Podcast – Interview with Tiquette Bramlett

In this very special episode with Tiquette Bramlett, named one of USA Today’s Women of the Yearand Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Enthusiasts 40 Under 40 Tastemakersin 2021, we discuss Tiquette’s journey from budding opera singer to tasting room associate, to founder of the Our Legacy Harvested foundation.
We got vulnerable and honest as we discussed some of the issues the BIPOC community faces, and how Our Legacy Harvested steps in and makes a difference in the wine industry.
Check below to find out how to connect with OLH and how to follow Tiquette and OLH on social media.

Our Legacy Harvested

Tiquette on Instagram
Our Legacy Harvested on Instagram

Anne Amie Vineyards
Abbey Creek Vineyard
Alumbra Cellars
Gonzalez Wine Co.
Valcan Cellars
RAM Cellars
Adelsheim

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Full episode transcript:
Ute:  Hello and welcome back to the Thru The Grapewine podcast with Ute and

Ali: Ali.

Ute: Listeners, we’re going to get right into it today because both Ali and I are sitting over here fangirling over our guest today, and it’s not just because you was named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year. We met this lady last year during the Women in Wine Oregon conference. And for me, the first thing I noticed about her is, of course, how tall she is. Being just under six feet tall myself, it’s usually what I notice first about another woman.

But then she just blew me away with her message, her strength, her wisdom, and of course all the amazing things she does, which we will cover during the interview, of course. I made the decision right then and there that someday I would approach her and ask her to be on the podcast. And here she is today.

We hope you love this episode as much as we do. So listeners, please welcome with me Tiquette Bramlet .

Tiquette Bramlett: Hello. Hello, how are you?

Ute: Oh, good. How are you?

Tiquette Bramlett: So good. I’m excited to be here.

Ute: We are excited.

Ali: Yeah, we are very excited to have you here today. Thank you for coming on to chat with us. Let’s dive right in.

Tiquette Bramlett: Let’s do it.

Ali: So, alrighty! Will you please tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, where you’re from and how you ended up working in the wine industry?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, so, my journey is a, is. I feel like, like a lot of people that get involved in the wine industry, you know, it’s a, it’s a second chapter and always something that always stayed in the picture of my entire life in one way or another.

So I am originally from California, but I was raised in an interracial family. My dad is from Holland and my mom’s family started in Arkansas and migrated on over to California when she was younger. Wine had always been a part of the picture. In one way or another. We would go one little adventures in northern California down to Paso, sometimes up to Sonoma area.

And I was always the inquisitive kid in the room with my mom. My dad was never a big drinker, but I always say he’s never met a stranger. So while he was around socializing and doing all the things, my mom was wanting to learn more about the fruit. And whenever the person behind the bar would be giving their notes of what they were tasting, I would always have to say like, “well, what do you mean when you say you’re tasting it’s strawberry? Or there’s hay. Like, is there hay that goes into the process?”

And as a result of being the inquisitive kid, my mom would get these behind the scene tours and you know, so she really loved bringing me along with them.

Ute: I love that!

Ali: Bonus for her!

Tiquette Bramlett: Right? Exactly. Exactly. But really I was really focused on music.

Music was my first love. My mom even says like, they remember me walking around in diapers singing Patsy Klein as a kid. It was just, music was always my thing. So when it came time to go to school, we had learned that I could get full rides to college with vocal performance. I never knew that that was a thing.

And, I went to college with the intention of being a vocal performance major. I majored in classical music. That was my thing. I did classical and organizational leadership and, I just loved it. I loved opera. I loved the passion behind it. I loved the drama behind it. And I always thought that that was going to be my thing.

And, you know, life decided to life, and the week, the week after I graduated from college, I got diagnosed with cancer. So with that, you know, the pivot happened. And while I was undergoing treatment, my mom gave me the Wine Bible to read. And I was reading it more as a novel versus reading it as something to learn from.

And I…

Ute: I’m getting goosebumps.

Tiquette Bramlett: But I really loved the story behind it. I loved that each varietal, each region really took me on a journey and told the story of these families. And I wanted to dive more into that. So once I had the opportunity and once my doctors had cleared me from my first round, I decided that this was the thing that I wanted to explore a little bit more.

And I just say that’s where like everything really took off for me. I started taking my Somm classes and I just fell more and more in love with the science behind it. And again, like just the journey that the fruit goes through from vine to wine. And I really wanted to figure out a way to make it accessible and to share it with everybody.

Because a lot of notes that people were saying in class I had never heard of before. I had never tasted before. So I was like, you know, “I don’t know if anybody else is tasting this, but I’m getting something reminiscent of a Hershey’s kiss.” You know, like I was giving these really obscure notes. And my instructor in my course really appreciated that because I wasn’t trying to impress him. I was being honest about my palette. And the one thing he kept reminding me of was that, that is what’s gonna resonate with people because I’m being truthful in that moment.

Ute: Yeah. You know, I really appreciate you saying this because I have found that, so I’ve worked in tasting rooms and I’ve found that my explanation of a wine sometimes did not… you know, was not exactly in line with what the winemaker would say.

Tiquette Bramlett: Right.

Ute: It was, you know, my experience and sometimes the information that I relayed to certain customers was actually exactly what they needed to hear to be able to draw something away from that wine that they hadn’t seen before.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly right. Exactly right. I feel like it’s such an important thing that we, we need to acknowledge in that space. Because it can be such an in intimidating place to step into as it is when you’re tasting wine. And when you hear people talking about the skins of fruits and all of these things, you don’t necessarily know what that is.

