Our Story

Vinstinct arose from a group of like-minded women and wine enthusiasts who often gathered to drink and share different wines while socializing with others, working on class assignments, or just relaxing at home. We are four friends who all come from very different backgrounds but share a common love for wine. We want to help build knowledge and awareness around wine, especially to those who are less versed in wine and may often feel intimidated to explore wine. As a team, we strive to make wine culture more approachable to new Black wine lovers by increase their understanding about wine, improving their confidence in wine selection, and building connection among others in this space.

Our Founders

Chelsea J. Stephens

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Cornell University, PhD Student in Biomedical Engineering, 2023
Syracuse University, B.S. in Bioengineering, 2015
From Los Angeles, California

Favorite Wines: Prosecco, Aglianico, Sauvignon Blanc, Barolo

Bio: Her passion for wine grew in the Summer of 2018, when she started trying different varietals all while learning how to paint and binge-watching The Office. This hobby was so cathartic for her and wine slowly became her drink of choice for every occasion. So as a true scientist and engineer, she wanted to delve more into the wine world and explore it, trying to find the most suitable wine for her palate and helping others do the same.

Apriele A. Minott

Chief Marketing Officer & Co-Founder
Cornell Law School, JD Candidate, 2021
Cornell University, B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations, 2018
From Randolph, New Jersey

Favorite Wines: Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Bio: She always enjoyed the occasional glass of wine but her passion for wine began after taking the infamous Wines course during her senior year in undergrad at Cornell University. The course introduced her to the different wine varietials and she started expanding her palate. Going to school in the Finger Lakes region, she was able to venture to different wineries which also increased her interest in wines. She hopes to share her passion for wine with others and help make the wine industry more inclusive to the Black community!

Tiffany A. Agard

Chief Financial Officer & Co-Founder
Cornell University, MPA Candidate, 2021
Harvard University, B.A. in Government, 2015
From Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite Wines: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bio: Her passion for wine first started with a glass of Merlot. It’s her mother’s favorite wine, and she orders it everywhere they go. Tiffany was so intrigued by this particular varietal, but once she started consuming wine, she found a love in Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah wines. What most intrigues her is how the terroir (particular combination of soils and microclimates) can distinctly impact the flavor of a wine. As an avid traveler, learning about new regions through tasting new varietals always brings her so much excitement! She loves learning about the parentage of grapes and how they’ve traveled the world bringing us new unique flavors and amazing stories.

Taylor D. Walker, M.Eng.

Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder
Cornell University, M.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering, 2019
University of Illinois, B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2018
From Chicago, Illinois

Favorite Wines: Merlot, Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner

Bio: Her journey into wine began when she moved to Ithaca, NY at the age of 21. As she toured the Finger Lakes wine country, she fell in love with the relaxing sensory experience that is tasting. Merlot is her current standout favorite grape varietal, which she enjoys over a round of video games and cheese snacking, but she is always exploring new wines.

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