My name is Randia Pope, and I am an Amateur Wine Enthusiast from San Diego, Ca. I’ve been an avid wine drinker for a long time now and when Covid hit, like many others, I found myself looking for something to fill my free time. I tried a few different activities but once I stumbled upon the Black Girls Wine Society, I knew I had found what I was looking for. BGWS provided me with a safe space to learn and grow in wine and to become comfortable in an industry that doesn’t have many individuals that look like me.
The more I learned about wine and its complexities the more excited I became about the industry. From this excitement grew my online persona Melanated_Winoohh. I created this persona on Instagram to share wine through my eyes while spotlighting wineries I’ve visited. I especially like to highlight local wineries and their fabulous wine makers. Like Mrs. Denise Clark, a female African American Winemaker, at Altipiano Vineyard in Escondido. There I had an opportunity to participate in their 2021 Harvest and see the inemaking process from beginning to end. Also, Mrs. Diane at Deerhorn Valley Vineyard in Jamul who taught me all about Malolactic fermentation and barrel flavors.
Through Instagram I’ve also been able to make connections with some amazing organizations in the wine industry. I have received both the Welcome and Elevate Scholarship from Wine Unify, an organization that provides scholarships to underrepresented minorities in the wine industry. Not only did the scholarship cover my attendance at the Napa Valley Wine Academy WSET 1 and 2 course. But it also provided me with mentorship from some extraordinary individuals with various backgrounds in wine. I have since passed the WSET 1 and I am now studying my level 2.
I am excited to be a newcomer in this industry and can’t wait to see where wine takes me.