Aaron Lieberman: Inspiring Change in Oregon’s Wine Industry

Aaron Lieberman, vintner at Iris Vineyards in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley, has made a significant impact in the wine industry through his leadership, altruism, and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Recognized as one of the Most Inspiring People in the Wine Industry by Wine Industry Advisor’s 2024 list, Lieberman’s journey towards becoming a vintner was marked by a series of eye-opening experiences and a passion for making a difference.

Lieberman’s path to winemaking began when he studied soil science at Oregon State University, initially intending to become a veterinarian. However, his fascination with soil science led him down a different path. After joining the Peace Corps and spending almost three years working on high-elevation subsistence farming projects in Guatemala, Lieberman had a transformative experience that shaped his perspective on life and the power of volunteerism.

Upon returning to the United States, Lieberman brought his newfound perspective to the world of viticulture, starting at Amity Vineyards and later immersing himself in the migrant community while working in vineyards. He also became involved in teaching agriculture supervisor training at Chemeketa Community College.

Throughout his career, Lieberman has been a strong advocate for inclusion and diversity within the wine industry. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community himself, he has actively worked towards creating a more diverse and inclusive space in the vineyards and cellar. Lieberman currently serves on the Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion (DEBI) task force for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, where he advocates for equitable opportunities for members, trade, and consumers.

Lieberman’s dedication to diversity and inclusion extends beyond his involvement with DEBI. He also sits on the board of Oregon Pinot Camp, an organization committed to fostering a diverse community within the wine industry. At Pinot Camp, Lieberman participates in actively recruiting a diverse group of attendees and challenging the microaggressions and racism faced by his partner.

Through his actions and commitments, Aaron Lieberman sets an example for the wine industry and beyond. His tireless efforts to create an inclusive wine community have garnered admiration and praise from his peers and industry professionals. As Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, reflects, “Aaron is a tireless champion for the Willamette Valley wine community.” Lieberman’s contributions truly inspire change, making him a driving force and source of inspiration in Oregon’s wine industry.

FAQ Section:

1. Who is Aaron Lieberman?
Aaron Lieberman is a vintner at Iris Vineyards in Oregon’s southern Willamette Valley. He has made a significant impact in the wine industry through his leadership, altruism, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

2. What recognition has Aaron Lieberman received in the wine industry?
Aaron Lieberman was recognized as one of the Most Inspiring People in the Wine Industry by Wine Industry Advisor’s 2024 list.

3. How did Aaron Lieberman begin his journey in winemaking?
Aaron Lieberman studied soil science at Oregon State University initially with the intention of becoming a veterinarian. However, his fascination with soil science led him to pursue a career in viticulture and winemaking.

4. What transformative experience did Aaron Lieberman have?
After joining the Peace Corps and working on high-elevation subsistence farming projects in Guatemala for almost three years, Lieberman had a transformative experience that shaped his perspective on life and the power of volunteerism.

5. How has Aaron Lieberman advocated for diversity and inclusion in the wine industry?
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Aaron Lieberman has been actively working towards creating a more diverse and inclusive space in the vineyards and cellars. He serves on the Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion (DEBI) task force for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, advocating for equitable opportunities.

6. What is Aaron Lieberman’s involvement with Oregon Pinot Camp?
Aaron Lieberman sits on the board of Oregon Pinot Camp, an organization committed to fostering a diverse community within the wine industry. He actively recruits a diverse group of attendees and challenges microaggressions and racism faced by his partner.

Definitions:

1. Vintner – A person who makes or sells wine.

2. Viticulture – The science, production, and study of grapes for wine-making.

3. Microaggressions – Everyday verbal or nonverbal slights, snubs, or insults that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target individuals based on their marginalized or minority status.

Suggested Related Links:

1. Oregon Wine
2. Willamette Valley Wineries Association
3. Peace Corps
4. Oregon Pinot Camp