Middleburg native and California vintner Rachel Martin has teamed up with a Leesburg-based organization, Just Good Business, to release the "Wine for Women’s Equality" in support of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, an amendment aimed at guaranteeing equal rights to men and women under the Constitution.
Formerly the executive vice president of winery operations at Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg, Martin has taken her expertise to San Luis Obispo County, California, where she and her husband opened Oceano Wines in 2016. Just Good Business Founder and Loudoun County resident Susan Platt reached out to Martin to propose a collaboration, one of many partnerships her organization — which advocates for women’s civil and equal rights — has formed with women-run businesses.
“It’s been a difficult process for the ERA with women. It has been ratified in 37 states; it needs 38 states to be ratified before it can go to Congress and be put in the Constitution,” Platt said. “I was just so thrilled that Rachel responded. As some of our rights have been chipped away at in recent years, it’s even more important that we make sure that we do have equality in the Constitution.”
Those wishing to support the efforts of Oceano and Just Good Business can visit oceanowines.com/wines to purchase either of their specialty wines, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — $45 and $38, respectively, not including shipping — and enter promo code “equality.”
“A portion of the sale goes to supporting the ratification of the ERA in Virginia,” Martin said. “This code is good until the election date.”
“Since 83 percent of all spending decisions are influenced by women, businesses should care about committing to equal pay, stopping sexual discrimination and adding more women in boardrooms and government,” she added in a prepared statement.
The Virginia House of Delegates last voted on the Equal Rights Amendment in February, when a bid to force a full-floor vote on the matter failed.
The Associated Press has reported even if the ERA is ratified, court battles are likely to ensue over a long-passed 1982 deadline set by Congress.
Still, Platt is enthusiastic about the initiative.
“It’s probably most likely for it to pass this time, and if it does then we can finally get quality guarantees in the Constitution,” she said.
Martin has also planned an advocacy tour throughout Virginia in October to raise awareness concerning the issue.