Back in March we celebrated the achievements of women in every sector of humanity as part of International Women’s Month, only to have our festivities abbreviated by the COVID-19 outbreak. As a wine professional, I’d like to continue to spotlight the successes and acknowledge the remaining challenges women face in my industry while we have this rare period of quiet contemplation. And with Mother’s Day quickly approaching, why not share a toast to women making strides in the wine world, both here and abroad!
Despite the persistent salary gap—women in wine make still make 20% less than men—and less access to capital—a factor that makes starting and/or growing a business more difficult for women than their male counterparts—the number of female winemakers has increased, there are more women in wine business leadership positions, and the number of networks to support women in wine has exploded. Here are a trio of women whose wines are worth seeking out as we toast mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.
One of the most noteworthy examples success is the recent award of Napa Valley’s Winemaker of the Year to Linda Trotta of Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, whose 33-year career spanned all aspects of the winemaking business, including working harvests, launching winery start-ups, transforming viticultural techniques, and mentoring other women in the industry. As head winemaker at Jamieson Ranch, her wines are balanced, approachable, and highly enjoyable. Try the Reata Sonoma Coast Chardonnay for an aromatic, brightly acidic, creamy, and complex wine indicative of the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast vineyards from where it’s produced. The Reata Three County Pinot Noir weaves together characteristics from the micro-climates of Monterey, San Benito, and Sonoma resulting in a bold, yet elegant wine with well-integrated tannins, black fruit notes, and layered earthiness. Available locally, these wines truly showcase Trotta’s contribution to all aspects of the wine production spectrum.
Born in Serbia, Marina Cvetic grew up on her grandfather’s small vineyard before venturing to Italy and marrying legendary winemaker Gianni Masciarelli, whose wines had become the standard-bearer for the Abruzzo region. When Masciarelli passed away in 2008, Cvetic, who was already intimately involved in the viticultural aspects of the brand, assumed all operations and production of the estate, and continued the legacy of these award-winning wines. Since then she has also exploded the production capacity of the winery, helped to promote the entire Abruzzo wine region as the top-quality producer of wine from the Montepulciano varietal, and is training her daughter to take over the business. Discover the Masciarelli Montepuliano d’ Abruzzo for a wine that is truly an ambassador of the region and an approachable introduction to the varietal. Widely available, this wine is rich and ripe with dark cherry fruit, attractive spicy and smoky notes, ending with a long yet complex finish. Like Cvetic’s ambition and success, this wine surpasses expectations.
The Quiot Family has been making wine since 1748 from small vineyards in Chateauneuf-du-Pape that have steadily grown over the last two-and-half centuries to include larger estates in the Rhone Valley and, more recently, in Provence. Wines from well-known appellations Domaine de Vieux Lazaret, Domaine Houchart, Domaine Duclaux, and Domain Trignon cling to tradition and showcase the family’s prestige. As a member of the family’s thirteenth generation Florence Quiot, continues this legacy with an eye towards innovation and modernism. As owner and CEO of the family business, she has helped position the operations and production to respect tradition but acknowledge the changing palate of wine drinkers in emerging markets. As head winemaker, she strives to make “vigneron” wines that are of great quality combined with high approachability, hence the focus on wines from Provence and Southern Rhone, both areas of explosive growth for the French wine production. In no style is this ever more present than the ubiquitous rose, which has cemented its stake in wine glasses everywhere. Quiot’s innovative but traditional style shines through in her Domaine Houchart’s Cotes de Provence Rose. Made from the traditional Rhone varietal blend, this version is lively, crisp, and fruity, with a bright and herbaceous palate. Widely available, this is a wine to truly celebrate the achievements of women of making strides in the wine business and those women simply enjoying glasses quietly.
Let’s enjoy wine alone, together! #Wineschool knows no bounds! Contact me at email@example.com to set up your own virtual wine education class. With more flexibility then ever before, we can set up intimate virtual experiences or happy hours to include all your friends and family. Cheers!