Naked Wines Launches Opportunity Fund for Latinos in Wine

The new grant program will help support this underrepresented community via $80,000 in grants

NAPA, Calif., Sept. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Naked Wines, the largest 100% direct-to-consumer winery in America, today announced the Montoya Opportunity Fund to help empower the next generation of Latino winemaking talent. Driven by winemaker Macario Montoya, the grant program is a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in an industry where Latino professionals are vastly underrepresented. In California, Latinos make up only 1% of wine producers in the state and this fund is an effort to grow this number. The program, which is being overseen by Naked Wines with Montoya serving as lead advisor, is open for applications September 15 through October 31, 2023.

The Montoya Opportunity Fund will award a total of $80,000 across up to 14 grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 to support Latino wine professionals seeking career, brand and advancement opportunities in the wine industry. Grantees can apply for funding to support activities including, but not limited to, continued wine education, vineyard and winemaking equipment, grape and production costs, brand development, and permitting and legal costs. Seed money for the Montoya Opportunity Fund was funded by Naked Wines’ customers who purchased select packs of wine on Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

“We founded Naked Wines to connect the best independent winemakers directly to wine drinkers and break down the barriers that often stop many Americans discovering new and exciting winemaking talent. We see a lack of diversity in the industry as a real problem that is denying consumers access to some amazing talent that deserves a platform,” said Nick Devlin, chief executive officer of Naked Wines. “Macario Montoya is a highly regarded winemaker and one that Naked Wines has proudly supported for over a decade. We are honored to partner with him, and our customers, to help foster the next generation of Latino winemakers and provide critical support in advancing the careers of Latino talent throughout the industry.”

Montoya is an independent Mexican-American winemaker with his own Napa Valley wine brands, both of which have been mainstays of Naked Wines, a crowdfunded wine company, since 2012. Under the Naked Wines model, consumers pay into a Wine Savings Account and Naked Wines uses those funds to invest in wines and winemakers around the world. As a result of these “Angel” investors, Montoya launched two exclusive brands, Sin Fronteras and Macario Montoya, which feature traditional Californian and Spanish varieties. As thanks for their investment, winemakers share their wines back to Angels with no added costs or markups, resulting in wines that are up to 60% off the Market Price.

The grant program is important to Montoya who worked his way to become a star Napa winemaker and believes in supporting his community.

“Though incredibly instrumental in wine production, it’s uncommon for Latino winemakers to carry top-ranking positions such as head winemakers and winery owners,” Montoya said. “These knowledgeable experts are an integral part of the industry and should be in these elevated positions. I am excited to partner with Naked Wines on the Montoya Opportunity Fund. We both want to see Latino winemakers succeed and this dedicated support can open many doors for the Latino winemaking community.”

Latino wine talent can apply via us.nakedwines.com/montoya-fund from September 15 through October 31, 2023. The selection committee includes Macario Montoya and several Naked Wines team members, including Lucy Devlin, vice president of wine and Hady Kahale, director of wine buying. Applicants are encouraged to showcase their unique dedication and vision for the future of the wine industry. Both Spanish and English applications will be accepted; video submissions are also welcomed. A curriculum vitae is required for all applications.

To learn more about Naked Wines continual support of winemakers, please visit nakedwines.com.

About Naked Wines
Powered by the belief that great wine should be an everyday pleasure and not a privilege, Naked gives the world’s best winemakers the creative and financial freedom to make wines that inspire – supported by a community of passionate wine drinkers.

Naked Wines funds exclusive collaborations with worldwide independent winemakers like Daryl Groom (former: Penfolds Grange) Daniel Baron (former: Dominus, Silver Oak) Jesse Katz (Aperture, Devil’s Proof Vineyards), Megan & Ryan Glaab (former: PAX, Sine Qua Non) and Jean Philippe Moulin (former: Rothschild).

A virtuous circle is created where everyone is better off; customers get better wines for their money; and winemakers can focus their time in the winery, not on distribution and sales. 

Press Contact:
nakedwines@finnpartners.com 

 

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