I’ve written recently that part of the challenge the wine industry faces in selling wine to millennials is that many of that generation did not grow up in families that looked to Europe for their cultural aspirations. The wine country aesthetic is not deeply embedded in the way they think about their lives.
The only solution to that problem is to increase the visibility of people with diverse backgrounds within the industry.
Alder Yarrow at his blog Vinography had two posts last week that advance that cause.
In the first post he pointed out that people of color are under-represented in stock photography related to wine. Only about 8% of photos on IStockphoto.com responding to the search prompt “drinking wine” were tagged “black” and under 5% were tagged Hispanic/LatinX.
As Alder points out, this is despite the following facts:
- 29% of wine drinkers identity as non-white (according a Nielsen survey from 2016)
- The vast majority of grapes used in winemaking are harvested by people of color
- African Americans are among the fastest growing segments of the wine-drinking population.
And so he took on the task of recreating the iconic image above to depict the hands of a black person using AI image generation tools. Head over to Vinography to see the results. It is quite good and must have taken considerable effort given how difficult it is to represent human hands. (Human artists also struggle to represent hands.)
In a second post, Alder endeavors to list all of the African-American owned wineries in the U.S. That is still a work in progress but there is a contact form to fill out if you happen to know any that are not on the list.
These are minor events in the larger scheme of things but this is how you change a culture one step at a time.
Many thanks to Alder for putting in the effort.