Frances Gonzalez Builds Vegan Wine Empire

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Frances Gonzalez is the President of Vegan wines and CEO of Despacito Distributors, a wine import and distribution company.

By working with Vegan Wines and Despacito Distributors, Frances was able to acquire differentiated expertise in the wine industry. However, her background goes deeper as she is also a member of Women of the Vine & Spirits, where she helps coordinate events that support an environment for women’s engagement in the wine industry.

A longtime vegan and wine expert, Frances founded Vegan Wines based on her own difficulties finding and choosing a wine that was 100% animal-free. The idea for vegan wines was born in France. During a wine tasting, Frances heard her guide say the words “egg whites” and her ears went up. For the first time she learned that animal products are often involved in winemaking, especially during the fertilization and fining processes, which means the end product is not vegan.

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Routinely frustrated trying to order vegan wine in restaurants or finding pet-friendly bottles in stores, Frances is now trying to make the selection process easier for everyone – vegans, eco-conscious wine lovers, and those looking for more transparency about what they drink.

Prior to the pandemic, Frances traveled to wineries around the world to sample and select wine for vegan wines, to ensure that winemaking methods were completely animal product free before asking companies to partner with vegan wines. Since the pandemic, Frances has turned her business around and found a way to keep sourcing these wines while “zooming” in with her contacts in Italy’s winery fields.

Frances also has extensive experience in the vegan industry, having founded VegFest Puerto Rico, a festival that focuses on creating a community where a variety of vegan foods and products can be enjoyed. She is also a vegan mentor at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary and a vice president at the Misfits Pet Orphanage.

For more information on vegan wines, see www.veganwines.com

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