It is well known how racial, gender, and economic discrimination impacts the growth and finances of black owned businesses. But what if a study revealed that a significant portion of the damage was being done by a specific demographic: black women?

According to a new study performed by Washington State University and Illumina, black-owned businesses in the wine industry are two to five times more likely to be run by Black women than Caucasian males. This finding is not only groundbreaking on its own, but also provides additional proof that the wine industry is lacking in diversity.

When it comes to success, all races are not created equal. Black Americans have been making wine for centuries and have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that should be tapped in order to improve the quality of America’s wine industry.. Read more about industry sessions and let us know what you think.

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The Terroir Noir: 2020 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs, released during National Black-Owned Company Month, reveals business owners’ unwavering perseverance and dedication to creating change in the worldwide wine sector.

Uncorked-Cultured-Launches-the-Sip-Consciously-Directory-Highlighting-BlackJULY 2021, NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Monique Bell, Ph.D., a marketing professor and wine business researcher, has published the first study of Black wine entrepreneurs, which includes survey data gathered in the wake of the worldwide pandemic and civil upheaval in 2020. Participants in the online poll, who represent a wide range of companies and professional backgrounds, completed it in late 2020, amid pandemic-related losses and resurgent civil rights and “buy Black” campaigns.

Respondents to the Terroir Noir: 2020 Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs survey answered a series of questions about their reasons for starting a business, their experiences with racism and other challenges, their perceptions of the wine industry’s inclusion efforts, their business strategies and practices, and the impact of COVID-19. Black-owned wineries make up fewer than 1% of all wineries in the United States, despite the fact that Black people account for more than 10% of all wine drinkers in the country. Financial capital is the main business obstacle, according to the majority of study participants (43 percent), who represent wineries and other wine companies. Bias/racism was identified by 20% of respondents as the top issue for Black wineries in general. Furthermore, more than half of those polled (58%) are either indifferent or disagree that the wine business is doing enough to make underrepresented groups more welcome. 

Bell, who conducted the research while on sabbatical at Fresno State’s Craig School of Business and later founded Wyne Belle Enterprises, says, “I am grateful to the Black wine business community for welcoming me during a very trying time and sharing their valuable insights for this important study.” “Connecting with wine entrepreneurs has inspired me to do further study and has opened doors to increasing visibility and understanding of underrepresented groups in traditionally exclusive industries.”

The study is the first of its type in trade reports and academic research, and it will be followed by studies of Black wine experts and consumers. Bell and her colleagues at California State University, including Sonoma State University’s Liz Thach, Ph.D., M.W., are presently reviewing more than 40 in-depth interviews with Black wine entrepreneurs.

“Dr. Bell has uncovered an essential vacuum in the global wine business and in our collective understanding of wine entrepreneurship by spotlighting Black entrepreneurs in the wine industry,” says Liz Thach, Distinguished Professor of Wine and Professor of Management at Sonoma State. “As a wine business instructor, writer, and consultant, I’ve worked to raise awareness of diversity, equality, and inclusion problems, and the Terroir Noir research will contribute to the industry’s advancement.”

It was through Bell’s research that she met Angela McCrae, founder of Uncorked & Cultured, and joined the media platform centered on wine, wellness, culture, and adventure as Chief of Cultural Insights and Partnerships. McCrae and Bell, both graduates of Morgan State University, launched the Sip Consciously Directory, a comprehensive resource of more than 100 Black entrepreneurs in the three-tier wine distribution chain.  Importantly, the directory enhances Black visibility in the $70 billion wine industry where less than 1% of wineries are Black-owned. The evolving resource connects wine lovers with Black-owned brands, distributors, and retailers, and is complemented by the growing Sip Consciously YouTube video series.

“With knowledge there is power, so it’s important for Uncorked & Cultured to be a destination and resource for consumers and the greater wine industry to understand Black wine entrepreneurs exist and the challenges we face in the industry,’ says Angela McCrae. “We’re filling a void and creating solutions to connect, not just Black winemakers and entrepreneurs with consumers, but also with mainstream brands and major distributors for an opportunity to tap into a far too often overlooked demographic.”

www.moniquebell.com/wine has the study of Black wine entrepreneurs, as well as unique material at www.uncorkedandcultured.com. Visit www.uncorkedandcultured.com/sipconsciously to learn more about the research and many of the survey participants.

Monique Bell, Ph.D. is a Ph.D. candidate.

Monique Bell is a tenured Fresno State marketing professor who provides engaging learning experiences and researches the intersections of business and culture. Through her interest in wine business and marketing, Dr. Bell has earned the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 certification. Monique formed Wyne Belle Enterprises to provide wine business content and consultation. She also serves as Chief of Cultural Insights and Partnerships for Uncorked & Cultured, home of the Sip Consciously directory. Dr. Bell earned her doctorate at Drexel University, where her dissertation earned the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Social Science Dissertation.

About Uncorked & Cultured

Uncorked & Cultured is a media company that curates original content, consumer research, e-commerce and global experiences to consciously connect consumers with brands that share the same ideals.  A destination for culturists to hang out with a glass of their favorite vineyard selection; wellness practitioners share knowledge from our ancestors; and global entrepreneurs provide roadmaps to a life well-lived. Our journey is to share content that’s centered in Culture & Elevation, as a solution to the lack of inclusion in the global luxury, travel and wine industries.

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The Vinebar is a movement of individuals and organizations committed to  “Asking Questions that Matter”. We host conversations that are informed by scientific evidence, not ideology: conversations about how we can create a world that works for everyone.. Read more about the roots fund and let us know what you think.

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