In an industry heavily dominated by white males, 2022 IPNC Board Member Tiquette Bramlett is furthering the work to ensure that Black women are recognized.
Whether you call it Black Girl Magic or Black women simply doing what they do best, one thing we all can agree on is that when tasked to show up and deliver, you can guarantee they’ll do that and more. And the display at Oregon’s 2022 International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) only solidified this.
For over thirty years, IPNC has been uniting international Pinot Noir producers, journalists, enthusiasts, chefs from all over the Northwest, and food lovers for a weekend of tasting, learning, and celebrating together in the heart of Oregon wine country. The multi-day event was a celebration for the books, and what made it even more special was the immediate sisterhood that Black women attendees formed while finding their tribe.
In an industry that is still heavily dominated by white males, it can be difficult for people of color— especially women— to find a place and community in certain wine spaces. But, 2022 IPNC Board Member Tiquette Bramlett is furthering the work to ensure we all have a place in spaces just like this.
“When I was welcomed onto the IPNC Board this year, I was thrilled with the opportunity, because there was an understanding amongst us all that IPNC has to continue to evolve and truly represent everyone that loves this varietal [Pinot Noir],” Bramlett, the first Black woman appointed to run a winery in a major U.S. wine region and founder of Our Legacy Harvested, an organization aimed at educating and empowering BIPOC communities in the wine industry, told EBONY.
In addition to the fun and fellowship that comes from sipping on some of the world’s finest still and sparkling wines for nearly 72-hours, the weekend also included informative panel sessions where industry experts and winemakers shared knowledge on the state of wine and what’s to come next.
Always commanding the room when she speaks, longtime wine journalist and expert Julia Coney, was one of the few Black women panelists of the weekend. And in true Julia Coney fashion, the former beauty editor did not disappoint.
“I started attending IPNC in 2018 as a media guest and fell in love with the event,” Coney shared with EBONY. “The IPNC team embraced my writing and my speaking on racism in the wine industry. Since then, they have consistently invited more Black people to attend as media, lead panels, and be part of the event.”
Attending an event like this can be intimidating for some. There are lots of technical terms being thrown at you, as well as the pretentiousness that can go hand-in-hand with wine. But the key is to find your tribe and cling to them. It really makes the experience 100-times better. Also, remember that you, too, deserve to be in the space.
“I understand what it feels like to be the "only" in the room, but I walk into any room asking God to help me meet my person,” Coney said. “I have met friends at this event. The key is: you have to be open. And if you don't find anyone to go with, find us online as we promote attending the event. You will have a good time. Trust me. Black women will continue to grow in the wine industry. We are out here, we are doing the work, and we are thriving in this space. It's not always easy, but it's worth it.”
From several Black women sommeliers and wine journalists down to well-respected Black-women winemakers like Chevonne Ball and Tony Lawrence— Black women absolutely shined at the 2022 IPNC. And, this is only the beginning for what can come for an event like this.
“I was saying it for most of the weekend, that more of us should be attending this event because we love wine too,” Bramlett shared. “Even if you are just getting into the wine scene, it is the perfect place to come and learn and connect with a great wine community. There are beautiful wines, endless food options from incredible Northwest chefs, and you will walk away from the weekend having learned something new while sharing laughs with new friends. IPNC is a special weekend for a myriad of reasons and being able to share it with a more diverse audience allows continued evolution of this beautiful event.”