Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Wine train issues apology to black women booted from train

26 August 2015, 08:41

San Francisco - The Napa Valley Wine Train issued an apology Tuesday to a book club that includes mostly black women who said they were booted from a tasting tour because of their race.

The company also promised additional training for employees on cultural diversity and sensitivity, and they offered the group free passes for 50 people for a future trip.

"The Napa Valley Wine Train was 100 percent wrong in its handling of this issue," CEO Anthony "Tony" Giaccio said in a statement. "We accept full responsibility for our failures and for the chain of events that led to this regrettable treatment of our guests."

The 11 members of the book club, all but one of whom is African American, said rude employees ordered them off the train on Saturday, mid-journey, and marched them down several aisles to their embarrassment. One member of the group is 83.

Also read: Jailhouse death of US black woman stirs suspicions

"You can apologize, but you can't take away the experience we had," Lisa Johnson, an Antioch, California, author who has organized the group's outings to wine country for the last 17 years, told the Oakland Tribune. "We were still marched down the aisle of the train car to waiting police officers. I'm still traumatized by the whole experience."

Wine train spokesman Sam Singer said employees had repeatedly asked the women to either quiet down or get off the train and accept a free bus ride back to their starting point.

Giaccio said he had a conversation with Johnson, a leader of the Sistahs on the Reading Edge Book Club, and offered the group the free passes for a reserved car "where you can enjoy yourselves as loudly as you desire."

"We were insensitive when we asked you to depart our train by marching you down the aisle past all the other passengers," he said in his letter. "While that was the safest route for disembarking, it showed a lack of sensitivity on our part."

The Napa Valley Wine Train offers food and wine to passengers as they roll to Napa County wineries in updated Pullman cars.

On average, Singer said, individuals or groups are asked to get off the wine train once a month for various reasons.

Wine train employees had called police in St. Helena about the book club members, who were already off the train when officers arrived.

Police spokeswoman Maria Gonzalez said it was the first time in memory that the wine train had sought assistance from the department escorting off a large group.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...