Humanity has every reason to celebrate the fact that winemaking has been going on for millenia. So much so that gods have been allocated responsibility for the overseeing of the art, the product and the consumption. (Bacchus was a bit of a loose cannon, but we’ll turn a blind eye to that.)

The harnessing of that process and the development of what we now regard as a cross between art and science has only come about in the past two hundred years. Yet in 2021, little is still known about the rapidly increasing growth of diversity in the modern industry. And often absent from the narrative are the independently run, black-owned wineries. In fact, according to Statista.com, in 2020 there were over 10,000 wineries in the US alone, with winemakers of African descent making up less than 1% of winemakers and wineries worldwide

To help build the awareness of the growing diversity in the global wine industry, in this, USA’s Black History Month, the inaugural International Winemakers Summit (IWS) takes place from 19 to 21 February. A virtual three-day event, IWS will highlight some of the world’s most highly regarded winemakers of African descent.

Hosted by Urban Connoisseurs, the organisation at the heart of promoting the development of American winemakers from African descent, in partnership with Uncorked and Cultured, IWS is the first event of its kind and gives the chance of attendees to meet virtually and to learn and share knowledge about diversity in global winemaking, to gain a deeper understanding of the viniculture and processes of these producers.

Rusty Rabbit International is very proud to be a community partner of the International Winemakers Summit, supporting its endeavours and its vision for the expansion of diversity within this industry. Nichole Johnson, CEO, said, “there’s never been a better time to be among this amazing community of winemakers of African descent. The love of wine and its incredible history and the entrepreneurial hunger that is shared by everyone in this part of the industry means that we are all headed in a really exciting direction.” 

Topics to be discussed over the three days cover everything from trends, terroir, catering to every palate, the art of tasting and wine ageing. The chance to meet and listen to a good number of the current celebrated black winemakers from around the USA, as well as some exciting moderators from the ranks of America’s great African-American sommeliers and wine critics.

To register for this event, go to www.internationalwinemakerssummit.com

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