Women of the Vine & Spirits began when Founder & CEO, Deborah Brenner, researched and wrote the bestselling book, Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste, and Enjoy Wine. As a former executive and 20-year veteran of the television and film industries, Deborah was familiar with the disenchantment of working in a male-dominated industry. She discovered during a fortuitous trip to Napa and Sonoma that many women in the wine industry – like her own – were under-recognized. As she interviewed women in the wine industry for the book, her commitment to telling their stories galvanized into a vision to empower and support women in this industry.
Through the process of writing the book and championing its subjects, Deborah became inspired to enter the wine business herself, releasing wine from a first-of-its-kind collective of seven artisan women winemakers from Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles.
For the following seven years, Deborah learned the business inside and out. Ultimately, however, all the money, blood, sweat and (a lot) of tears could not foster women in the wine industry the way she had hoped, which led her to shut down the Women of the Vine wine brand and return to the drawing board.
Deborah harnessed this energy and enthusiasm and organized the inaugural Women of the Vine & Spirits Global Symposium in Napa in March, 2015. The event featured informative sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as, business development focused on the particular challenges that face women in the alcohol beverage industry.
With over 500 attendees from five countries, the Global Symposium set the stage for the launch of Women of the Vine & Spirits, a year-round membership organization that exists to empower and equip women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry, fostering gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large. Women of the Vine & Spirits exists today as the springboard for action, the connection to the brave collective. Women of the Vine & Spirits exists today as the springboard for action, the connection to the brave collective.