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Fast Rising Young Winemaker from Fresno Faces Sexual Misconduct Accusations

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In the wine world, Krista Scruggs has been viewed for years as an up-and-coming star.

She was raised in Fresno and spent considerable time working on her grandfather’s farm while growing up. Today, she leases a 56 acre vineyard in Vermont and runs ZAFA Wines, described as an all-natural wine and cider producer.

Wine Enthusiast named Scruggs one of “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” in 2018. Fast Company included her on its “Most Creative People in Business” list, and NBC’s “Today Show” chronicled how a self-described “black, queer woman” was making it in Vermont agriculture.

But the most recent press Scruggs has received — an online essay she wrote for Food and Wine magazine — now features a disclaimer at the start: “Since the publication of this story, allegations of sexual harassment at ZAFA Wines have come to light, as ZAFA Wines has acknowledged on their Instagram page.”

The note alludes to a wave of accusations Scruggs has faced on social media over the past week and a half alleging multiple acts of sexual misconduct, including verbal harassment, groping and sexual coercion.

Scruggs herself addressed the charges in an Instagram video, denying that she committed any wrongdoing. At the same time, she apologized to “any individual who I have harmed” and said she had been “inconsiderate and thoughtless.”

The allegations are the latest in a series of business and legal issues Scruggs and ZAFA Wines have faced in recent months.

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