As her brand’s name may suggest, April Gargiulo comes from a lineage of vintners. Now, she’s taking her ingredient expertise to another variety of beverages: tea.
The entrepreneur is translating her background in agriculture and skin care into a new collaboration with Tea Huntress, which consists of a bespoke blend called Oolong Radiance, available on Vintner’s Daughter’s website for $35. The plants in the tea mirror her products’ ingredient lists, with nette, alfalfa and mint serving as the base of the recipe.
Like the rest of Gargiulo’s interests, she came to tea as an enthusiast, not an expert. “I don’t know a ton about a lot of things, so I came to this loving tea, and only knowing a lot about the agriculture or winemaking,” she said. “I didn’t know all of the different methods of combining teas and flavors, and I came to the table knowing we didn’t have to follow all of the rules.”
With that in mind, Gargiulo’s own philosophical background drove her interest in tea, starting with her studies in Buddhism. “In the tea world, there’s two philosophies: the Western philosophy, that you drink tea as a pick-me-up. Then, there’s an Eastern philosophy that is about this deep connection to source, and the idea of connecting yourself with the earth,” Gargiulo said. “I came to tea through an Eastern philosophy — I studied Buddhism for many years and there was actually an entire philosophy within Buddhism surrounding tea and tea culture. That’s how I started to investigate and research and meet people.”
When she met Sarah Scarborough, founder of Tea Huntress, Gargiulo said the two instantly gelled.
“The collaboration really came about through this shared reverence for the natural world, and the connection that the botanical world allows,” Gargiulo said. “With Vintner’s Daughter, we start with some of the most powerful, nutrient-dense whole botanicals in the world, and over the course of three weeks, we capture all of their beautiful nutrition while they’re active.
“There’s this level of connection that can happen with skin care — when you open the bottle and you have a sense of the botanicals that greet you, and another layer of connection when you’re physically connecting with your skin as you’re applying it,” Gargiulo continued. “Sarah also believes in that connection when you’re brewing tea, you’re watching the leaves come to life in hot water. Then, there’s that sensorial connection when you drink the tea.”
Garguiolo’s blend also has benefits for the skin, much like her fan-favorite skin care line. “Nettle has one of the naturally highest levels of silica, and silica is incredible for skin, hair and nails. Then you have spearmint, which is an antibacterial, antifungal and great for your intestinal flora. Alfalfa has extraordinary amino acids and vitamin C. Oolong tea in general is just this extraordinary ingredient for antioxidants,” she said.
Gargiulo said Vintner’s Daughter fared well throughout the pandemic, and although she doesn’t have any products on the horizon — ”We don’t want to create your next product, we want to create the last product you’ll need,” she said — the brand just gained its carbon-neutral and green business certifications. Much like her tea, ingredients for her skin care come from “some of the most conscious growers in the world, growing plants in a way that allows them to have this incredible vibrancy and more nutrition,” she said. “Plants are the heart and soul of Vintner’s Daughter.”
FOR MORE FROM WWD.COM, SEE: