Lift black voices, and more ways to celebrate Black History Month

As Theodora Lee, Owner and Vintner, Theopolis Vineyards pointed out in Forbes this summer, “there has been an outpouring of support for Black winemakers, Black winery owners and Black wine professionals. Let’s hope this outpouring of support can be sustained, and is not just a moment, but a momentum.”

To continue to raise awareness of black voices in our community, and to give you more ways to celebrate Black History Month, we encourage you to check out the resources below. A particular note for wineries and growers, The Oregon Wine Board has promoted the free Starbucks “To Be Welcoming,” series to their community, and they are hosting thoughtful seminars on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the upcoming 2021 Oregon Wine Symposium.

Beyond monetary transactions, a crucial way to support Black-owned businesses is to listen to the experts in their fields who are changing the status quo—leaders who seek ways to make sustained, meaningful change within their wheelhouse.

We hope to learn more from what Oregon, and others such as Mags Janjo and Jancis Robinson, are doing as we strive to be a part of the momentum in support of black wine professionals worldwide.



The hospitality leaders at Starbucks have worked with experts at Arizona State University to create a 15-course curriculum, designed to address bias through understanding the human experience and are offering this program to all at no charge. This is a great opportunity to learn to better understand others and deepen our connections to all our visitors so that as an industry we return stronger than ever with our hospitality when social distancing ends we can again welcome visitors to our great wine regions.



Wine Spencer (WS), two bold wine-loving sisters who recently launched a contemporary wine tasting events company, today announced distinct new initiatives in honor of Black History Month.

To celebrate Black History Month, Wine Spencer will be donating part of the proceeds from their exclusively created Black-Owned Winemakers and Female Winemakers classes to help support the next generation of Black and female wine professionals.



The Black Lives Matter movement is at the forefront of so many of our minds, especially during Black History Month. However, it’s important that even after February 28, we continue to support Black people in every field and, not only with our words, but also with our actions and dollars. Buying from Black-own businesses is crucial, and it’s something that can be done no matter what you’re looking to purchase, even a bottle of wine.



The world of wine is not exactly known to be a diorama of diversity. In fact, a survey of more than 3,100 professionals in the industry published last year by wine news website SevenFifty Daily revealed that 84 percent of respondents were white, with 2 percent identifying as Black or African.

When Dorothy Gaiter, who co-wrote the Wall Street Journal’s weekly wine column from 1998-2010 with her husband, John Brecher, published her essay “Being Black in the White World of Wine” on the same website in June 2020, she stated that “the wine world as a whole lives on its curated image of an exclusive club, with gatekeepers male and female. White.”

New York Wine & Grape Foundation

New York Wine & Grape Foundation

The mission of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation is to promote the world-class image of New York grapes and wines from our diverse regions to responsibly benefit farmers, producers and consumers through innovative marketing, research, communication, and advocacy.