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Unearthing and promoting BAME talent in UK wine industry

Two wine industry veterans are aiming to shine a light on the industry's black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) professionals with a new online resource.

Mags Janjo, of MJ Wine Cellars, and Jancis Robinson have launched BAME Wine Professionals as a directory of all those working in the wine sector in the UK who are black, Asian or minority ethnic. It covers all corners of the industry from sales and retail, hospitality and wholesale to winemaking, wine buying, education and marketing, and aims to celebrate people's talents, raise their profile and make them more visible to others in the industry.

It is one of the number of movements which has formed recently to promote and encourage diversity in the wine trade in the UK and US, including Black Wine Professionals in the US, @Drinklusive and Wine Unify.

The project has the support of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), Sukhinder Singh of Speciality Drinks Group, Ian Harris of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Ayo Akintola of Oddbins and Regine Lee of Libertry Wines and Women in Wine LDN.

Mags, who is WSET qualified and has spent his entire working life in the wine industry, said: "For me, ethnic diversitty in the wine industry has been an uncomfortable and much-avoided topic. Fortunately, the wine industry and society as a whole are now giving this the spotlight it deserves. My goal at BAME Wine Professionals UK is to unearth, celebrate and promote BAME talent in the wine industry. I strongly believe the industry will be richer and better for more diversity."

Jancis, whose website has sponsored the creation of the new resource, added: "I feel strongly that BAME individuals should be better represented, celebrated and publicised in the UK wine trade. Our new project aims to encourage those in a position to do so to seek out talent and provide opportunities within communities that could well provide the wine drinkers of the future."

Pictured: Osbert Drake and Theo Condor of the Waitrose Wine Team. Credit: Fiona Hanson for Waitrose.


4 September 2020 - Bethany Whymark