Three LGBTQ+ Wine Pros Making a More Inclusive Industry

Theresa Heredia, winemaker at Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery / Photo by Will Bucquoy

During June, a variety of wine and beverage brands launch campaigns or products wrapped in rainbows to support LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations around the globe. But LGBTQ+ folks who work in wine carve out accepting spaces and open doors all year long.

Read on to get to know three LGBTQ+ members of the wine community who help to create a more inclusive industry from different segments of the wine world.

Theresa Heredia

Winemaker, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery

A lesbian woman, Heredia has long offered support to programs within the LGBTQ+ community, both on her own and in conjunction with California’s Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery. One of the most notable efforts has been their joint involvement with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of America’s leading LGBTQ+ civil rights organizations.

While the winery has contributed wine and funds to HRC over the years, Heredia has conducted tasting and educational seminars, and has spoken at events held by the group.

Will Ferguson, wine writer and influencer
Will Ferguson, wine writer and influencer / Photo by Jonna Michelle

Will Ferguson

Wine writer/influencer, Queerwino

Tackling diversity issues, discrimination and wine tasting with equal enthusiasm on their Instagram feed, @Queerwino, Ferguson strives to make both the virtual and actual wine world a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals. Ferguson, who’s genderqueer, holds a Level II certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and is training to become a buyer at Locavino, a wine bar and shop in Silver Spring, Maryland. During Pride Month, LGBTQ+ wine professionals become the focus of Queerwino’s social platforms.

Gary Saperstein, owner of Out in the Vineyard
Gary Saperstein, owner of Out in the Vineyard / Photo by Kingsly Hurley

Gary Saperstein

Owner, Out in the Vineyard

A wine country event and tour company in Sonoma County, California, Out in the Vineyard provides private itineraries, group tours and virtual events to LGBTQ+ wine lovers. But while Saperstein arranges these experiences exclusively for guests, he isn’t focused solely on benefitting these individuals.

Before Stonewall, There Was Julius’, NYC's Oldest Gay Bar

In the past decade, the business has raised $400,000 for the Face to Face Sonoma County AIDS Network and lent additional support and/or funds to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, Outfest, San Francisco AIDS Foundation and more.

Published on June 1, 2021
Topics: Wine and Ratings