President and Founder, Women of the Vine
Women of the Vine began when President and Founder Deborah Brenner, researched and wrote the bestselling book, Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste, and Enjoy Wine. As a former executive and 20-year veteran of the television and film industries, Brenner was familiar with the disenchantment of working in a male-dominated industry. As she interviewed women in the wine industry for the book, her commitment to telling their stories galvanized the group as a force whose talents and collective experience could not be ignored.
To hear the full Women to Watch™ Media interview with Deborah, listen below.
Deborah Brenner graduated from the University of Delaware with degrees in English and Journalism, and was soon hired by a television and film technology company that required international travel to countries for whom wine is a part of everyday life. After over 20 years in the male-dominated field of high-end technology and owning a marketing and public relations firm, Ms. Brenner discovered during a fortuitous trip to Napa and Sonoma that many women in the wine industry – like her own – were under-recognized.
Compelled to tell their stories, she authored a bestselling collection of profiles on women in the wine industry, Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine, which Wine Spectator named a Critical Read of 2007.
Through the process of writing the book and championing its subjects, Ms. Brenner became inspired to enter the wine business herself, releasing wine from a first-of-its-kind collective of seven artisan women winemakers from Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles. For the following seven years, Ms. Brenner learned the business inside and out. Ultimately, however, all the money, blood, sweat and (a lot) of tears could not foster women in the wine industry the way Brenner had hoped, which led her to shut down the Women of the Vine wine brand and return to the drawing board.
One year later, Brenner organized the inaugural Women of the Vine Global & Spirits Symposium, held in March of 2015, which quickly sold out to 500 women from five countries. Due to the overwhelming response, Brenner and the Women of the Vine & Spirits Advisory Board went to work developing a consortium that supports professionals in the alcohol beverage industry year-round. Thus, emerged Women of the Vine & Spirits, a membership-based organization, anchored by the annual Symposium, whose mission is to empower and equip women worldwide to advance their careers in the alcohol beverage industry, fostering gender diversity and talent development across the industry at large.
Ms. Brenner has received a Rising Star Award from Women for WineSense (2008), a New York Small Business Administration Women in Business Champion Of The Year (2009), a New York City National Association of Women Business Owners Signature Award (2010), the Lillian Vernon Award for Outstanding Community Service by the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (2011), a NY Women in Communications Rising Star Award (2013), and the Rockland Business Women’s Network Woman of the Year Award (2014).
For more information regarding Deborah, check out the links below.