You’ll be fascinated by it. You’ll be intrigued by it, a hundred percent. You know, there’s almost, it’s our own egos getting the best of us in that, in that place, because we’re like, well, we don’t know. Like obviously we’re not as intelligent as this person. But I always say like, we don’t know what we don’t know.

So, you know, turn the brain off, turn that ego off, and just be honest with your palate and where you’ve grown up. Different things are going to pop out at you than they are with me, depending on the region and the country and the state that you grew up in.

Ute: Absolutely.

Tiquette Bramlett: You have to allow that to really show itself. I think it’s such an important, important part of the tasting journey.

Ali: For sure. I, I feel like I say this all the time. I know Ute does too. Everyone’s palate is different. Taste is so subjective. And so to be able to just be confident in saying, you know, “I’m tasting Hershey’s kisses”, it almost makes those tasting notes. It brings it down to an approachable level. It’s cutting out that industry jargon and it’s making it more approachable for, for people who aren’t in the industry and who are feeling intimidated by wine. Makes it a little less intimidating that, that they’re like, “oh, okay. I can say whatever I’m tasting because I might be tasting something different”, for sure.

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent. A hundred percent. Yeah. I feel like that was such an eye-opening part of the tasting journey for me. And the fact that I had such support from my instructor in that space was, was invaluable and really empowering to me. And it really helped me figure out what direction I wanted to go.

And we all kind of knew. I really appreciated production. I loved production. But I really loved being able to break down that wall, that barrier almost between consumer and the tasting experience.

Ute: Yeah, that’s great.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: So, but you started out as a, a tasting room associate, is that correct?

Tiquette Bramlett: I did. I did. Sorry, I was like, we’re going on a journey! Yeah. So, I started out part-time at a tasting room at Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, and that was because it was the first place I tasted when I came up to visit before I knew that I wanted to move to Oregon. But their wines were some of the first wines that I tasted in California that really jumped out at me.

And I knew that I wanted to go and check out that vineyard. And when I went and landed at that vineyard, I knew, I was like, I’m gonna figure out how to work here. I don’t know how, but I’m gonna figure it out. And I was standing in line at Screen Door in downtown Portland.

Ute: Oh, no way.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. And I met a gentleman standing in line who happened to be good friends with the national sales manager at Anne Amie. We ended up having breakfast together and I gave him my resume and he forwarded it onto her. And I went in for an interview the next day. And quite literally the rest is history , so.

Ali: Oh my gosh.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I moved.

Ute: That is amazing. I mean, serendipitous!

Tiquette Bramlett: Yes. Yeah. Had to listen to the universe in that moment.

Ali: Oh, for sure.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. It was a no-brainer. Moved up a month later and started working in the tasting room.

Ute: Nice.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: Wonderful.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, and that’s where my Oregon journey began.

Ute: Well, I love that.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yes.

Ali: I know you progressed from tasting room into a few other positions. You wanna tell us about the next places that you worked and positions you held in the industry?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, so I was very fortunate at Anne Amie. I had a mentor there who really did guide me through a lot of the industry and continued to promote me through Anne Amie. So I worked my way up to brand ambassador and national sales for them. And then that crazy thing from 2020 happened… I was like, we like to forget about that sometimes. Yeah. But from there I really had an opportunity to start thinking about what was next for myself and what I wanted to do.

And Bertony Faustin had an opportunity at Abbey Creek Vineyard and based in North Plains, and he was opening his downtown location and asked if I wanted to come and be a part of his team as their brand ambassador. And so I joined them in 2020 and helped get their downtown location open and we got a lot of programs in place and got all of that fun stuff going.

And then another serendipitous moment: had someone reach out and I became connected with Vidon Vineyard, currently known as Compris. And they asked if I would wanna come on and be a part of their team. And I was appointed as president of Compris Vineyard.

Ute: Woop woop!

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: Could you, for our listeners and also for me, I’ll, you know, I’m still new to the industry. I just did my first harvest in 2021.

Tiquette Bramlett: Nice.

Ali: And then left my longtime library career to go industry full-time, just not even a year ago, just last summer. So I’m still learning all the different positions too. Could you give us just a brief overview of what both a brand ambassador and a president of a winery… what, what those jobs entail?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, so brand ambassador, I like to say their job is to spread the good news of the brand. So we get to go to all of the events and do elevated tastings and private experiences across the country and at the vineyard as well. So I was responsible for doing private tours. And hosting distributors, all of that fun stuff.

But any big food and wine event, tasting events across the country, things like that. I was responsible for going to and, and selling the brand and getting people excited about our wines and getting people to come out to the Willamette Valley and enjoying their time with us here in Oregon as well.

Ali: Nice. So kinda like the hype woman.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly!

Ali: Ok. Ok.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly. Yeah. So, it’s a lot of fun because I love Oregon, and I love getting people excited about our state and what we’re doing here, especially in the wine industry, I think is really special. And you know, it’s not so much a hidden gem anymore now that we’re in certain articles, in certain pieces.

Ute: Right.

Tiquette Bramlett: But…

Ali: Hello Time Magazine!

Tiquette Bramlett: Right. Exactly!

But I really do think we just have such a special place here and it’s so different from other regions that anytime I can brag about it and get people to come out and get a little glimpse of the magic, I will always, always get people to come out and enjoy our area.

Ute: I love that.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Yeah!

Ali: So then for president of a winery, is it a lot of the similar things or day-to-day overseeing stuff?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I mean, it can look a little similar. I think the beauty of being a part of a boutique winery is that I was able to have my hands in everything, which was really nice. So quite literally, from vine to wine, I was a part of the process, which was incredibly exciting for me.

I got to not only participate in harvest, but really be able to break down what it looks like and what we’re gonna be planting and you know, what production’s gonna look like for us. But then, you know also what story we wanna tell nationally and beyond, you know? And how we want to get people excited and really being able to talk about what our story is.

