Wine lovers, assemble! (Or, how we ended up starting a wine site)

One of the most important things you need to know about the founders of Sip Wines is that we LOVE the Marvel Cinematic Universe (the “MCU,” for those in the know). It’s ok if you don’t share that love—although, how could you not, honestly—but you may see or hear references to Marvel movies on our site from time to time and we don’t want you to be confused, asking yourself, what do the Avengers have to do with wine? The answer is, they’re both awesome, obviously.

We also bring up superheroes because we want to share with you the Sip Wines “superhero origin story.” By that, we mean the singular moment that set Sip Wines on the path to becoming a unique, aspiring force for good in an industry historically known for exclusivity, money, and high barriers to entry. We don’t actually pretend to be superheroes, but we love the concept of the pivotal and defining moment in any person’s, or entity’s, life, and Sip Wines definitely has one. We hope that by sharing our origin story, we can help you understand how important our mission is and what makes us different.

The “superhero origin story” is actually a fascinating concept. If you’re interested, take a look at this article from the Smithsonian Magazine.

It started with a pandemic…

For us, the defining moment that inspired Sip Wines was the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the swift and devastating impact it had on small businesses. Our founders have close ties to the wine industry, so that’s where our hearts went--and it was clear that the smaller, family-owned wineries were in serious trouble. We knew we had to help, and we had an idea of how we could do just that. Our superpowers are web design and marketing, and we could use those to create a new way to get this wine from the wineries to you.

… and turned into a revelation

Once we started looking into the thousands of small wineries in the US, we discovered just how PERSONAL it is for so many of these producers, and how interesting their work is. These are true small businesses, owned by families and individuals. We learned that wine today is truly a cultural juxtaposition: growing grapes and making wine dates back thousands of years, and many of these wineries do adhere to some of the oldest practices. And yet, there is such a diversity of identities in the industry, and so much truly modern, sustainable work being done under the radar.

Then we realized something else: Consumers CARE about these things. We’re seeing it across industries, this increased push for transparency, sustainability, diversity, and social justice in the production of consumer goods. When given the choice, a huge number of consumers will choose products that reflect their own values, either through company ownership, production processes, or other characteristics. What was lacking, until now, was a way to give wine drinkers that choice. And that’s where Sip Wines comes in.

Sip Wines was born

At Sip Wines, we make connections between wineries and wine lovers who share common values. Basically, we’re socially conscious matchmakers, for wine. The premise of our platform is to find small wineries that embody the core values of entrepreneurism, environmental sustainability, diversity, social justice—and also make good wine, obviously—and provide a platform to sell their wines to consumers who would prefer to buy wines that embody those values, but haven’t had a way to find them.

The best part, for us, is the promise that our new model will transcend the pandemic that inspired it. We hope and believe that once consumers know that these wines are out there, and can access them easily, they won’t go back to the mass market wines. Why would they?

A final note: in memoriam

As Marvel lovers, we have to pay tribute and express our deep grief over the loss of Chadwick Boseman. His importance cannot be overstated, and the world is a darker place without him. We also feel that one of his Black Panther Quotes perfectly embodies everything we’ve just tried to convey, so we’ll close with that:

“But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

-T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)

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