Phil Long is a big-hearted guy with a nose for great wine, a back for hard work, an obsession with quality, and a mind for running and growing a business. If that sounds like the right recipe for a winemaker in today’s highly competitive wine business, it is. At 10 years old, Longevity wines has carved out a strong niche in California’s Livermore wine country. This, in spite of the fact that winemaking is a second career for Long, and he was not to the vineyard born. To the contrary, this former creative director originally hails from L.A. and started making wine as a hobby, in his garage. He is one of just a handful of African Americans in a domestic wine business valued by the Wine Institute at $34.9 billion in 2017. Today, this boutique winery boasts several consistent award-winning varietals and one of the most charming visits for tourists, more than 23 million of which flocked to the region last year. California makes 85% of all U.S. wine and is the world’s fourth leading wine producer, after France, Italy, and Spain. Longevity’s success proves that a winemaker’s name doesn’t have to end in a vowel to make a great product. Just last week, Longevity entered four wines and took four medals at the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.