Because again, I think that that’s a special facet of what we have here in the Willamette Valley, is you have a lot of these smaller brands that have beautiful and interesting stories, and I really wanted to figure out how we could really honor that and honor the land as well. And they really did give me the keys to say, you know, “let’s, let’s figure out how we wanna share that and, and really publicize who we are and what we’re about. And, you know, brag about our community!”

We’re, Compris, is based out in Newberg. And Newberg is a really special town and it’s undergoing a lot of development right now. And it’s been really fun to, be able to share that story as well. And just really, you know, honor community.

Ali: Yeah. That… that’s really great.

I, I also hold Newberg special in my heart. I just moved here a year ago, so .

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh, well, welcome!

Ali: My husband and I relocated from Portland, so…

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh, you did the move. You did the move. Congratulations.

Ute: Yeah. She’s trying to get me to move out to Newberg now too.

Ali: I want her closer.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Slowly but surely. I always tell people, never say never. I thought that I would never live out here and, you know, here I am.

Ali: Exactly.

Ute: Yeah. You know what? I definitely, I’m definitely feeling the pull… just because it, you know… and I live in Tigard and I love Tigard! But I really like the idea of being more central to the wine country rather than on the edge of it.

Because everywhere that I wanna go is always, you know, I always have to hop onto the 99 and drive out to Newberg, at the very least!

Tiquette Bramlett: Right. Yeah, it’s a magical place. It really is.

Ali: Yeah. And like Tiquette said, the, the neighborhood or the community here in Newberg, it’s something that we found, my husband and I found very welcoming right away when we, we moved from St. John’s. I grew up, before moving out to Oregon, I grew up in a really small town. And so I, I like to say that Newberg has given me my, my “big” city, but with a very small town feel. So, you just, you can walk the, the main strip, just like in McMinnville, you walk that, that main street right down the center of, of the town, and it feels like a small town, but there’s, you know, a couple thousand people more than my hometown of 5,000 people. So…

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Maybe slightly bigger. Slightly bigger!

Ali: Yeah. Yeah.

Ute: The big city. I love it.

Ali: I digress.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly. I love it. .

Ali: So former brand ambassador, former president of a winery. You say, I know you work with, Assemblage here in Oregon, and I know you do work with various organizations and, and different boards here.

But because that wasn’t enough for you, you also decided to start a nonprofit organization called Our Legacy Harvested. We have mentioned it here on the podcast before, but, we’ll, we’ll definitely chat a little bit deeper on that. But my, my first question is, that’s a lot of things on your plate.

How, how do you stay organized? I, I’m a big organization person. How do you stay organized with all of these commitments?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Not always successfully. I definitely do my best. I am very fortunate that with Our Legacy Harvested, we have an amazing team that helps me with that. There are seven women on that board that are phenomenal and doing incredible things in their own rights, but also chose to give their time to our legacy harvested, which I am endlessly grateful for.

But also, I live and die by my calendar, which so many of my friends would laugh hearing that now because they’re like, “she has a calendar. This is crazy!” It has really made a big difference for me because I have been able to quite literally schedule time for myself.

Ali: Oh, that’s wonderful.

Tiquette Bramlett: And that time is blocked out. And so that has allowed me to really say like, this time is my time, and be unapologetic about it because it’s scheduled on the calendar. You know, like it can’t be…

Ali: Brava!

Tiquette Bramlett: Right? ,

Ali: I, I’m over here. I’m, I don’t wanna like deafen in people, but I’m over here like silently clapping, because you hear so many people, they’re like, “oh, you know, just put it on your calendar, block it off, and if you see it, then you have to do it.”

And it’s so much easier said than done, but I am… good on you like to actually go through with it. I, I need to have some, some of that skill rub off on me over here. So…

Tiquette Bramlett: I mean, I, I will not lie. It did, it took time to get, to get to this place. But honestly, I think me having to juggle my treatments on top of work, it was really important for me to figure out time for me.

Because in the beginning I considered my treatment time, my time, and there was some conversation amongst my circle of friends where they were like, “that’s not you time, that’s medically required. Like you have to have that done. That is not time for you to decompress because you’re still having to do something and it’s still wearing on your body. You need to be able to do something that is restorative for yourself and something that brings you peace.” Right?

Ali: Yes.

Tiquette Bramlett: And so again, it took me time. I think that was part of the gift of the pandemic, where I quite literally couldn’t do anything and because of the fact that I had to be quarantined and isolated from folks it gave me time to start figuring that out and what that would look like in my calendar to also where I wouldn’t feel guilty about it.

That was really important for me too. I didn’t wanna feel that guilt and, I have figured it out in a way now that works for me. People know that there are periods where they’ll look at my calendar and they know that that part is clearly blocked out, so there’s not gonna be any reaching out and saying like, “is there any way we could fit in at this time slot that you already have blacked out?”

They know that that is, that’s my time and… Yeah. It’s, it’s invaluable for all of us, right? Like, I think having that time to, that restorative time is so important and we. We don’t treat ourselves necessarily the way that we need to. Especially as women, we have that guilt. So,

Ute: Oh my gosh. All the time. And, and you know, I also, I have three kids and you know, now they’re all grown up and it’s great. But I think back to some of the times when I made everything for everyone perfect.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Yeah.

Ute: And it went down to, you know, we’d have a special breakfast with like crepes and cream and berries and whatnot, and I always mess up the first crepe always.

That was like a rule. . Well, guess who ate the messed up crepe? It was me.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. I was like, mom did. Yeah.

