Image courtesy of Foundry 503
“Wine just resonates with me. It goes much deeper than what we just put on the table,” says Tiquette Bramlett, president of Vidon Vineyard. The Willamette Valley winery announced her appointment in 2021, making her the first Black woman to oversee an Oregon winery.
Bramlett didn’t always know she wanted to be in wine.
From a very young age, Bramlett was drawn to music. So, in college, she majored in vocal performing. Part of training was to perform in front of real audiences throughout the city. While performing at local Italian restaurants, Bramlett noticed that not only was she excited about performing, but she was also really interested in the wine they were serving. “I really became fascinated with the history and stories behind the wines,” she says.
After graduating from college, Bramlett was diagnosed with cancer, which was the turning point in her career.
While in treatment, Bramlett learned all she could about wine from a book her mother gave her. Once cleared by her doctor, Bramlett decided she wanted to work within the industry and started taking classes.
After becoming a certified sommelier, Bramlett started working in wineries throughout Willamette Valley as a tasting room associate and brand ambassador. While not having many people who looked like her in Oregon was challenging at times, she says she was fortunate to have started her career with a supportive wine community.
“Having allyship is really important and empowering,” says Bramlett.
That’s why in 2020, she launched Our Legacy Harvested, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity in Oregon’s wine industry. The program is for people of color who don’t necessarily have the support or resources to get started in wine but are just as passionate about it as she is.
“I want to open that door a little wider and make the industry more accessible,” she says. “If I could make the load a little lighter, help BIPOC feel supported and provide ways to help with education, then why wouldn’t I do it?”