The genesis of the exciting new brand of sparkling wine known as ACCA Effervescent Nectars came to founder Chris Chester was an epiphany he had while sitting in a corporate meeting back in 2012 listening to others talk about champagne and the marketing of it.

Chester, who comes from a marketing background, and studied at Rutgers University, had simply heard enough and said to himself, “You know what, I can do this!”

What he was talking about was creating and selling a unique brand of sparkling wine, what all champagnes really are, that could compete with the big brands out there. Chester was especially motivated because he knew black and brown people were huge consumers of sparkling wine and big name liquors, like Moet and Hennesy, yet all that money being spent was leaving the community and going to people far away and who looked nothing like them. This was especially brought home when some executives at Kristal were caught on tape not long ago disrespecting black people. Yet black people and black celebrities put so much money into their coffers.

So the idea for ACCA was not only born from the confidence of its founder, Chris Chester, it also came to be due to Chester’s desire to be a beacon for people who usually don’t own or control resources or industry.

“ACCA is for everybody but I particularly wanted to build black excellence. I wanted to create a top notch product, fully black-owned, in a space that we don’t usually have ownership in,” Chester said.

Chester was tired of watching the money in the black and brown community leave it at such a rapid rate compared to other communities.

“It goes so deep it’s frustrating that others own everything in our community” he said. “We are consumers unfortunately.” 

Chester was referring to the fact that in the black and brown community a dollar will leave the community very fast as the money is spent in establishments and on products that go to manufacturers and store owners who live and build outside the community. This is very different in many other ethnic communities, like the Asian community or the Jewish community, where a dollar recirculates in those communities many times before leaving.

All this was in Chester’s mind that day back in 2012 and he knew then that he wanted to play a part in building excellence in the black and brown community while creating something for everyone. He had worked in the champagne business for a while so he knew it well. And since he was looking for a space that was seeing tremendous growth but was not yet saturated, champagne, or sparkling wine, fit that bill. It was perfect for him.

ACCA was born. But Chester knew that ACCA had to be different and it had to be good, not just any sparkling wine out there. He had long been a consumer of champagne so he knew the tastes well. He set out to create something excellent, that could exist for many generations and that was distinguished from the rest, including the top brands. So he created a new category altogether.

““I wanted to do something that’s different. Something that’s inspirational. I was going to take everything I knew and put it into this. I was on a mission to create something iconic, something generational. ACCA is the first exotic line of effervescent nectar to the market in a world of sparkling wines,” Chester says. He worked hard to figure out the exact taste profile he was after, working closely with experts in the field, and finally landed on the taste and flavor that he knew would distinguish his brand in the marketplace. ACCA Sorél Demi-Seco was born. It is a sparkling wine infused with sorrel, a burgundy nectar derived from the hibiscus flower and well known in the Caribbean for its delicious taste. It is the first effervescent nectar.

While ACCA is wholly black owned, Chester partnered with wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York to create the taste and he his already looking at wineries in the wine country of California as well. It is sold primarily through a network of stores in New York right now but of course as the product takes off, Chester will expand the market across the country and eventually internationally.

It is amazing what can come from one aha moment sitting in a corporate meeting.

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