Ute: It’s everybody else. My husband and my kids got the beautiful food and I took whatever was not great.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: When, when it came to experiences and hobbies and time, it was all about everybody else and I was, you know, a little bit of an afterthought. And I think there’s definitely, like you said, as women, we are much more guilt ridden about just about everything that we do. And, and for me to come out on the other side of that, you know, now that I do have an empty nest and I do take that time for myself and I say, and I do it unapologetically.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yes.

Ali: Mm-hmm.

Ute: It’s all of a sudden I’m going, “wow! I had to be 48 to do that?”

Tiquette Bramlett: But honestly you gave me chills just hearing that. Simply because I watched my mom go through that evolution. Really being unapologetic. Oh, it gets me emotional. Sorry, I get too that every time, but witnessing her being unapologetic and living her life and rediscovering herself. It’s made, in my opinion, all of us fall in love with her even more. You know? I watch my dad love her in a whole different way, but it’s one of those things like, you know, I, people that know my mom love her. She’s a shining beacon in everybody’s life, but being able to witness her really just live out loud and live her life. It has been so fun because we’ve always known that she’s amazing, but now the rest of the world gets to see that too, and I love it.

Ute: That’s, that’s wonderful.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Being the daughter, I think it’s beautiful to witness. Yeah!

Ute: Yeah!

Ali: Yeah!

Ute: Yeah. For sure.

Ali: I, I’m loving this whole conversation around, basically what it boils down to is being unapologetically you.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: In whatever capacity that is. And, and setting those boundaries, and I’m just, I’m really loving that because I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I do birthday resolutions, but on New Year’s I will pick a word that I want to work on embodying for myself for that year.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: And my word for 2023 is unapologetic. And so like, I have chills during this whole thing cuz it’s like, oh, I, I, maybe the universe is like, “Hey, you picked the right word. Good on you!”

Ute: Yeah!

Tiquette Bramlett: I was like, that is affirmation for sure.

Ali: So, yes. This, this is, I’m already just, this conversation is so elevated for me just because of this too, so, yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh, I love it. I love it.

Ute: Love it, too!

Ali: Thank you for sharing.

Ute: Okay. But let’s move this forward just a little bit cause we do wanna talk about Our Legacy Harvested, of course. And I’d really love for you to tell us how you came up with the idea and then actually put it into action.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, so Our Legacy Harvested has been something that I have thought about really since my third year in the industry.

There were things going on that I was just noticing in community and just in the world where I knew that people that looked like me really loved wine. We would have conversations and, but I never saw us in the space. And it was something that always stood out to me and bothered me. And I just, I wanted to get to the root of why? And when I would ask the questions, you know, in our tasting rooms especially, people would always just lean back to, “well, you know, Oregon’s history and, you know, there’s not a lot of people of color that, that live in the state.”

And, and I was like, yeah. But it’s beyond that. You know, I, I moved from another state to come and work in this industry. And you know, a big question that I would always get was if I was safe in the space. And again, I was fortunate to hear and have support in my immediate community, but occasionally there were incidents.

But again, I had support to lean on and people that would hear my concern and hear about my incident and go and defend me. Right? So I had somebody empowering me in the backend when 2020 happened and we really got isolated during that quarantine, I think it gave a lot of people an opportunity to say like, “oh, we have some work to do as community for each other”, right?

And when the protests were going on, my now associate director for Our Legacy Harvested, and I sat down and really just said, you know, “we have a lot of people reaching out to us, specifically as women of color, saying, how can we support BIPOC businesses? What can we do to support and help and do all of these things?”

And so we said, well, how do we, because we are people that like to bring levity to the situation and education, but how do we do that in, in a way to where we can quite literally say, here are the resources, right? Go and support these people. And, we created the Block Pary.

And so it was the BIPOC Block Party. People came out and it was an incredible, incredible turnout that we had. I mean, in the middle of the pandemic, all of these folks showed up to support these businesses and stayed safe and respected the boundaries, and it was beautiful. After that event, Diana and I looked at each other and said, “what’s next?”

Like what? Like we have to, we have to keep going. And one thing that always ran, that always kept ringing through my head was us needing to build community. And you know, we always kept saying like, the most empowering thing is knowing that you have community in the space that you’re in.

Ute: 100%

Tiquette Bramlett: My grandfather was really big on that growing up, especially coming from an interracial family. That community support was invaluable. And so the big thing that I would always ask him, because he was the first black contractor in the state of California, a lot of people would not refer other contractors to him because he was black. So as a result, he would go and do community outreach and find out just who was interested in being a contractor who was interested in working in the field.

And quite literally teach them. And now a lot of these individuals have their own businesses. So I would ask, I always would ask him like, “what motivated you? What inspired you to do that?” And he was like, “because they’re our legacy harvested.”

And so that was a line that always just rang with me and I knew immediately like, this is going to be the thing that carries us in the wine industry as well.

And I really just wanted to be able to facilitate that community support, as did Diana. So we knew that naming it, Our Legacy Harvested was the appropriate name for it. Because of ultimately what we wanted to do in building community and empowering others and being able to just build connection for folks in this industry.

And I knew with my connections and the things that, the opportunities that I had been given in this wine industry, I could leverage my connections for others.

Ute: Mm-hmm.

Ali: Yeah.

Ute: That’s amazing.

Ali: For sure, for sure. So the mission statement for Our Legacy Harvested reads, “Our Legacy Harvested was founded in 2020 to educate, advance, and empower the BIPOC community in the wine industry. We work with individuals at any career level to advance their knowledge, expertise, and opportunities in wine.”

