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Woman-Owned Wineries

We've built a groundbreaking winery directory and nationally acclaimed wine club to elevate female vintners. Help us continue our work!

$3,760
pledged of$30,000 goal
31
25Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on August 31, 2022

Project Description

Woman-Owned Wineries builds bridges to connect female vintners with new audiences and with one another, too.  

*A portion of money raised will help fund entrepreneurial grants

for wine professionals through the

nonprofit  Lift Collective.

 

 

wow logo

 

 

 

THE PROBLEM

Female vintners face obstacles that not only thwart their advancement in the male-dominated wine industry, but prevent curious consumers from finding their wines.

 

OUR SOLUTIONS

 

Our expansive winery directory offers female vintners greater visibility.  As the first and most comprehensive of its kind, the directory is the foundation of our work. It currently lists 700+ wineries across the U.S. 

In an effort to make this information as widely available as possible, the directory is free for all to access. Major distributors, retailers, sommeliers, and journalists have all used the directory to diversify the wine selections in major marketplaces.

 

Our monthly home delivery program invites curious wine lovers to discover and directly support hard working women in wine.  Our club has been recommended by Wine Enthusiast, New York Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, and other major publications.

 

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OUR TRACK RECORD

 

"Right now, women … are weaving this amazing web of support for each other in ways I haven’t seen in 20 years ... WOW has been a critical puzzle piece in that realm.”

—Ashley Trout, VITAL Wines

  • 2017 | PUBLISHED DIRECTORY OF 50 SONOMA COUNTY FEMALE VINTNERS
    THAT SPURRED UNPRECEDENTED WAVE OF AWARENESS
    AROUND GENDER EQUITY IN THE WINE INDUSTRY

  • 2018 | EXPANDED DIRECTORY TO 550+ VINTNERS NATIONWIDE.
    LAUNCHED CONSUMER WINE CLUB.
    FOUNDER INTERVIEWED IN FORBES.

  • 2019 | INCREASED TO MONTHLY CLUB SHIPMENTS

  • 2020 | DOUBLED WINE CLUB MEMBERSHIP, TRIPLED  REVENUE

  • 2021 | ESTABLISHED ADVISORY BOARD, EXPANDED DIRECTORY TO 700+ VINTNERS,
    AND INCREASED SEARCHABILITY. OFFERED PAID VINTNER MEMBERSHIPS.
    FOUNDER FEATURED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

 

WHY ARE WE SEEKING FUNDING?

 We have spent four years testing the market's enthusiasm for our mission and product. From 2019 to 2021, we doubled our audience and revenue. The opportunity to serve this burgeoning audience is ripe.  With proper resources, we can successfully meet the growing demand in this sector. 

Full funding would allow us to:

  • Operate with more complete staffing.
  • Adopt a more lucrative business model.
  • Explore an international expansion of our winery directory.
  • Strategically expand events participation and content marketing.
  • Foster more partnerships with organizations that share our mission.

*A portion of funds raised through this campaign will be donated to a new entrepreneurial fund established by our friends at the nonprofit Lift Collective. 

 

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OUR TEAM & BOARD

Woman-Owned Wineries operates with a sole proprietor and is supported by a team of consultants and an advisory board.  With full funding, we look forward to updating the board leadership and further building this team.

TEAM BIOS>

ADVISORY BOARD BIOS>

Amy Bess Cook, Founder

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"[Founder Amy Bess] Cook has not only created the ecosystem to support women within the wine industry, but also created a pipeline directly to consumers. And in an era when people have ethical standards about so many purchasing decisions, like food and coffee, she’s taken a known category and done the vetting for you.” 

—Peter Weltman, Principal, Borderless Wine

 

Amy Bess Cook launched Woman-Owned Wineries in 2017 to help create greater equity in the wine industry. She has since been an unflagging advocate for her female colleagues.

After working for a decade in a range of winery roles and settings, Amy Bess is uniquely positioned to amplify the talents and experiences of women in wine. She not only brings wine biz savvy to this endeavor, but a previous background in publishing and communications. As longtime brand and operations director for a boutique winery, Amy Bess came to closely understand the inner workings of winery life. Along the way, she consulted for other vintners and vendors. She also studied enology through the UC Davis Extension Program and tried her hand at a winemaking project of her own. Her experiences exposed her to some of the challenges women face in the wine industry, and motivated her to seek practical, positive solutions.

