As it turns out, I decided to make my "wish" for 2018 from the GuildSomm 2017 Year in Review podcast come true: I'm planning a day-long forum that opens up a conversation surrounding those who identify as women in the wine industry. The event is called Bâtonnage, and it's happening July 28 in Napa (SAVE THE DATE!).
Our intention is to educate wine professionals, as well as consumers and wine industry supporters, on the unique challenges and opportunities that women in the field – winemakers, vineyard workers, writers and marketers, salespeople, sommeliers, collectors, and drinkers – have faced both historically and present-day; we simultaneously seek to propose pragmatic solutions for charting a positive, inclusive course forward.
We're working on content and brainstorming panel topics right now. There is SO much to include, it will likely have to spill into an annual event ;) but we would love to hear from you about what topics you'd enjoy hearing discussed. Thoughts??
Great, Stevie! This is something we've all been talking about - openly and clandestinely both, I think. I know that there is also a group in the Bay Area called Women of the Vine & Spirits...have you been in contact with them?
Amazing, Stevie. Thank you!
First, this is awesome!!! Great job making this happen.
Second, since you're asking for suggestions, I think a women of color panel would be appropriate to highlight some of the amazing women who have their own unique set of challenges in this industry.
In two weeks, the Hotel Council of San Francisco is putting on a Women in Leadership Forum at the Fairmont. It seems like there will be some interesting panel discussions that are equally relevant to the wine industry. I think there will be lots of ideas coming out of the conversations taking place there. Happy to meet up with you there if you will be attending.
This is wonderful, Stevie! I am so sad to miss it, as it is the same weekend as the International Pinot Noir Celebration. Otherwise, I would definitely fly down. Can't wait to see what it can be. My wine ladies and I here in Portland frequently have get togethers and always ask how we can turn our informal wine sessions into something productive for women in the industry. Let me know if there's any way we can support from afar!
Stevie, I think this is great! Kosher shabbat people can't come on Saturdays. I do hope this continues and that we can do it on other days.
Hi Molly! Thanks! Yes, I've reached out to them and many others (e.g. Wine Women, etc.) with similar missions. It's so great to have so many of us working toward common goals.
Thank YOU for much of the inspiration!
Yes! We have a number of women of color lined up as panelists--these voices are particularly crucial to the conversation.
Hi Patrick, thanks for the lead! Can you message me with some more information so I can see if I can make it? Would love to.
Thanks Stacey! Yes, it was a challenge scheduling a date with our industry having so many existing events... it's like we're a social industry, or something ;) And I'm really sad to miss so many folks who will be at IPNC; I know that event is incredible. If you know folks (any gender!) in the area who would be interested in attending, send them along to batonnageforum.com!
Further, we are looking for partners to sell t-shirts (and maybe tote bags) with our awesome logo on it to help spread the word about the cause in general. If you know folks in Portland that would be interested, let's connect!
Thanks for the feedback, Alicia! It's SO hard finding a date that works for everyone :( but my hope is definitely that we can grow this into an annual event and maybe someday even have events on both coasts (and in between?!); we'll try to get everyone involved somehow. I'm also hoping I can find an organization to partner with that could record (visually or audibly) the event so we could post the conversations online for folks to experience after the event. Stay tuned.
It would be great to see some panels or discussions from female pioneers on how they got to where they are. Maybe some topics could include how to be taken seriously in the field, how to find your path in the industry, how to seek mentorship, how to build your brand, how to find scholarships and write resumes or personal marketing collateral in such as way as to be taken seriously. If I think of some others I will post, those are just the top of my head.
I would love to attend, please keep us posted! I saved the date in my calendar.
Thank you Jeremy!