Flight for Allyship debuts on Santana Row in San Jose to highlight Asian American winemakers

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – A new partnership between winemakers and restaurants flies on Santana Row in San Jose.

Serena Harkey, Wine Director at Vine Dining Enterprises, is behind the Flight for Allyship, a new program designed to appeal to underrepresented winemakers. The effort began last summer after the Black Lives Matter protests, but this month it puts the spotlight on Asian American winemakers based in the Bay Area.

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“With what is happening now in the AAPI community, we realize that this was really the time to recognize this community and give something back, shed some light on the darkness and give some attention to the producers who need it” said Harkey.

To curate the program, Harkey worked with an organization called Diversity in Food and Beverage, an inclusive community for those who advocate equality and justice in the hospitality industry. Part of the proceeds will be used to support their work.

Representation is important, “said Lia Jones, managing director of the DIFB.” When you see someone who looks like you, it is compelling, welcoming, and gives people a sense of belonging. “

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The wine flight is offered in the Left Bank Brasserie, LB Steak and Meso Modern Mediterranean. Kenny Likitprakong, one of the featured winemakers, was delighted that both his ghostwriter Pinot Noir and his Hobo Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon fell in love.

“The people behind a bottle of wine are just as important and part of the story as the location and the diversity,” said Likitprakong.

Hospitality veterans say it is an opportunity to not only empower the professionals but educate consumers as well.

“It’s about bringing people together,” said Harkey. “It’s about the community and this is just another opportunity to improve on that and get to know someone you didn’t necessarily have before.”

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