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Simonne Mitchelson Named to Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s List of 40 under 40 Tastemakers of 2021


The publication honors Mitchelson for her efforts to progress social equity in the wine industry.

SANTA ROSA, CA – August 19, 2021 – Jackson Family Wines, the family owned and led wine company founded in 1982, today recognized Simonne Mitchelson, who was honored as one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2021 this week. This accolade recognizes individuals who are making a significant impact in shaping the future of the food, beverage, and hospitality industries. Mitchelson receives this honor in part for her efforts to increase access, equity, and diversity in all areas of the wine industry. In June of last year, she co-authored an open letter to wineries calling for dialogue and action to create true equality and diversity in the space. To increase access and support for BIPOC students studying viticulture and enology, Mitchelson led the creation of the BIPOC Scholarship Program at Cal Poly University, which launched in October 2020. She also co-founded the Natural Action Wine Club in February 2021 with the goal of creating a new culture of tasting wine that provides an educational experience of both Black history and responsible practices in the wine industry. Though her work is comprehensive and far-reaching, she notes that this commitment is continuous, and the work is ongoing. 

“It’s an honor and privilege to be featured amongst so many individuals who regularly inspire me in the winemaking and hospitality sphere,” said Mitchelson. “Thinking back to this time last year, we were just beginning to garner awareness for racial diversity and equity in the wine industry. In the span of one year, we are beginning to see change, there is a visible shift occurring for people of color in the wine space. Yet, there is still work to be done, and I am hopeful this awareness continues to drive inclusivity in our industry.”

Recognizing their work and alignment with her goals to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the wine industry, Mitchelson joined Jackson Family Wines in January of this year. In her role as South Coast Estate Manager, Mitchelson manages Direct-to-Consumer channels including tasting rooms and direct sales across Santa Barbara County with a special focus on Brewer-Clifton and Cambria.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Simonne and her work to strengthen diversity and social equity in the wine industry. We are honored to call her our colleague and partner,” said Rick Tigner, CEO of Jackson Family Wines. “Simonne embodies the values of our company, which puts people first. She is an integral part of our social responsibility efforts as we work together to push forward and implement meaningful and lasting change.”

Mitchelson continues to focus on social equity as part of the company’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Employee Council, which is developing a roadmap for enacting meaningful change and informing inclusive policies within Jackson Family Wines. The council is a component of a larger initiative, Rooted for Good⁠: Roadmap to 2030, a 10-year sustainability and climate action plan designed to address the climate crisis and social responsibility, and position the company for resilience in the face of changing social and environmental landscapes.

About Jackson Family Wines

Jackson Family Wines is a family-owned, vineyard-based company with a penchant for exploration. Founder Jess Jackson placed his faith in farming and a meticulous expression of wine with his first landscape-changing vintage in 1982, an ethos that chairman Barbara Banke, the Jackson family, and our employees continue to uphold to this day. The Jackson family’s collection of 40 wineries spans significant winegrowing regions, from California, Oregon, France, and Italy in the northern hemisphere, to Australia, Chile and South Africa in the southern half of the globe. Vineyard ownership and sustainable practices remain key to consistent quality and artisan winemaking underscores a steadfast commitment to making wines of character and integrity.

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