For Tiquette Bramlett, President of Vidon Vineyards in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Pandemic spurred her to take action.
“It’s been a slow burn,” she said. “I think because of the stereotype of what wine has been.”
Namely, that it’s been made by White men and advertised to White men. As a Black woman, Bramlett knows first hand that not all winemakers and even more consumers are neither White nor male. So, she, her mother, Charlotte Bramlett, and friends Diana Riggs and Britt Kemper founded Our Legacy Harvested, which will help match interns who are people of color with wineries both on the production side and the Direct to Consumer (DtC) side.
“If you want to get into the organization, if you’re curious about the industry, this is the organization for you,” Bramlett said.
Bramlett, herself, has worked in tasting rooms and as a brand ambassador since 2015 and became president at Vidon in 2021. In 2020, with everything shut down and the Black Lives Matter movement growing, Bramlett and her friends wanted to take action.
“We had been talking about wanting to go do something, bringing some levity to the community, but also fostering the community,” Bramlett said.
Inspiration from her past
She took her inspiration from her grandfather, who was one of the first Black general contractors in the state of California.
“I always respected the way that he would foster and mentor people,” Bramlett said. She asked him why he did and he explained that the people he chose were “Our Legacy Harvested.”
So, when Bramlett decided the time had come to foster people who looked like her in the wine industry, it was only natural to use her grandfather’s phrase.
Applications are currently open for the first group of six interns, who will work harvest 2022, with a deadline of March 15, 2022. Bramlett is working with several wineries in the Willamette Valley to find the right mentors for the interns. She expects to announce the interns and the wineries around May 7.
“I love to make wine approachable and just share how unintimidating it is,” Bramlett said.