When you wrote this statement, in what ways did you see the industry making this a reality? How did you envision this becoming a reality and how do we know that we’re achieving this mission in our work and across the industry?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I mean, I think that that for us in the beginning was the scary part because we’re stepping into a space where some folks aren’t necessarily prepared to deal with people of color in their space. Because they said, you know, “I treat everybody equally. There’s never an issue.” But the reality is that in certain spaces we can’t, as individuals always recognize a bias in ourselves.

Ali: Right.

Tiquette Bramlett: Or, or that lacking in ourselves, right? It’s, it’s a struggle to see that. And again, it doesn’t make us bad people. I think that that’s always the big thing in these moments where like, we have to set that ego aside in the moment and say, “what, what am I missing that could potentially do harm in this space?”

Ali: Yeah.

Ute: Right. Kind of sit with an uncomfortable truth.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yes.

Ute: And, and accepting that this is an uncomfortable truth and then going out to do something about it.

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent.

Ali: Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent. And so stepping into that space, we were not entirely sure how the wine industry would respond because it was such a sensitive time and we really stepped in just making it known that there are people of color that are interested in the wine industry.

There are people of color that want to be involved in the wine industry. The wine industry across the board is having trouble hiring. In the industry as a whole the BIPOC community has close to like $4 billion or more that is of untapped resources. They want to spend their money in the wine industry, but we are not advertising or gearing any marketing towards people of color.

Why is that? Why is it that when people come into our spaces, they don’t necessarily feel comfortable, safe, or welcome? What can we do to just start having this conversation of why are they not feeling safe in our spaces? How do we, and how, how do we change that? It’s more than just hiring, hiring the people. It’s about creating a, a work culture in your space of saying like, We are accepting of everyone; come in as you are, right? And be able to have this escape.

So we really reached out to, we started with the different AVAs and just touching base with some wineries and seeing if this would be something of interest to them of saying like, we wanna do a four month internship. They would be paid by you, that you would hire them, but basically we would be doing the initial interview process for you. So we are doing the recruitment, we’re bringing in these students. We are providing housing and transportation and additional education for them. And your job in that space is to teach them.

So in this production space we want them to learn the ins and outs of your business while on their days off, we’re gonna come out and teach them about the rest of the industry. Is this something that’s feasible for you? And everybody jumped at it, and so

Ute: That’s awesome.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. And so that was really encouraging for us. And so the next level of what we had to think about is how do we also arm and prepare these wineries for coming into this space? So if there is an incident that arises, because the reality is, is that we’re human and we all stumble, right? And especially during harvest, we don’t always show our best selves. That is the reality.

Ali: Very trying time, long hours. And you are exhausted!

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly. And so our big thing was like, how do we acknowledge this and how do we honor that space so people can navigate that more comfortably? So we provided, we provide a DE & I training, so they go through this DE & I training, and then they have this company specifically as a resource going forward.

So if something does happen and they don’t feel comfortable necessarily coming to me and saying, this incident happened and we need a mediator. These professionals that went to school for this and have done decades of training are the ones that will step in and handle that space. But also our big thing is we are just trying to create community and connection.

This is, this is the ultimate goal and empowering individuals to want to come and join in, in the wine industry in whatever facet they want. But harvest has always been the key piece for me because I believe that it really helps you figure out how to tell your story in the line industry.

Ute: Right.

Ali: Yeah. Yeah.

Ute: And just real quick for our, listeners who have not ever heard of DE & I training, that is a training for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yes. Yes.

Ute: So that’s pretty incredible. And, and you know, obviously we know what wineries can do, you know, and, and just getting in touch with you and, and giving these opportunities and jobs, internships, et cetera.

But as podcast hosts, you know, so we, we can obviously talk about it and we do. And I’ve, I’ve mentioned your name multiple times on the podcast actually. And Our Legacy Harvested. But, you know, what can your average Jane or Joe do, you know, aside from coming to your annual Block Party that your organization puts on?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I mean, in terms of getting involved with OLH, we always say, you know, just to spread the good news, be our brand ambassadors. If you know somebody that’s even just curious about the wine industry, all I need is curiosity. I need, that’s all I need. We have, we had our first round of interns and we only had one out of the four that had been involved in the industry before.

Ali: Well, and especially if you’re putting them in harvest positions, like you learn everything on that job. Like,

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly.

Ali: I, I went into my first harvest having taken WSET one and two, and that was it. So I knew the theory behind wine and I was a baby in the industry. But you, you learn so much and you learn so much about yourself too. Just like

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent

Ali: the resilience that you hold in your body.

Tiquette Bramlett: Absolutely.

Ali: It’s, it’s so wonderful.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. I think that’s been such an incredible thing to witness with all of our interns and also looking at harvest of even being able to participate in harvest a lot of times is a privilege.

Because of the financial burden that a lot of people put on themselves of having to take time off of a regular nine to five to take these four months off, move to a different location. Find a place to live. All of the things well being paid sometimes less. Than what you would be making at your nine to five.

Ute: Yeah.

Ali: For sure.

Tiquette Bramlett: Our big thing for Our Legacy Harvested was recognizing that and saying, “how can we take off some of that burden?” And that is part of why it’s so important for us that we provide that housing and transportation so you don’t have to figure out how to juggle of, okay, how am I gonna make sure that my rent is paid at my apartment back home, or my home back home? All those bills are covered and how do I make sure these bills are covered as well? There’s more

Ute: Yeah. That there’s not an additional roadblock.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly.

Ali: Right.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly.

Ute: So, do you have opportunities for people to volunteer for Our Legacy Harvested?

Tiquette Bramlett: We do. We do. So that’s the beautiful thing about community, right.

