By Nicole Kearney
Sip & Share Wines is a boutique winery producing a diversity of handcrafted vegan wines. We're passionate about creating community with wine, especially for wine lovers often overlooked and underrepresented by the wine industry. Our wines are approachable to all palates, fun and made to sip and share.
Sip & Share Wines was created out of the frustration, isolation and poor treatment of being the only non-white person in wine spaces and experiencing the lack of diversity and inclusion in the wine industry. Sip & Share Wines creates community for wine lovers who have been overlooked and underrepresented in the wine world to enjoy and learn more about wine in a fun, culturally friendly, and inviting environment. Sip & Share Wines holds "space" and centers new majority wine lovers while inviting all to create a more inclusive and diverse wine industry.
I did start Sip & Share Wines alone, and it was a very lean operation in the early stages. After three months, I added Wine Ambassadors to assist with pouring wine for the people at events, festivals and pop-ups. After two years, the business model pivoted from a home wine tasting company to a boutique winery.
Get to know your audience. Create a journey they can go along with you. Be honest. Own your mistakes, and before you do anything, create financial projections.
Many wines produced in bulk aren't vegan as they use animal byproducts such as egg whites, fish bladder, pork gelatin and crustaceans to clear (fining process) the wines. Sip & Share Wines uses clay to clear (fine) our wines, making them vegan.
In this startup phase, we work 10+ hours a day. Sundays we rest. I carve out time for yoga and meditation and those boundaries are respected.
Before starting Sip & Share Wines I was happy, healthy and whole. I had another business writing and producing stage plays and streaming series. Wine is a passion; it adds to my joy.
Sip & Share Wines is a part of the changing face of the wine industry and who it considers wine lovers. We're making wine fun, accessible and inviting to new majority wine enthusiasts. This is a success for me. Creating a legacy that spans generations and creates wealth will also be a success.
Sip & Share Wines is a business of family. We lean on one another to keep from burning out. Health, mental and physical, is very important. Sometimes we push too much and too hard. However, we've learning to listen to our bodies and rest to keep from doing damage that destroys the fun.
COVID-19 has unfortunately taken the lives of our family and friends. Being mindful of its deadliness, we have opted to not do in-person events. Our pandemic pivot has been to host SipSperiences, guided, interactive virtual wine tastings. We'll continue to offer these, contactless delivery and pickup and shipping our wines. As the virus's ability to spread is controlled, we look forward to traveling to pour our wines for the people and being in physical connection with our community.
If you want to read more on the backstory of Sip & Share Wines, read here. Continue to follow Nicole's story through her social media: