Last June, alcohol giant Constellation Brands, Inc. committed to a $100 million investment in Black, Latinx and minority-owned businesses in the spirits industry over the next decade. Now they’re making good on their promise by working with Black-owned wine brand, La Fête du Rosé.
According to ESSENCE, the Miami-based rosé label has become one of the many go-to wines for consumers, and with the help of Constellation Brands’ investment the brand will grow to be even bigger.
Constellation Brands, Inc. announced that the company would acquire a minority stake in the wine label, making this its first attempt to make good on its June 2020 pledge.
“Minority-owned businesses are under-represented in our industry and there is a real need to make it more equitable for those businesses to receive access to capital,” Constellation Brands president and CEO Bill Newlands said in a statement. “This initiative enables us to play a role in creating greater equity within our industry and provides an opportunity for us to work with bold leaders and brands with unique value propositions that align with our premiumization strategy. La Fête du Rosé is certainly that, as Donae [Burston] has taken a consumer-first approach to building a distinctive rosé brand that authentically reflects today’s multicultural consumer values.”
“We wanted to create a rosé wine that would be taken seriously. A luxury brand marketed toward everyone,” founder Donae Burston told Miami Herald. “For so long, minority wine drinkers were overlooked. We weren’t seen as serious consumers in this space.”
As a 15-year veteran in the beverage industry, Burston understood from his own experience that rosé was long-marketed as a feminine drink, but observed that both men and women in fact indulged in the summer drink during his visit to the south of France.
That’s when he came up with the idea to create a Black-owned rosé brand, the first-of-its kind made in France’s Saint-Tropez and brought over to the United States, ESSENCE reports.
“People like to see themselves in anything, and that’s what we’re trying to do with La Fête du Rosé – create an exceptional liquid and brand that’s focused on reaching a wider audience,” Burston told the outlet.
Burston created La Fête du Rosé in an effort to target millennial and Generation Z consumers, and believes his newest investment will help take the brand to the next level.
“It has taken a lot of hard work to get the brand to where it is today,” he told the outlet. “Constellation Brands is the right partner to allow us to scale the brand in a way that stays true to its ethos.”
Details about the amount and terms of the investment deal have not been disclosed, but Wine Spectator reports that Burston is the first business owner to join Constellation Brands’ Focus on Minority Founders initiative.
According to the outlet, the rosé founder says that it’s an honor to represent what the future of a diverse wine industry will look like and he feels it’s his duty to create opportunities for other minority business owners.
“For me, that’s one of the reasons I created La Fête, beyond the fact that I had a love affair with rosé,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that I’m successful for [Constellation] so they continue to do this.”