It’s so fun to get people involved with what we do because of the fact that we do so much in the community just beyond wine. So even with our vendors that have participated in the years past Block Parties, we like to do one-off events with them as well. And so we’re always looking for volunteers to help us amplify and always just assist us with community outreach and different programming that we do.

So we’re always looking for people to help in any way, and especially with the education side of things. Because our big thing is about nurturing and growing the person and finding out exactly what resonates with them. Because as you know, having a wine podcast, there are so many different ways for you to be a part of this industry without working at a winery.

Ali: Yes.

Ute: Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: And that is always the biggest thing for us, of being able to share everybody’s story because somebody, a potential intern, could hear this and say, “oh, well I would love to be a podcaster. This is exactly where I wanna do that.” So then we would connect them with you and be able to have that one-on-one with you and say like, “well, tell us about your journey and how you got started.”

Ute: For sure.

Tiquette Bramlett: And then they can see your inner workings of how that works. I think that that’s just such an important thing to have. And you know, community and connection is quite literally how I got my first job, you know? So it’s like, why this is, this is how it works, and why wouldn’t we amplify that and do that for everyone?

Ali: Mm-hmm.

Ute: Yeah. I absolutely love that. Thank you.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: Do you, just one more quick question on Our Legacy Harvested, I know you set them up with jobs. Is there, and housing, is there like an off the job like education portion that you provide for these interns or is it just learning on the job? It’s just the job portion.

Tiquette Bramlett: So it’s off the job as well.

Ali: Oh, okay.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. So when we’re going through the interview process, even with our interns, like we let them know like, you will be working hard during Harvest , but also…

Ali: You’ll have homework!

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly. Like you’re gonna have some homework to do. Okay. Okay. And so we do field trips with them and we have different outings, but we always try to provide different experiences for them on their days off. So, you know, like, we’ll take them to fun dinners and things like that, but also we want them to learn as much as they can while they’re here with us.

Ali: Okay.

Tiquette Bramlett: So then once they’re done with their, with their work with harvest mm-hmm. from there we can say, you know, we’re gonna give you a minute to decompress and process what happened, but then I’m back and I’m gonna ask you what’s next! You know?

I think that that’s always the fun part for us because we’ve seen so many people inspired and doors open for them in different ways that they didn’t anticipate, and that’s, that’s been the fun part for us to witness that.

Ali: That’s really cool. Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: Yeah.

Ali: So in 2021, you were named one of Wine Enthusiasts 40 Under 40 Tastemakers, and then just this week in 2023, you were named an honoree of USA Toay’s Women of the Year.

So congratulations on that. Huge, huge accomplishment. Can you talk to us a little bit about your experiences in being named the, you know, an industry innovator and a community advocate? What do these titles mean for you in your day-to-day work and as you continue to grow and nurture Our Legacy Harvested, and even as you look forward into the future of, of this industry for us?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: Sorry, that was a big question. I can

Tiquette Bramlett: No, no, no,

Ali: I can break that down for you.

Tiquette Bramlett: I always just, I get a little emotional. Sorry, I get

Ali: Oh, no. No need to be sorry.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, it’s, there’s a lot of pinch me moments. when it comes to this sort of acknowledgement, because it’s always bigger than me.

For me, this gives me an opportunity to, to share about Our Legacy Harvested and what our squad is doing as a whole. Everything that I do would not be possible without the team that I work with. And it’s, it is an honor to be able to amplify Our Legacy Harvested for like truly, and to amplify community and honestly get to brag about Oregon more.

You know, I think, I think what we’re doing here is really special. I think what Oregon as a whole is really trying to push for and strive for is really special. And I’m glad that Our Legacy Harvested gets to be started here and, and, and founded here because it’s a place that’s, that’s given me so much.

But really it’s just been, it’s just been an amazing opportunity to share about community here and the amazing women that I work with. I just, I feel, I feel really honored to be in that space and it just makes me more appreciative of, you know, the family that I was able to be raised in and to witness do that groundwork and really give me the foundation of wanting to push for that in every space that I’m in.

So, yeah, I feel very lucky.

Ali: Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: I, I was listening to… you did an episode with Claima Stories with Bimma

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: …podcast episode. I was listening to that in preparation for this, and I just, something you said in that, I think you were answering a question very similar to this one that I had just asked, but your answer, you talked about your look on the industry and the work that we’re doing here and how it’s, the work we’re doing is so that “it’s not going to be shocking or nuanced anymore” to see BIPOC involved in, in the industry.

“It’s not going to look like anything else, but the ordinary.” is the quote that you said, and I just, I really loved that and I, I know that through this, through these recognitions, you are able to elevate that voice even more and bring that recognition into your work and into the work that the industry is doing here in the valley. So,

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I think it’s. It’s a really important, sorry, I am crying and I don’t mean to be .

Ute: Aw.

Ali: Do not be sorry!

Tiquette Bramlett: I think it’s a really important thing to acknowledge because again, there are countless people that look like me, that love this industry as much as I do. And it has been an honor to be able to meet them, especially during the pandemic in a time where everybody felt really disconnected.

It was a time where community really came together and we were able to connect. And I am forever grateful for that because it gave me an opportunity to figure out how to amplify their voices, but also unify us to say “now we’re gonna bring everybody in. We’re gonna open that door as wide as possible.” So everybody has an opportunity to come through that door and anybody can walk into any space and say, “yeah, I feel right at home here.”

This feels, this feels completely normal. This feels right. Like I know that my job will be done when I am in a tasting space and I am at a grand tasting of some sort, and I am no longer applauded by a mom that looks like mine because of the fact that I’m a black woman in that space.

Ali: Mm-hmm.

Ute: Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: You know, I’ll know that my job is done. You know, so that’s, that’s what I look forward.

