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Barefoot Wine stands proud

Barefoot Wine has always walked its own path. But beyond being the world’s most popular wine brand, with diversity and inclusivity at its core, it’s also making a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ people.

Since its beginnings in California in 1965 when Davis Bynum created wine in his garage and crushed the grapes under foot (giving the brand its name), free-spiritedness and self-expression have always been integral to Barefoot. Today, the Barefoot portfolio in the UK includes 14 varietal wines and four different formats and has won 2,000 awards internationally.

Barefoot has had the number one Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Pink Moscato wine and the number two Malbec wine in the UK for the past three years. It is also the number one brand in the Rosé category, representing 14% of the revenue sales of Rosé wines, with White Zinfandel representing 32% of revenue sales of the variety. Barefoot Buttery Chardonnay is the latest single varietal to be rolled out nationally. Launched in 2021, it is already a top 10 contributor to revenue growth in the Chardonnay category, emulating the performance of the Buttery Chardonnay category Stateside, which has seen a 12% growth.

Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc

But beyond the numbers, Barefoot is a longstanding ally of LGBTQ+ people. More than just accepting diversity, Barefoot promotes inclusivity both inside and outside of the company. Communities, big and small, can make all the difference and enrich everyone.

The company has been actively supporting LGBTQ+ causes for more than thirty years. 2022 marks the beginning of its involvement in a new initiative, Rainbow Buddies, in partnership with LGBT Foundation. Rainbow Buddies programme provides a safe, affirming space for LGBTQ+ people who feel disconnected from the community and/or are lacking confidence and self-esteem.  This space is created by a dedicated Buddy who will listen, speak, and relate to them, rebuilding that sense of community and confidence.

In fact, 45% of those accessing the service Rainbow Buddies provides are 55 or over, as they can feel isolated, particularly digitally. The pandemic was particularly hard-hitting on the social lives of LGBTQ+ people, and Barefoot is doing all it can to make sure that these services are accessible. By helping those who feel separated, or perhaps just lack confidence, the initiative makes the whole community stronger. After eight sessions, individuals will complete the programme and then be introduced to other services within LGBT Foundation.

Making a difference is key, and is a testament to Barefoot’s support over the years. Whether it’s donating money to LGBTQ+ community centres in California or becoming the official wine sponsor of World Pride in 2019, the company has consistently provided all it can to those who might otherwise feel marginalised. From Toronto to Copenhagen, the winery has been an international ally.

But equality doesn’t just matter out in the open – it matters in the office too. In 2017, the company was named on the Human Rights Campaign’s list of “Best Places to Work” as part of its Corporate Equality Index. Since 2010, Barefoot has maintained the perfect score of 100 points on the index, welcoming all and encouraging employees and customers alike to be themselves.

Barefoot has led the way for decades now proving that wine has a remarkable ability to bring people together and foster a sense of community spirit.

For further information on Barefoot’s LGBTQ+ activism, click here.

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