The second edition of AAAV’s Paths to Success webinar series will explore how minority-owned wineries have been impacted by the pandemic and forever changed. Three founders of wineries of different sizes and formats will discuss their response to the pandemic and plans for the future given how the Coronavirus has evolved sales strategy, roles and career opportunities in wine.
Why You Should Attend: Understand how wineries of all sizes are approaching the future post-pandemic. From virtual wine tasting to new protocols for in-person events—will wine experiences ever be the same?
What You Will Learn: Attendees will learn about the difficulties minority-owned wineries are facing due to Covid, how they view the future and the solutions they are employing to keep their businesses moving forward.
Webinar Date/Time: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 @ 3PM EST
Duration: 45 Minute panel followed by a 15 minute Q&A session
Cru Luv Selections’ CEO Jermaine Stone was raised worlds away from wine country with plans to become a rapper, but a temporary job at Zachys Wine Auctions, though, quickly turned him into a lover of fine wine. In his nine years there, he became a seasoned auctioneer and member of Zachys’ senior leadership before becoming one of the founding directors of Wally’s Wine Auctions in 2013 in partnership with Los Angeles’ top wine merchant. He now runs Cru Luv Selections, a New York-based firm dedicated to blending the best elements of wine and hip hop culture.
Jennifer McDonald is the founder, CEO and winemaker at Jenny Dawn Cellars, the first urban winery in Wichita, Kansas. Jennifer spent 12 years leading strategic initiatives for some of Wichita’s largest employers and is now leveraging her business acumen and leadership skills in the wine industry. She has taken winemaking courses through UC Davis and has a master’s degree in Agribusiness from Kansas State University.
Jennifer launched Jenny Dawn Cellars in 2016 as a California wine brand producing award winning wines from Napa. In November 2019, her company became a licensed Kansas winery located in the newly renovated Union Station building in downtown Wichita. Jennifer also planted and manages an urban orchard, enjoys teaching a monthly wine class called Wineucation and is married and has two children.
Sommelier André Hueston Mack was the first African-American to be named Best Young Sommelier in America by Chaine de Rotisseurs. He was a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s renowned French Laundry before opening Chef Keller’s three-Michelin-starred Per Se.
In 2007, he founded Maison Noir Wines which incorporate his trademark attitude and personal perspective. The wines are unique and distinctive garage wines which source the best fruit possible in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon. Mack produces 40,000 cases annually which can be found in the best restaurants and retail stores in 45 states and 11 countries.
With his wife Phoebe Damrosch, Mack founded and runs & Sons Hospitality group in the Prospect Lefferts neighborhood of Brooklyn which includes their wine and provisions shop with more to come.
Phil Long is the president of the Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) and the founder and winemaker of Longevity Wines in California’s Livermore Valley. In the last year, Longevity has become a national brand and Phil’s food-friendly California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are new on the shelves of more than 6,000 stores across the country.
A Message from AAAV: It is our goal to pave paths for all Americans of color to successful careers in the wine industry. A number of the founding and current members were not aware this industry was a career option as young people. We hope to create a more diverse canvas of color across all categories of the wine industry.
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