We launched the Decanter 360 Academy to help increase diversity and inclusivity within the wine trade.
DWWA judge Mags Janjo of BAME Wine Professionals urged Annona to apply after she expressed a desire to work in the industry.
‘I searched Google to see if there were any Black British owned wine companies, and unfortunately the results weren’t very high yielding,’ she said. ‘I love wine and wondered if I could be a part of the industry.’
She was inspired by the McBride sisters – who launched the popular Black Girl Magic wine brand in New Orleans back in 2018 – and she decided to take a WSET Level 2 course in wine.
She passed with a distinction, which fortified her desire to forge a career in the industry.
‘Isn’t it amazing that not all wines are the same?’ added Annona. ‘They come in different styles, colours, varieties, from different backgrounds and have different characteristics.
‘Wouldn’t it be even more amazing if the wine industry reflected such diversity? This is why I was so excited to learn that Decanter is making it their mission for the wine industry to be more inclusive and accessible.’
She will spend 12 months working across the entire Decanter brand, including the editorial, sales, marketing and events/awards operations teams.
Annona will be paid the London Living Wage salary during the 12-month period. If a vacancy is available at the end of the programme, she may decide to join the team permanently.
‘I am eager to grow within the wine industry, and I’m looking forward to transferring my skills to this role, while learning as much as I can from the team at Decanter,’ said Annona. ‘My ultimate goal is to be and feel a part of this industry, and I believe the Decanter 360 Academy is my step forward.’
Decanter unveiled plans for the 360 Academy trainee programme earlier this year. We appreciate that the wine industry has a long way to go in terms of diversity and inclusivity, and we also know how daunting the trade can seem from the outside, so we hope to do our bit to improve the situation via initiatives such as the Decanter 360 Academy.
Working across a range of departments will help Annona develop a broad array of skills, while constantly improving her wine knowledge.
She will also work towards a WSET Level 3 award to kickstart her career in the wine industry.
Annona impressed our leadership team with her enthusiasm for wine and the passion she transmitted in her application. We look forward to working with her over the next year and to seeing how her career in the wine industry develops in the long-term.