Now Reading
Out wine lovers stomp grapes and hunt the best vintages on safari

Out wine lovers stomp grapes and hunt the best vintages on safari

You may ask: ‘Why is there a need for an LGBTI-specific wine group?’

Northern California’s wine country is a short drive from the gay mecca of San Francisco, a relaxed and joyous city that helped spark the gay rights movement in the United States. As such, it’s long-been a haven for LGBTI residents and travelers.

Out in The Vineyard gives the LGBTI community direct access to the best of the region’s wine country because, as co-founder Mark Vogler told Gay Star Travel: ‘It’s not about making a statement… some people are just more comfortable being themselves.’

Vogler grew up in Sonoma County, the largest producer in California’s wine country region that includes 400 wineries of various sizes and specialties.

While Northern California wine country has long been considered a luxury global travel destination, Vogler was surprised to find the lack of LGBTI marketing in the wine business.

‘Beer and spirits came out 25 years ago with LGBTI advertising,’ said Vogler.

Now, Vogler is at the forefront of helping wine producers reach the LGBTI community at a local level.

‘There is a difference in terms of availability,’ he said. ‘It’s changing for the better.’

According to Vogler, Northern California’s wine country is quite LGBTI-friendly, but prior to Out in The Vineyard, he would only see ‘family’ around occasionally.

‘A few months ago I was on the Sonoma Plaze, and there were several, strolling the plaza, holding hands – in public. Pretty surprising.’

‘Sonoma tends to be a lot more friendly. Napa is a little less organized in terms of gay, but we’re making headway.’