Twin sisters create The Guilty Grape to break cultural norms in wine industry

The Guilty Grape founders (Photo courtesy of The Guilty Grape)

Cheers to Black women paving the way in the wine industry.

That’s exactly what twin sisters Nichelle and Nicole Nichols set out to do when they left their corporate careers in entertainment and lifestyle to create The Guilty Grape.


The Guilty Grape is a new Black-owned and women-owned wine company. Made and packaged in Napa Valley, The Guilty Grape bottles wines with fruity accents that are perfect for making every little moment a celebration.

We spoke with the Nichols sisters about breaking into the wine business as Black women.


What was your introduction to the wine business?

Nicole Nichols: Our path into wine isn’t traditional, but nothing we tend to do really is. We worked in the lifestyle and entertainment industry before going into wine. During that time, we quickly noticed that most brands only offered sweet wines to our culture, while missing those who desired more diverse varietals. We wanted to do something about that. And that something was to create The Guilty Grape — a brand that caters to, who we call, the “new American” wine drinker.

What inspired you to create The Guilty Grape?

Nichelle Nichols: As Black women and wine lovers, we became increasingly frustrated with the lack of Black representation and inclusion within the wine industry. We felt like the African American market was an afterthought, so we decided to create a wine collection that was tailored to our palate.

What offerings do you have?

Nicole: Our 2018 California Zinfandel Rosé launched last week. This is a delectable, light, red still-wine with notes of cherry, watermelon and passionfruit. The Guilty Grape Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon will be available for purchase [in] early fall of this year.

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