Amigas, we are honored to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans during Black History Month. It is one of the most important cultural heritage months on the calendar and a time to remember the continued struggle for racial equality in our country. While we know this celebration cannot possibly eradicate 400 years of systemic racism, we stand with those that are committed to undoing racism, advocating for justice, and combating inequality in our society.
Some Progress Made, But Much More Needs to Be Done
As in all sectors of our economy, people of color are vastly underrepresented in the wine industry. While improvements have been made since the outcry for justice following the murder of George Floyd last summer, there is still so much to be done. People of color comprise one-third of the drinking population and are the fastest growing demographic in our economy, yet there is no where near that kind of representation in the industry. Some wine companies have pledged to support black wine professionals, create diversity and inclusivity programs, and invest in black-owned labels but we need to continue to push for more. This can’t be just a passing trend.
What You Can do to support Blacks in Wine
As wine lovers and professionals, don’t let this Black History Month pass without trying to make a lasting commitment. Here are some concrete ways you can raise your glass for good: buy wine from black winemaker or proprietors; employ more black wine professionals; source more wine from winemakers of color; engage with and educate wine lovers of color; and hold your retailers accountable for making more wine from people of color more readily available. In total, these actions will help normalize Blacks in wine and not relegate their contributions—or wines—to niche areas of our industry—or the wine store.
Ready to say “cheers” to change? Check out our recent Instagram posts for our featured Black wine makers or visit this link for a list.
Salud Amigas! Your Jefas in Vino, Martha and Erlinda