The wine industry pledged to improve diversity, equity and inclusivity. Has anything changed?

Thursday, 27 January, 2022
Wine Enthusiast, Stacy Briscoe
In 2020, several critical events caused the wine industry to reckon with the underrepresentation and mistreatment of marginalized groups in all sectors of the trade. The industry found itself under intense scrutiny from within and without.

Pledges were made, black boxes were posted and money was donated. After nearly two years, have “we”—the collective wine industry—made any significant changes?

Doing the Work

“We’re at the very primary version of this change, where doors are being opened and gates are being broken apart,” says Miguel de Leon, wine director of Pinch Chinese, who’s written several influential articles about social justice, equity and systemic inequalities in the wine space. But, he adds, “We run the risk of doing the bare minimum and saying that’s enough.”

There are, de Leon notes, certain areas where applied pressure has led to significant changes. “Education has—we’ve concluded that in order for us to have full ownership of the spaces we inhabit, we must create them ourselves,” he says, pointing to organizations like The Hue Society, where he sits as a council advisor, and the Roots Fund.

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The wine industry pledged to improve diversity, equity and inclusivity.
The wine industry pledged to improve diversity, equity and inclusivity.

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