Ute: What an amazing, you know, story for us to listen to. But also I, you know, I mean, I have goosebumps all over. I know that this is something that has you very emotional, but what an amazing place you have in your life, being a trailblazer.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: You know, and, and what an amazing opportunity for us to, to talk to you about this and to share it with as many people as we can, because this is a mission that I wholeheartedly support.

Ali: Oh, yeah.

Ute: And, I was already, as you were saying, that you were always looking for volunteers, I was already going, “okay. Sign me up!”

Ali: I legit…

Ute: I’m gonna give you a call. I’m in!

Ali: Oh, I legit wrote a note to myself! I was like, “okay, so education side of things, volunteer opportunities. All right. Just tuck that away!” Oh my gosh.

Tiquette Bramlett: I love it. I love it. Yeah. I was like, you know where to find me now, so, yeah.

Ali: Yes.

Tiquette Bramlett: Come on.

Ute: Yes. . .

Ali: You will be hearing from us.

Tiquette Bramlett: Good! Good, good, good!

Ali: So, just real quick, I’m, I’m a little unfamiliar with the process of these bigger publication titles. I maybe this is a question that I need to go to them for, but is what is the process for this? Is it something you get nominated for, is like they’re a board that votes on people or?

For the, for the 40 Under 40 and the Women of the Year.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. I’m gonna speak honestly, I have no idea.

Ali: Okay.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. , I do, I I do not know .

Ali: Alrighty.

Ute: Hey, I got the phone call and this is what they told me.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly! Exactly!

Ali: For me it’s like I don’t answer, I’ve said this before. I don’t answer phone calls if I don’t know the numbers.

So is that just something like I, for me it’d be like, “oh, I don’t know this. They’ll leave a message if it’s important.” And then it’s like, “hi, we’re with Wine Enthusiast…!”

Tiquette Bramlett: There is a lot of that. I’m very fortunate that I have a publicist who is not just my publicist. She is a very dear friend and they go through her!

Ali: So there we go.

Ute: I love it.

Tiquette Bramlett: If there’s, if they ever need to find me, she shoots me a text and she’s like, “you need to answer this call.”

Ali: So , you don’t need to worry about unidentified numbers on your phone!

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly, exactly.

Ali: Oh man!

Ute: That is so funny.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Or I’ll follow up with her and say, “is this real?” Like, is this…

Ute: So of course we know by now that you are stepping full-time into Our Legacy Harvested, and that sort of answers my next question about whether or not you’re happy in the Willamette Valley. I feel like you really have found your place here. And, and you’re gonna stick around and really kind of dive even deeper into leading this organization into the future.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I mean, I think there was a lot of acknowledgement on my end of saying, I really want to honor what we are doing with Our Legacy Harvested and, and figure out what that would look like. And it was really having that, that brutal, honest conversation with myself of saying like, I know that I can’t honor the space that I’m working in and honor Our Legacy Harvested, you know, and do them both justice.

So what’s the thing that I can’t live without and I can’t live without community and I can’t live without connection. That for me, that space is Our Legacy Harvested. And the, the momentum that we’re experiencing and the time that it needs. I knew that the responsible thing for myself was to really dive in and, and dedicate my time to that.

Ute: Mm-hmm.

Ali: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaking of the Willamette Valley, do you have any wineries that you hold near and dear to your heart that you wanna shout out for our listeners to go visit and support? Just ones that you love visiting?

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh, man. That’s like picking my favorite children. .

Ali: Oh, no.

Tiquette Bramlett: I, there are, there are so many that I adore from, from top to bottom. Starting with Alumbra Cellars is one that always I hold dear to my heart because of the fact that I was drinking her bubbly rose when we came up with Our Legacy Harvested and, when we were building the Block Party, that was the wine that we were sipping on and, and inspired us.

So it’s one for us, but we’re always like, not only is it delicious, but they are an incredible family and they have a beautiful story and it’s such a joy to always be able to go out to that tent and just enjoy the space and enjoy our time there.

Gonzalez Wine Co. is one of my other favorites from Christina Gonzalez. I really enjoy her and it’s an incredible urban winery.

RAM Cellars is another one that I enjoy. Oh man. There’s so many! Valcan Cellars. I could go on all day. I’m looking at all of them right now. I’m like, which ones? Which ones?

I could send you a whole list, I’m sure. But those are some of the ones that I just, I like to go and be able to enjoy the space and enjoy my time. Adelsheim is one, because they’re conveniently near my home as well, but always they’re such a wonderful team to go and enjoy time with, and they’re always so great when it comes to the education portion.

Anytime I’ve ever brought people in there, the, the guided tastings that they take folks on and the lack of judgment, you know, there’s never, there’s never a wrong answer in that space. And the conversation’s always really engaging. People leave really inspired, and I always love being able to witness that.

And then I always, always, always have to mention Abbey Creek Vineyard. Bertony Faustin has created such an incredible space for people to quite literally just come and kick it and come as they are. It is, it’s so fun and there’s so much joy. And for that 90 minutes that you’re there, you can leave your troubles at the door or you can even talk about your troubles with them. You know? I think that that place, like it can be such a healing space, and the wines are lovely and the food is delicious. So yeah. I feel like it’s a, it’s tens across the board. . .

Ute: Love it. Love it.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ali: Well, not to make you have to choose more wineries, but what about outside of the Willamette Valley? Are there any, how about we go with just regions? Are there any like standout regions that, that you love visiting or drinking wines from?

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh, well, man, yes! Well, so going, going to Old World, Beaujolais is one of the places that I really enjoy.

Ute: Oh, you just made Ali very happy.

Tiquette Bramlett: Good.

