Photo Courtesy of Dominique Pierre-Louis
Ikimi Dubose-Woodson doesn’t drink Chardonnay. “I only drink white Burgundy,” she says, adding that she occasionally makes exceptions for very special bottles from, say, Oregon. “I drink what my palate deserves.”
Dynamic, direct and incredibly funny, Dubose-Woodson is the cofounder and executive director of The Roots Fund, a nonprofit devoted to diversifying the wine industry. Leadership also includes Tahiirah Habibi and Carlton McCoy, Jr.
Education, access and mentorship are pillars of The Roots Fund’s work. Since its 2020 launch, the organization has created more than 100 scholarships for future generations of wine professionals.
“This new generation has super buying power,” says Dubose-Woodson. “Get them on your teams.”
This past April, the organization held its first charity auction gala with Zachys. Between ticket sales and an online auction, the one-night event raised some $400,000 to create new pathways to wine.
“I expect more from people,” says Dubose-Woodson. And, of course, from Chardonnay.