Pamplin Media Group – ‘One Barrel Challenge’ strives for inclusiveness and fairness in the wine industry
Led by CJ McCollum and Channing Frye, proceeds go to the Maurice Lucas Foundation.
On Saturday, May 1, a handful of Oregon wineries unveiled a collaboration they hope will drive tangible change in the state’s wine industry, toward a future of inclusiveness.
Portland Trail Blazers goaltender CJ McCollum, retired former Trail Blazer Channing Frye and the foundation named after Blazers legend Maurice Lucas are among the contributors to the âOne Barrel Challengeâ.
The challenge brings together seven Willamette Valley wineries in an effort to make the industry “more accessible and inclusive, regardless of color, class or creed,” according to a press release. Each participant in the effort – including Adelsheim Vineyard and L’Angolo Estate, among others – donated the equivalent of a barrel of wine, or 300 bottles, to the challenge.
All proceeds from the sale of the bottles will go to the Maurice Lucas Foundation, which focuses on providing educational opportunities to marginalized communities.
âTogether, the Maurice Lucas Foundation and One Barrel Challenge seek to create better access to educational opportunities for young people across Oregon,â said David Lucas, Maurice’s son and one of the foundation’s leaders, in the press release. âWith one of the most famous wine regions in the world, the Willamette Valley, right in their backyard, many of these young people may never have considered a career in the wine industry.
This is the first iteration of the One Barrel Challenge, but the group plans to expand their efforts in the coming years and create âhands-on educational opportunitiesâ as well as scholarships and other ventures. One of the main goals is to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in a wine industry that historically lacks all three.
âLike much of the country, there are extreme racial disparities in the wine industry,â said Frye, who started the Chosen Family Wines label in partnership with L’Angolo Estate, in the statement. âAs we commemorate Oregon Wine Month together in May, my One Barrel Challenge partners and I seek to use this moment – and this movement – to inspire change and increase diversity among those seeking a career in our beloved craft, and our community of giving back is wine. ”
Challenge wines are available for purchase on individual wineries’ websites. Participating wineries include Granville Wine Co., McCollum Heritage 91, Hazelfern, Division Winemaking Company, Adelsheim, L’Angolo Estate and Chosen Family Wines. Wine prices range from $ 35 for the RosÃ© de Granville to $ 55 for some of the iconic Pinot Noirs.
McCollum made history by debuting his wine label in 2020, and the wine included in the challenge is a new chardonnay which marks its third wine under the label. He had already launched a pinot noir and a rosÃ©, both sold online a few hours after their release.
âSince announcing my own label a year ago, I’ve learned more and more about the lack of representation in the wine industry,â said McCollum. âBy launching the One Barrel Challenge, I look forward to actively raising awareness and witnessing the change we can create through this program, ensuring that wine is more accessible to everyone, especially those who cannot see not people who look like them run the profession.
For more information on the One Barrel Challenge, visit www.onebarrelchallenge.com.
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