Her efforts to uplift her female colleagues have won her acclaim from The New York Times; The San Francisco ChronicleForbes; and Imbibe, which named her the  2019 “Wine Person of the Year”. A native of North Carolina, she has made her home in California for two decades.

 

 

meet the team

 

 

 

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Read more about us in the press>

 

 

Thanks to every single one of you who has supported us over these first few years! With your help, we look forward to continuing this work and sharing great wines with you.

 

In gratitude,

Amy Bess Cook
Founder

The Campaign FAQs

fundraiser

Q: Is Woman-Owned Wineries a nonprofit organization?

We were founded in May 2018 as an LLC (limited liability corporation) with a social mission. 

In time,  and with greater funds, we aim to become a B-Corp.

 

Q: Many organizations exist for women in wine. How is this one any different? 

When we were founded four years ago, very few organizations existed to support women in wine. Our work was at the forefront of this movement within our industry.

Since, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, many nonprofits supporting equity within the beverage world have multiplied and thrived. Some produce conferences and workshops, while others arrange mentorships for aspiring winemakers. Such efforts are are much needed. Yet ours is the only project that focuses exclusively on supporting women winery owners through direct wine sales.

Our directory of 700+ vintners was the first and most comprehensive of its kind. Our club has introduced dozens of wineries to curious consumers. We have a proven track record of winning fans and generating revenue for hard working female vintners. We'd love to continue this work. With your support, we can keep going!

 

Q: Why are you crowdfunding?

Woman-Owned Wineries has evolved to a stage where it requires more investment in order to meet demand. While we've generated heaps of interest, we don't have the resources to fulfill the need.

Crowdfunding is one of the most trusted ways for female entrepreneurs to get business capital. Venture capital is almost entirely controlled by men, with just 2% going to women in 2021. (That's down from 2.3% the previous year. Pretty depressing.) As well, women routinely experience discrimination in the lending process, so business loans are not as widely available.  With this crowdfund, we not only wanted to circumvent these issues, but engage our audience in a more dynamic way.  

 

 

Q: How have you been funded till now?

Since our inception, Woman-Owned Wineries has been bootstrapped. This means that the founder used the resources immediately available to launch the business, rather than relying on outside  investors. This is very typical for female-founders, who statistically lack access to capital.

We also did a small crowdfunding project in 2018 (approx. $5,000) in order to help fund our original winery database and launch the wine club. Later, in 2020, we took out a small business loan of $30,000.

We are now ready for the next step.

 

Q: I bought some wine from a grocery store display advertising women winemakers. Isn't that just as effective as supporting this project?

 

Not really.

We commend any company that feature women winemakers and winery owners. Obviously, we applaud the women themselves. Alas, most of the brands you see in major retail outlets are owned by the same massive corporations--not by independent women entrepreneurs.

Even when the company is woman-owned, due to the infamous three-tier system, the winery owner doesn't actually make that much money by the time the sale is complete.  With that in mind, we connect wine lovers with female vintners and owners. When you buy through our wine club, every transaction counts as a winery-direct sale, and the owner enjoys a much greater profit margin than if the same wine was sold in a retail outlet.  

 

Q: World events are extremely tumultuous. Is this topic still important?

Amid the brutality and injustice in our world, the fact remains that women are a vulnerable population.  When society falls into upheaval, that vulnerability tends to intensify.  For example,  women's status regressed during the pandemic.  As well, women suffer disproportionately in the face of war, according to the United Nations. Our society has heaps of work to do to move the needle on gender equity. 

It's more important than ever to rally for women in our world. Our project humbly offers a way to do that around wine--which is something that brings almost universal joy and beauty.

 

Q: How can I join your wine club?

Easy-peasy. Choose a single delivery or subscription membership here>

...and thanks!

05/24/2022
Vintner's Promo Pack 🍇
$250
Jennifer Reichardt
05/13/2022
Vintner's Promo Pack 🍇
$125
Perri Haughwout
05/10/2022
Vintner's Promo Pack 🍇
$125
Doug Potter
05/10/2022
Online Toast 🥂 + Sticker
$20
Cara Collier DipWSET4 Candidate
04/23/2022
Wine Lover's Multimedia Dream Library 📚
$350
JFF
04/21/2022
Monetary Contribution
$50
Marcie Shelton
04/21/2022
Online Toast 🥂 + Sticker
$135
Janna Olson
04/21/2022
Wear Your Support! 👕
$60
Kara Vernor
04/18/2022
Wear Your Support! 👕
$60
L.M. Archer
04/16/2022
Online Toast 🥂 + Sticker
$20
20.00 USD
Online Toast 🥂 + Sticker

We'll toast you with undying gratitude on our social media accounts, reaching thousands of people. We'll also send you a WOW Logo Sticker (4x4 in.) to slap on your water bottle, laptop, fridge, or wherever! 

