by Jill Osur, Founder and CEO
Teneral Cellars was founded because I had a deep yearning to work from my why, which is to elevate women and inspire change. I’ve always been socially minded, and in the midst of COVID-19 and the social unrest in our country, I began to feel a strong pull to have my work reflect my passion for change.
As a veteran in the male dominated wine industry, I also wanted this company to change the industry, so that it would reflect its largest customer, women. Female winemakers make up only 10% of the industry, and black winemakers only 0.1%. Female sommeliers still make 70 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts, and yes, there are women working in tasting rooms, but when you look at the industry as a whole, there are very few women in leadership positions and even fewer women of color. Yet, almost 70% of wine is purchased by women and the industry doesn’t reflect its largest customer.
The dragonfly logo represents the transformation I want to see in the world and reminds us to be the light. I chose the name Teneral because it’s when a dragonfly comes out of its cast, it’s in it most vulnerable state where its wings are colorless and it can’t fly, and within a few days its wings gain full color and the dragonfly can spread its wings and take off with amazing power and grace, or grit and grace. This represents all women to me.
We all have the power within us, we just have to claim our power, spread our wings, and take off with incredible power and grace. Everything we have created is with intention and on purpose to help create the transformation we want to see. By purchasing, gifting, and consuming Teneral Cellars wines you are part of this change and what we call #TheDragonflyEffect: the cumulative results of small actions that lead to massive transformation.
As a certified WBENC business, we are proudly women-founded and run. From payment processing to marketing, label-printing to shipping, all of the vendors and suppliers Teneral Cellars works with are women and minority owned companies. We sustainably farm and produce our award-winning wines to minimize the impact to the environment, and to ensure the high standards of our final product. These practices include using free range sheep and goats to control weeds, plastic free packaging, no pesticides, and dry farming to conserve water for some of our vineyards.
I believe that when you open a bottle you open the necessary conversation. That’s why 10% of all profits go to organizations working to create a more equitable future and fight for gender and racial equality. Last year we donated $51,500 to organizations including the National Women's Law Center, World Central Kitchen, Generation W, Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, and the Endometriosis Foundation of America to name a few. In 2022, we have partnered with The Billie Jean King Leadership Foundation in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX with our All in Zin and The Perfect Match Collection, and with Supermajority and The National Network of Abortion Funds with our Ruthless Collection. This collection aims to change the trajectory of this country in the wake of The Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v Wade. With this collection we encouraged our audience to hold a “Ruthless” party to further the conversation around women’s rights, and to demand that our lives are safe, our bodies are respected, our work is paid for, our families are supported, and our government represents us, the majority.
We cannot simply sit on the sidelines, waiting for change to happen. The only way we can make an impact, empower women, and shift the wine industry and our country is to speak out and take action. It will take each and every one of us. To scale Teneral Cellars and to democratize the flow of capital, we are doing a community equity raise through a WeFunder campaign so that we can bring national awareness to our wines and causes by growing our wholesale channel and exponentially growing Teneral Cellars over the next few years. We are also on track to acquire a new tasting room and gathering venue in 2023 so we can do more intentional events around the issues that matter most. Over the last 20 years, wine investments have outperformed the S & P 500, the DOW and even gold. Women can choose to invest their dollars in products that give back to women.
Working from my why drives everything I do and it inspired our latest collection, appropriately named The Why Collection. We believe it is important to call out that we should all be working from our why. It helps us to stay the course when things get bumpy, and to check in with ourselves, that we are still on the right path. The Why Collection includes a reserve merlot, a chardonnay, and a dessert wine, with 10% of profits going back to Women of the Vine & Spirits scholarship program to support women in wine. We include conversation starters on the back of our wines and for The Why Collection they include, “What is your why?” and “What have you done to support and elevate women?”
We encourage women to share their values with the wines they drink and the wines they give. Wine brings people together. Our bottles start conversations and prompt important dialogue that supports progressive changes toward a more equitable future for all women.