It’s been a year or more since we caught up with Alicia Maria Kidd, founder and CEO of The Wine Noire LLC, an import, export and wholesale distribution company based in Berkeley, CA. Launched in 2017, The Wine Noire specializes in helping winemakers who are women and people of color get their wines into the marketplace, as well as directly into the hands of consumers.
Alicia caught us up on her diverse activities, and we were delighted to hear how much her business has grown since we last talked on the show. It was also valuable to hear how the current focus on #BlackLivesMatter and her work with the Association of African American Vintners has helped raise awareness of black vintners and winemakers have contributed to the wine industry.
Born and raised in Oakland, Alicia earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in public administration from California State University, East Bay. Her journey into the wine industry began with trips to Napa with friends, followed by an opportunity in 2016 to become a Boisset Ambassador for the St. Helena-based luxury wine company, Boisset Collection.
She founded The Wine Noire a year later after taking notice that there was a lack of diversity and inclusion in the wine industry, with very little to no representation of women and people of color producers.
Alicia’s mission is to remove barriers and open doors for these producers to be seen and enjoyed by local and global marketplaces so that they can focus on making incredible wines. Her current portfolio includes wines from California and South Africa.
In addition, to working with producers, Alicia works with tech companies and corporate event planners of high-end events to curate wine experiences as well consults with restaurants looking to start or expand their wine lists. Through The Wine Noire, she also offers trainings to help hospitality teams become familiar with how to serve as well as sell wines offered in their establishments.
We were excited to hear about the “Diversity Wine Route” 8th Annual Wine Festival, featuring brands by people of color, an upcoming online wine festival, Sunday, July 26th from 1pm -3pm PST, which The Wine Noire will be participating in. Featuring 12 wine brands, each winemaker will showcase one varietal and host a 5 minute virtual tasting with the attendees. They’ll kick off the festival with a 10 minute wine lesson from Tuanni Price then have twelve 5 minute wine tasting with each wine brand. The last hour attendees can join their favorite winemakers in his/her private breakout rooms for more in depth chats about their products and services. Attendees can also purchase a case of the wines feature at the festival to enjoy in the comfort of their home while participating with the featured vintners and distributors online.
Tune in to hear about The Wine Noire’s line of California and South African wines, her planned wine club and more.