Julia Dixon, 1.18.19
Julia Dixon has carved out a niche in the wine industry. She is the owner of ArtProWine, a luxury entertainment company focused on organizing upscale wine events, and with her newly founded company, Gravity Imports, Julia will be introducing the US to some phenomenal Georgian wines.
How many years have you been in the business? Tell me briefly about your background and your current position today.
I have been in the business for nearly 10 years. I studied International Law in Russia. I was learning about wine before I graduated Law School. Eventually, it became more interesting to me than Law.
I have a wine entertainment company called ArtProWine. We organize luxury art & wine events, consult local wineries, restaurants, and supply private cellars in Austin. I am also the founder of Gravity Imports, in which I’m thrilled to introduce traditionally made wines from the country of Georgia to the US market this fall.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
I remember secretly sipping wine from grandmothers old cellar when I was a child. It usually was an opened bottle of oxidized Kvanchkara. I was thinking to myself there is no way wine can taste so poorly. I was eager to try better wines when I grew up.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Making the connection between a small farmer across the ocean to the local consumer in the US.
Can you describe any prejudices you’ve experienced in this industry as a woman?
No, I always felt more support in the industry because of being a woman.
How can we as women become aware of our prejudice and change our behavior?
I think being a professional in your field of work is key for a woman. There are many mechanisms to be protected from prejudice. It is vital to learn them.
What communal benefits do you think we’ll see by bringing more women into leadership positions?
One of the main benefits is the balance. The women are the Yang of the industry. Women are bringing tenderness, originality and highly developed tasting abilities to the wine industry table.
What change do you hope to see in regards to women in the wine industry in the next five years?
I believe in the next five years we will continue to see very talented, bright women in the industry.
One of the most magical powers of the woman will always be the ability to give birth to a new human being. In that regard, It is understandable why the wine business, in general, is less appealing for females. It is a tough industry that often assumes irregular working hours, traveling, unlimited tasting & overeating. That being said, women who do commit their talents to the wine industry deserve quadruple appreciation.
What message do you have for women entering the wine profession?
I encourage the wine industry women newcomers to find their passion & follow it, to always learn, to be a critical curious thinker with a bigger vision ahead.
The wine industry is diverse. Wine professional can express their talents from teaching to operating a significant wholesale business. Often the wine professional is wearing many hats at a single position.
What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?
Equality in the wine business to me is the highly desirable, yet unlikely achievable definition. People should have equal opportunities but in reality, many other factors come into play. Gender is only one of many.
I think the USA is a great country for a professional woman to develop a successful career in the wine business. The opportunities are fairly equal. We are seeing more female wine professionals in this country than in most countries of the world.
What are some defining characteristics of a wonder woman of wine to you?
A wonder of wine woman to me is a woman that follows her call (passion) to represent quality wines to consumers with an independent opinion based on knowledge, intuition, and experience.
What women of wine do you admire and why?
I admire many women of wine. My top three would be Lalou Bize-Leroy: the Queen of Burgundy; Jancis Robinson, Wine Critic & Author; Becky Wasserman, Pioneering Burgundy Importer in the US.
Each of them demonstrates breaking through originality, creativity and a great deal of success in innovative, yet traditional winemaking, wine educating and wine importing, respectively.