Krista Scruggs, 9.20.19

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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 eight years. I feel being born and raised in California, wine and farming was naturally part of my background. I started my career in wine working for Constellation Brands, which led to me staging in Washington state, Italy, France, Texas, and lastly, Vermont. I’m currently the owner, farmer and winemaker of ZAFA Wines, located in Burlington, Vermont. 

Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?

Working with Philippe Bessières of Domaine de l'Antenet in Puy l'Eveque was the “aha” moment for me. He symbolized and inspired everything I’m currently doing. In the 1980s, he took over his father’s domaine and converted it to organic farming. In the early 90s, he went completely 0/0, which during that time was completely unheard of in their region. 

 What is the most rewarding part of your job?

To have the opportunity of a lifetime to live and breathe an ethos through farming and making wine, while carrying on my ancestral heritage. 

Can you describe any prejudices you’ve experienced in this industry as a woman? 

The wine industry hasn’t presented any more prejudices than I navigate every day as a black woman, but I will say the prejudices have come more from women than men.  Because unfortunately, the patriarchy is in all of us.

How can we as women become aware of our prejudice and change our behavior? 

Simply support each other and be aware that we, too, enforce the patriarchy. It’s not limited to men, it’s been ingrained into our culture. We all carry the patriarchy, unfortunately. So to fight that, we need to lead with compassion and love and remember that empowered women empower women. 

When it comes to wine, what benefits do you think we’ll see as a community by better supporting women?

We’ll begin to see a community of balance. 

What change do you hope to see in regards to women in the wine industry in the next five years? 

Continue to knock down the patriarchy that is ingrained in all of us. A group of women that leads with compassion and love.  

What message do you have for women entering the wine profession?

You are capable of anything. We all are. So support each other. 

What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?

Equality means equitability. It means intersectional representation. 

What ways would you say you are contributing to equality in wine?

Being intentional in who makes up my team and who represents my wines. Having an all female team, from the bar to the winery to the vineyard, has been important to me. 

What are some defining characteristics of a wonder woman of wine to you?

It starts first with being compassionate. 

What other women of wine do you admire and why?

Marissa Ross because she’s phenomenally vulnerable, compassionate and talented. She’s the epitome of what it means to be a leader in this industry by using her platform for good.