Up until now, our values at SommSelect have been centered around the qualities we seek in the wine we sell: authenticity, craftsmanship, and value. We recognize that in order to be a part of building a more racially diverse and socially sustainable wine business, those values alone are not enough. Going forward, SommSelect will actively extend a hand to welcome those previously overlooked and underappreciated by the wine industry. We have reevaluated the founding tenets of our business and resolved to apply the following core commitments to all we do moving forward:
The Voices We Amplify
We must take more initiative to actively diversify the perspectives we share on our platform. We commit to changing that in immediate and tangible ways by engaging, featuring, and elevating the voices of BIPOC wine professionals currently working as producers, sommeliers and writers in the industry today. We do not wish to commodify these voices, and will lead with the intent of creating a strong, mutually beneficial working relationship founded on respect and fair pay. Expect to see a more diverse cast of voices contributing to our social media, daily offers, and content going forward.
The Wines We Taste
At SommSelect, we hold the wines featured on our site to the highest possible standards. On average, only 5% of the wines we taste end up as Daily Offers. However, this emphasis on discernment and quality does not take into account the systemic inequity that exists across who produces, sells, imports and distributes wine today. As a result, many of the bottles we taste do not accurately reflect the diversity we know currently exists, nor the diversity wewantto see in the industry. We pledge to actively seek out and taste wines currently being made by producers of color, as we work to improve diversity in the industry overall. Without changing our rigorous standards of quality, we look forward to representing a more inclusive set of producers in our store and daily offers.
The People We Hire
One of the most immediate ways we can begin to dismantle racial inequity in the wine industry is through diversifying our own team. We are committed to building an internal team that encompasses the fullest definition of diversity, equity and inclusion across a spectrum of identities, abilities and points of view. We vow never to tokenize team members for the diversity they bring, but rather to uplift and celebrate their voices as essential perspectives in a healthy wine industry. We are actively recruiting and hiring for a range of positions and welcome great candidates to apply through our website.
The Resources We Share
In 2020, we launched our annual SommSelect Wine Education Fellowship. The intent of the Fellowship is to lower the barriers of entry that prevent so many passionate BIPOC from pursuing a career in wine through one-on-one mentorship and career guidance from Master Sommelier Ian Cauble and world-renowned Sommelier DLynn Proctor (Fantesca Estate & Winery); an all-expenses paid trip to the Napa Valley; $2,500 toward any wine education program or certification of their choosing; and a year's subscription to the SommSelect wine club of their choosing. Applications for 2021 are now open. Please click here to apply.
These four steps are the beginning of many–we understand that diversity is not a destination. We commit to accountability and transparency about our progress and keeping our community informed; please follow us on social media, opt in to our emails, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to give feedback if you feel so inclined. We thank you for your patience and look forward to creating a more equitable company and industry with your continued support.