their fruitiness and lightness. She sources grapes from Napa, Paso Robles, and Lodi and has become one of the top-selling brands in California with the help of her mentors.
The Kenyan entrepreneur started Wachira Wines in 2017 with a goal to evoke memories of her special moments with her family in Nairobi through her wine. She found it challenging to find wines that complemented her mother’s and grandmother’s cuisine, which is what inspired her to become a winemaker and create a representation of herself in the industry.
Aside from her success in winemaking, Wachira has also made strides in the healthcare field. She views her family as cross-cultural ambassadors who are dedicated to building community bridges and creating memorable experiences. Wachira believes that representation matters, not just in terms of seeing oneself in positions of power, but in shaping one’s perceptions and turning even the most outrageous dreams into attainable realities.
“Representation allows us to hope, and more importantly, it gives others permission to dream in technicolor,” she stated in an interview with The Manual. Wachira Wines is a testament to her passion, hard work, and determination to achieve her goals, and she continues to inspire others to dream big and make their mark in their respective fields.