According to Statista.com, there are almost 11,000 wineries in the US. There are just under 60 wineries and/or wine brands owned by Americans of African descent, and equally as many worldwide. This is less than .01% of the industry. The mission of Urban Connoisseurs is to affect sustainable growth in the wine making community by increasing the number of winemakers of African descent in the US, create opportunities for the next generation to pursue various careers in the wine industry, and maintain brand and legacy for the Generation after Next.
The Association of African American Vintners (AAAV) and Urban Connoisseurs have partnered to create The Black Winemakers Scholarship Fund. Established in 2002 by four African American men, Mac McDonald, owner of Vision Cellars, Lou Garcia, owner of Stover Oaks Winery, Vance Sharp, owner of Sharp Cellars, and Dr. Ernest Bates, owner of Black Coyote, AAAV is a growing organization devoted to supporting current and future winemakers. More about the founders can be found at www.aaavintners.org.