Actress Cameron Diaz and entrepreneur Katherine Power‘s story starts with a glass of wine and ambition. Last summer, the business partners introduced their organic wine label Avaline, a brand that challenged the rules of winemaking.
Diaz tells ABC Audio she met the fashion mogul through sister-in-law Nicole Richie, and said the idea for Avaline first came about when the two were drinking wine in her kitchen one weekend.
“We started talking about the fact that everything in our life has gotten healthier,” recalled Power, which led to them researching what was in their wine after noticing there were no ingredients listed on the label.
The Career Code author continued, “Wine is one of the only consumables where there are no nutrition facts, no ingredient lists. And really that just set us off on a personal journey to first understand the wine process.”
Understanding that process was “very challenging,” notes Diaz, because “it was a new language we had to really understand.” The two used any and every resource available to them, including physically knocking on doors, to build their networking relationships and learn how to survive in the complex wine industry.
“I know how to build a business. But this [industry] is just completely different,” says Power, who is the co-founder of Who What Wear, “from the laws and regulations, the licensing to how you actually sell product into a retailer. It’s different than any other category. So that was more challenging to us than anything.”
In addition, the two broke from traditional winemaking practices by wanting to offer a clean, organic wine that is transparent about its ingredients.
“We got a lot of push back in the beginning, from the industry, as far as telling us ‘This is how you do it,"” the Golden Globe nominee reveals, “Because it’s been set up a certain way for so long for very clear reasons. But we decided that we were just going to… take it as far as we could.”
Power credits their partnership with Abbott Wolfe, who is now CEO of their company, as well as those who “saw the opportunity” in their venture, for helping Avaline get off the ground.
“We really did have to find the people who understood that [we were] doing it differently,” Diaz reflects.
Power added with a wide smile, “We created the opportunity for ourselves and we did it. And we had so much fun.”
Two years after that fateful glass of wine in Diaz’s kitchen, Avaline was unveiled in July 2020. Power says the rollout was pushed back “a few months” because of the pandemic.
“[We wanted to] get to a moment where we felt it was appropriate to talk about something new that we were offering,” she says.
As they head into celebrating Avaline’s first anniversary, Power notes how their brand has “exceeded every expectation that we have had” and that they are “excited for the future.”
“We’re just getting started,” she teases, referencing that the two recently come out with a sparking rosé.
Both have enjoyed their transition into becoming full time winemakers, with Diaz revealing that her new profession, is “a lot less time consuming at this point because making movies is pretty much the most time consuming thing that you could possibly do with your time!”
“[It’s] nice to be able to contribute and be a part of creating something and putting some a product into the world that I’m really proud of and… really believe in,” she furthers, adding that it “doesn’t require me to be away from home for months on end [doing] 16 hour days.”
As for Power, she feels “very comfortable” after learning the ins and outs of her new venture, adding, “It’s just been a lot of fun to do with a friend.”
It should be of note that on the back of every bottle of Avaline is a toast that reads: “To friendship,” because, as Diaz smiles, that is what their brand was “born out of.”
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