Less than a year ago, we acquired Domaine Curry, a Luxury Napa Valley wine brand co-founded by Ayesha Curry and Sydel Curry-Lee. Joined under The Prisoner Wine Company’s innovative house of brands, Domaine Curry is taking bold steps to expand the luxury wine landscape. In celebration of Black History Month, we met with Ayesha and Sydel to learn more about their experience in the wine industry, their advice to other Black leaders, and their approach to inclusivity and brand building – read more below.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month represents a time to celebrate how far African Americans have come as a people despite hundreds of years of obstacles. This is also a perfect month to honor the professional, personal, and societal contributions of Black women – who truly make magic happen every day and are the reason we started Domaine Curry.

What does Domaine Curry’s success signify for Black women entrepreneurs, particularly within fields that have traditionally lacked such representation?

There is currently a gap in marketing to women of color in the wine space, which is something we experienced ourselves as consumers, and when we stepped into the industry. In building the brand, we hope to inspire more women of color to enter the category as both an economic power and as creative, unique voices that everyone can benefit from hearing.

We don’t come from a wine background, so it can be a challenge to get people to take you seriously. We’ve found that it’s important to partner and ground yourself with like-minded people who understand and align with your values and vision. We relied on each other and other amazing Black women in the industry who saw our potential and built a sisterhood bond to change the narrative.

What advice would you give to the next generation of Black leaders?

It's important to think outside of the box, so conventional and traditional isn't always the way — especially in business. Try to be innovative, creative, and stay ahead of the curve. Always make sure you're reading and trying to gain knowledge and learn in any way you can, no matter how successful you are.

Ask for help when it comes to understanding a concept, and don’t be afraid to ask. We learned this with Domaine Curry when we weren’t sure why some wines taste the way they do and how they’re made. We were hesitant to ask because we didn’t want to seem ignorant about wine, but once we did, we learned so much. Now, we’re not hesitant to speak up. And, trust your intuition.

How is Domaine Curry using its platform to advocate for inclusivity?

The Prisoner Wine Company and Domaine Curry are both driven by shared values of inclusivity and authenticity, and we want to increase the visibility of females and women of color – with consumers and within the wine industry. We want to reduce the stigma of carrying guilt for enjoying and romanticizing your life with a gorgeous, robust glass of wine, and the brand Domaine Curry. It was important to us to send the message of the power of taking a moment for yourself, which could be considered elegant and graceful. Domaine Curry wines are what we want them to reach for in moments of celebration and family. We hope these wines bring forth a new generation of young women that are unapologetic about reveling in life’s wins.

How do the values of Femme 31 guide your approach to winemaking and business at Domaine Curry?

The values of tending to your family and your work have completely informed how we live – obviously your priorities shift through the various seasons of life, but having work that we are committed to outside the home gives something tangible to leave as a legacy to our daughters, nieces, and future generations.

What’s your favorite wine?

It’s impossible to pick (it’s like a favorite child) – we can never resist tasting through and leading casual demos for friends of both the Founders Blend and Cabernet Sauvignon. But, for a girls’ night where conversations will run deep, the Domaine Curry Cabernet is a must. For getting outside, for everyday celebrations, and for cooking – stay tuned for our Domaine Curry Sauvignon Blanc, it’s close to our hearts.