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Urban Connoisseurs


The Black Winemakers Scholarship Fund

The Black Winemakers Scholarship Fund was created to build change in the wine industry. According to Statista.com, there are almost 11,000 wineries in the US. There are about 60 wineries and/or wine brands owned by African Americans, and equally as many worldwide. This is less than .01% of the industry. The opportunity for growth is now!

The Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) and Urban Connoisseurs have partnered to create The Black Winemakers Scholarship Fund. Established in 2002 by three African American men, Mac McDonald, owner of Vision Cellars, Lou Garcia, owner of Sharp Cellars, and Dr. Ernest Bates, owner of Black Coyote, AAAV is a growing organization whose founding members wanted to create an organization to support current and future winemakers. More about these founders can be found on www.aaavintners.org.

Urban Connoisseurs was founded in 2012 by Marcia Jones. The mission of Urban Connoisseurs is to affect sustainable growth in the Black winemaking community by increasing the number of Black Winemakers in the US and abroad, create opportunities for the next generation to pursue various careers in the wine industry, and maintain brand and legacy.

Never before has a scholarship of this magnitude been created to solely support African Americans pursuing careers in the wine industry. The creation of The Black Winemakers Scholarship Fund serves to build diversity in the wine industry, bring awareness to present day Black winemakers, and to provide financial assistance to African American students pursuing careers in the wine industry.

Urban Connoisseurs and AAAV is partnering with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to maintain the fund. The partnership will allow students to gain access to funds to support their pursuit of a career in the wine industry with a Science degree in Viticulture and/or Enology. Scholarships will be awarded annually to students who meet the eligibility requirements.

For further information, please contact Marcia Jones, Marcia@urbanconnoissuers.com.

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