The wine industry has been known for being notoriously white but there are many examples of Black entrepreneurs who have not only been able to enter the market but also find ways to thrive. These twin sisters have found a way to integrate culture with their love of rosé wine to create a new brand.
Nichelle and Nicole Nichols are the founders of Guilty Grape, a newly launched wine brand of rosé packaged in the micro-vineyards in Napa Valley at an affordable price. “As Black women and wine lovers, we became increasingly frustrated with the lack of Black representation and inclusion within the wine industry,” said the sisters in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“From marketing efforts to the type of wines being offered to our community (typically sweet wines), we noticed that the African American market was an afterthought in wine. Our culture deserves more, so we decided to join the other small groups of Black industry disruptors by starting The Guilty Grape to include those overlooked consumers.”
Coming from an entertainment background, the sisters wanted to create a brand that offered representation for other Black women who like to indulge in wine with their own business aspirations. “There is no easy access point into the wine industry, but it was abundantly clear that our mere presence was disruptive to the norm,” they added.”Between being young, Black, female, finding the right resources, and building the right relationships —there were many hurdles.”
The brand plans on expanding its collection to include Chardonnay and Cabernet options at a later date.