Ali: I mean, you’ve mentioned pink bubbles and now you’re talking Gamay and I’m just, are we best friends?

Tiquette Bramlett: I mean, this might be happening , this might be happening. It’s like we’re practically neighbors. This is happening.

Ali: Yes!

Tiquette Bramlett: It’s a really special place. I got to go there, this past fall and spend a couple of weeks over there with some friends and, it was. It was magic. It was a wonderful place to be and to explore and just to enjoy, enjoy some wines, and being able to talk to the producers was really special.

But going down to California, I mean, Paso’s a place that will always hold a special place in my heart, because that’s where my journey really started. And then Healdsburg and Sonoma are two places that I just, I love, I love,

Ute: Oh gosh, I love Sonoma.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. It’s, it’s a really, really special place.

And, you know, being able to grow up and watch the evolution of that space has been really fun. And now, you know, going back as an adult and, and really being able to enjoy it has been, has been awesome. So yeah, those, those would be my places I would say.

Ali: Nice.

Ute: Well, thank you.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, of course.

Ali: Love it!

Ute: So, and because we have spoken for an hour, which flew by!

Ali: Oh my gosh.

Ute: We are gonna start to slowly wrap things up. But this is an important question that we always like to ask women that we interview. Our mission on the podcast is, of course, to elevate women in wine and those curious about wine. So, do you have a message to women that is important to you?

Tiquette Bramlett: My biggest message, and this is one that I really send out to everyone, if you ever see a space and for a moment think that that space is not for you, lean in even harder into that space because if you are curious about it, it’s your space.

Ute: Yeah.

Ali: Yes. [snaps sounds]

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: You know, that’s actually pretty interesting because when, when last year at the conference, the McBride sisters were talking… one of them, and I’m, I’m not sure which one of them it was, but she had the message that was very similar, go to where you don’t think you belong because someday you will.

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent.

Ali: Yeah.

Tiquette Bramlett: A hundred percent. Yeah. It’s something that my mom instilled me from day one of, “no one ever has the right to tell you where you do and do not belong.”

Ute: Yes.

Ali: Yes.

Tiquette Bramlett: If, if you want to be in that space then that space is for you. And you can step into that space and be unapologetic about it.

Ali: Mm-hmm.

Ute: Oh my God, now I’m gonna cry.

Ali: I know.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah, I think that that’s the most important thing. And just knowing that there are people that you can turn to for support. And being unafraid to reach out to them. I think that that’s always the hardest thing is, is reaching out and saying like, “I need help.”

And even if that person can’t help you, ask them if they know someone that can.

Ali: For sure.

Tiquette Bramlett: You know, that’s not a, that’s not a big ask. If they don’t have the bandwidth, they’ll tell you.

Ute: Yes, exactly.

Tiquette Bramlett: You know, so I think that that’s the thing. It’s just reach one, teach one. It’s, it’s, it’s the biggest thing for me.

Ute: Yeah. I agree.

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah.

Ute: I love it. Thank you.

Ali: It all, it all comes back to community and being unapologetically you. I love it.

Ute: Check it out full circle.

Tiquette Bramlett: Exactly!

Ali: Okay. Final question. I, I don’t think we had included this on, on the ones we sent, but it’s, it’s an, it’s a, it’s a softball. Don’t worry.

Tiquette Bramlett: Okay. Okay.

Ali: Before we let you go, we Ute and I have a friendly competition going on.

We’ve gotta know: are you Team Red Wine or Team Bubbles?

Tiquette Bramlett: Oh man. Oh no. Okay…I’m Bubbles.

Ali: Yes. Oh!

Ute: I’m losing all the women to Bubbles.

Ali: I was gonna, I was gonna add a third option of, “please don’t make me choose”, because I know you, your love of Oregon Pinot Noirs, but then you came in with the love and the deep meaning of Alumbra’s pink bubbles. So I just, I almost gave you a concession and, and told you you didn’t have to choose, but I will take Team Bubbles!

Tiquette Bramlett: No, it’s like you can, you can corner me all day. It’s fine. It’s fine. Yes. I was like, I will do it. I will do it. Yes. I love…

Ute: Ali’s gonna be strutting her stuff now.

Tiquette Bramlett: I’m, I’m glad I can support there. I’m glad . Sorry, Ute!. I’m sorry.

Ute: No, you know what? I’m gonna stay firmly rooted on my red wine and I, I will always appreciate the bubbles. But you know, someday there will be someone who is gonna be on my team!

Tiquette Bramlett: I respect that though. I respect that you’re sticking to your guns. I like it.

Ute: Well, this was just amazing. Thank you so very much for joining us Tiquette. Can you let our listeners know where is the best place to find you, possibly on social media, kind of following your account?

Tiquette Bramlett: Yeah. Well first I wanna say thank you so much for having me. This was such a treat to be able to be on the podcast with you guys today.

Ali: It was so great talking with you today!

Tiquette Bramlett: But you can follow me. My Instagram handle is very easy. It’s my name, first and last Tiquette Bramlett. And follow Our Legacy Harvested.

Ute: Nice.

Ali: Great.

Ute: Yeah. We’ll have that in the show notes. Sorry, Ali, that was your line. .

Ali: It’s okay!

Oh, this is professional podcasting.

Any who! So listeners, please check out our show notes as we have everything listed there that we talked about here in the episode. Links to the different wineries we discussed, as well as Tiquette’s social accounts. We will also link Our Legacy Harvested there and our free downloads.

There’s also a topic request form. If you have a wine, a woman in wine, or just a woman that you would love us to chat about, send that our way and we will add it to our list.

Ute: Yeah, so thank you for listening and all that we have left to say to you at this point is of course, Prost!

Ali: Cin Cin!


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