Miami Wine Company, a black company, receives a boost from the alcohol giant | Florida News

By YADIRA LOPEZ, Miami Herald

MIAMI (AP) – The Miami-based Fête du Rosé has caught the attention of Miami Beach hotels, Target and Trader Joe’s. Now, the wine brand will partner with beverage giant Constellation Brands, which on Thursday announced plans to acquire a minority stake in the company.

The Fête du Rosé was launched in 2019 to demystify tired tropes about rosé wine and who drinks it, said its founder and CEO Donae Burston.

“We wanted to create a rosé wine that would be taken seriously,” he said. “A luxury brand marketed to everyone. “

During a 15-year career in the wine and spirits industry, working with brands such as Hennessy, Dom Pérignon and Moët, he had noticed that rosé was marketed as a feminine drink that was hardly more than rose water flavored with alcohol.

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But Burston knew better. He had ample opportunity to visit the south of France, where rosé is a summer drink appreciated by both men and women. During a cocktail party at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, he made contacts at the Domaine Bertaud Belieu in Saint-Tropez; Soon after, he launched the first Black-owned rosé label produced in the region.

Its rosé leans towards the dry, with notes of fresh strawberries and hazelnuts. Wine Enthusiast magazine awarded 90 points to La Fête, praising it for its “spicy and fresh at the same time” maturity.

It goes with anything, Burston said. On the brand’s Instagram page, visitors will see photos of it alongside caviar, fries or grilled branzino. They will also notice the label’s target audience: everyone. And yes, people of color especially.

“For so long, minority wine drinkers have been overlooked,” Burston said. “We weren’t considered serious consumers in this space.”

Growing interest in black-owned brands has broadened the focus of the industry, he said. The 40s and growing popularity of ros̩ Рwith sales growing over 40% per year in the United States, according to the Wine Economist site Рalso created a snowball effect that quickly boosted brand awareness.

La Fête du Rosé is the first company to receive investment dollars as part of Constellation’s Focus on Minority Founders initiative launched last summer. Constellation Brands has pledged to invest $ 100 million in minority-owned businesses in the alcoholic beverage industry by 2030, according to a company spokesperson.

“Donae has created a truly unique and distinctive lifestyle brand, and we believe the Rosé category continues to have great growth potential,” wrote Jennifer Evans, Constellation Corporate Vice President, by e- mail.

Evans said Constellation is looking for brands that stand out in the market and are looking to grow. She credited La Fête du Rosé with the consumer-centric approach to create a brand that reflects today’s multicultural consumer values.

Constellation’s confidence in the product will inject more energy into the brand, Burston said.

“For so many minority-owned businesses, the most difficult thing is access to capital and infrastructure,” he added. “We want to continue to grow and grow in the right way while preserving the history of our brand. “

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