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Janjo and Jancis shine light on BAME talent

Published:  01 September, 2020

Jancis Robinson OBE MW has partnered with Mags Janjo of MJ Wine Cellars to launch a website shining a light on wine talent in the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities (BAME).

The BAME Wine Professionals website, which will include those working in sales/retail, hospitality, marketing & PR, wholesale, winemaking, buying & logistics, as well as wine educators and communicators, aims to list all of the BAME wine professionals in the UK.

The aim of the initiative is to "give these individuals exposure, celebrate their talents and generally raise their profile so that they are considered when it comes to recruitment opportunities, industry events and invitation lists", said the duo.

Robinson said: “I feel strongly that BAME individuals should be better represented, celebrated and publicised in the UK wine trade and our new project aims to encourage those in a position to do so to seek out talent, and provide opportunities within communities that could well provide the wine drinkers of the future.” 

The creation of the website has been sponsored by but there would “of course be running costs involved in maintaining this not-for-profit initiative”.

“Mags and I would be thrilled if the wider wine trade would consider supporting it with donations, however small, and offers of sponsorships and mentorships,” said Robinson.

Janjo, WSET Dip who has spent his entire working life in the wine industry, added: “For me, ethnic diversity in the wine industry has been an uncomfortable and much-avoided topic. Fortunately, the wine industry and society as a whole are now giving this the spotlight it deserves. 

“My goal at BAME Wine Professionals is to unearth, celebrate and promote BAME talent in the wine industry. I strongly believe the industry will be richer and better for more diversity.”

The project already has the support of the WSTA, Sukhinder Singh of Speciality Drinks Group, Ian Harris MBE of the WSET, Ayo Akintola of Oddbins, Regine Lee MW of Liberty Wines and Women in Wine LDN and Michael Saunders, CEO of Bibendum and chairman of both The Drinks Trust and the WSTA. 

The announcement of the project comes a day ahead of the launch of The Colour of Wine – the first in a three-part online series of events aimed at raising awareness of the contribution of people of colour in the drinks trade.

Pictured: Osbert (Oz) Drake and Theo Condor of the Waitrose Wine Team. 

© Fiona Hanson for Waitrose