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Monday, April 15, 2024

Three new members join the Viticulture and Enology Executive Leadership Board

The board added members with the goal to stimulate diversity in the winemaking industry

By CHRISTINE LEE — campus@theaggie.org

The Viticulture and Enology Executive Leadership Board gained three new members: Miguel Luna, a UC Davis alumnus and the viticulturist at Silverado Farming Company, Julia Coney, the founder of Black Wine Professionals and Dwyane Wade, an NBA champion and the co-founder of Wade Cellars.

The executive leadership board as an advisory group aims to increase the competitiveness of the department within the industry and investment in research. The members on the board are all experienced in the field of viticulture and the wine and grape industries.

According to Coney, one of her aims in this position is to increase diversity within the field.

“The goal is to get more people of color to understand that there is a place for them in the wine business,” Coney said.

Wade echoed Coney’s sentiments.

“The biggest thing I want to influence is decreasing the stigma that’s associated with

wine and make it possible for more people of color to enter this industry,” Wade said via email. “The community I come from has less exposure to wine, whether it be because of the price of the bottle or the intimidation of not understanding what it is.

Wade also hopes to inspire young people to take an interest in wine making.

“Like any profession, I think it’s necessary for awareness at a young age and, while that’s a challenge because the legal drinking age is much older here than our counterparts in the old world wine regions, I’m interested in finding ways to spark an interest in the possibilities of wine business with the next generation,” Wade said via email.

Increasing awareness of this career path for students, Coney said, is a step to create change for the future of the industry.

“I want people to know, especially people of color, that right now is a great time to be in the industry,” Coney said. “It may not happen on your schedule but just know there’s a lot of people who really want to change the industry from the inside out.”

Written by: Christine Lee — campus@theaggie.org

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