193 Left
7 Supporters
Select this reward
125.00 USD
Vintner's Promo Pack 🍇

Are you a winery owner wanting to join forces with this growing community? Let's support one another! Give at this level and receive the following benefits:

Interested in supporting us more substantially? Scroll to the "Corporate Sponsor & Ally" level and enjoy your winery's placement in our website and marketing collateral.

22 Left
8 Supporters
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Wine Lover's Multimedia Dream Library 📚

Give at this level and receive a multimedia wine library, including books written and signed by women wine experts.

Along with:

3 Supporters
None available
750.00 USD
Voucher for Wine Club Subscription (x 4)

Give at this level and receive a voucher to redeem for:

30 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
Monetary Contribution

No Rewards Please | Just Being Generous

Thank you for supporting female vintners. We appreciate your contribution in any amount, and respect your anonymity. Every dollar counts!

292 Left
8 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Masterclass: "Women in Wine, Then & Now"

Explore the untold history of women in wine, tracing back to ancient times, with Tanya Morning Star Darling.  A sommelier and educator with nearly three decades of industry experience, Tanya founded Cellar Muse as a subscription-based wine education program. Tanya's recent article in GuildSomm offers a glimpse into the content of this workshop: "Women in Wine: Systematic Exclusion & the Success of Tenacious Women".  Tap her expertise in this excellent workshop, and invite your friends or colleagues!

Details forthcoming.

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
2,500.00 USD
Corporate Sponsor & Ally

Align your company or winery brand publicly with the cause of gender equity by contributing at this level.  

  • We'll add your company logo to our newsletter footers (viewed by thousands of readers), and on our website's "sponsor" page for the next two years.
  • We'll produce a sponsored content piece on our blog highlighting your work.
  • We'll match you with a female vintner who, together with our founder, will host a custom educational tasting for your company. Wines sold separately.
  • If you're a winery owner, you'll also enjoy the benefits listed above in the "Vintner's Promo Pack".
10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

20.00 USD
Online Toast 🥂 + Sticker

We'll toast you with undying gratitude on our social media accounts, reaching thousands of people. We'll also send you a WOW Logo Sticker (4x4 in.) to slap on your water bottle, laptop, fridge, or wherever! 

193 Left
7 Supporters
Select this reward
125.00 USD
Vintner's Promo Pack 🍇

Are you a winery owner wanting to join forces with this growing community? Let's support one another! Give at this level and receive the following benefits:

Interested in supporting us more substantially? Scroll to the "Corporate Sponsor & Ally" level and enjoy your winery's placement in our website and marketing collateral.

22 Left
8 Supporters
Select this reward
350.00 USD
Wine Lover's Multimedia Dream Library 📚

Give at this level and receive a multimedia wine library, including books written and signed by women wine experts.

Along with:

3 Supporters
None available
750.00 USD
Voucher for Wine Club Subscription (x 4)

Give at this level and receive a voucher to redeem for:

30 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
Monetary Contribution

No Rewards Please | Just Being Generous

Thank you for supporting female vintners. We appreciate your contribution in any amount, and respect your anonymity. Every dollar counts!

292 Left
8 Supporters
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Masterclass: "Women in Wine, Then & Now"

Explore the untold history of women in wine, tracing back to ancient times, with Tanya Morning Star Darling.  A sommelier and educator with nearly three decades of industry experience, Tanya founded Cellar Muse as a subscription-based wine education program. Tanya's recent article in GuildSomm offers a glimpse into the content of this workshop: "Women in Wine: Systematic Exclusion & the Success of Tenacious Women".  Tap her expertise in this excellent workshop, and invite your friends or colleagues!

Details forthcoming.

3 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
2,500.00 USD
Corporate Sponsor & Ally

Align your company or winery brand publicly with the cause of gender equity by contributing at this level.  

  • We'll add your company logo to our newsletter footers (viewed by thousands of readers), and on our website's "sponsor" page for the next two years.
  • We'll produce a sponsored content piece on our blog highlighting your work.
  • We'll match you with a female vintner who, together with our founder, will host a custom educational tasting for your company. Wines sold separately.
  • If you're a winery owner, you'll also enjoy the benefits listed above in the "Vintner's Promo Pack".
10 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward