The Wine Blog

Women in Wine

March 7, 2014


With “Inspiring Change” as this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, we thought we would highlight some women who have done just that.

In our “Women in Wine” List, we feature a handful of wines powered by women. It is a short sampling of the many female influencers in the wine industry – a taste of what women have contributed, if you will.

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Veuve Clicquot la Grande Dame was created in honor of Madame Veuve Clicquot, who took over her husband’s wine business when she was widowed at 27. She catapulted her small, Champagne start-up into success with her invention of disgorging. Prior to this technique, Champagne was cloudy and far from the sparkling masterpiece you know today. Santé!

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Kathryn Kennedy Cabernet Sauvignon Small Lot is made in honor of the winery’s late founder and CA wine industry pioneer. Kathryn Kennedy wine was not only the first in CA to bear a woman’s name, but also among the only wineries to set up shop in Saratoga, rather than Napa, in the 1970’s. She also helped define the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in 1981, from which she produces this wine.


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Inman Family Pinot Noir is the pure creation of Kathleen Inman, the self-described “Grapegrower, winemaker, salesperson, accountant, and forklift driver” of Inman Family Wines. A true leader and innovator, as well as one of the first to jump off the grid. The winery is made up almost entirely from recycled materials, and is 100% solar powered!

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Domaine Catherine le Goeuil Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne is putting Cairanne on the map. Catherine Le Goeuil has been a leading pioneer for wines from Cairanne, a special village in the Cotes du Rhone that has merited its own designation by way of superior quality. Catherine tends her vines organically and makes her wines with care and precision.

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Foradori Granato Vigneti della Dolomiti IGT is a unique wine made by Elisabetta Foradori, one of Italy’s top “superstar” winemakers.  Elisabetta is a pioneer of indigenous grape varietals and biodynamic wine making. She is Italy’s finest producer Teroldego (tehr-AWL-deh-go) wines, one of the country’s oldest and finest traditional grapes which have expanded interest in this ancient varietal.


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Chateau Fonbadet Pauillac Pascale Peyronie is a Pauillac Pioneer! Say that five times fast. A fourth generation owner and winemaker, she is one of the only female winemakers in the region and part of a generation perpetuating change in a historically male-dominated wine region.

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Palmaz Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon was created by the dynamic duo Tina Mitchell and Mia Klein, two of the most forward-thinking wine makers, particularly in natural wine making. Tina was trained under André Tchelistchef, “The Dean of Winemaking.”

Mia is the go-to consultant for other top women-owned wineries such as, Araujo Estate, Spottswoode, Dalla Valle and Viader.


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Gallo Of Sonoma Signature Series Pinot Noir Santa Lucia defies your perception of Gallo wines. Gina Gallo, winemaker, CEO and granddaughter to Julio Gallo, has reinvented the Gallo name, producing a line of beautiful fine wines from Gallo of Sonoma.


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St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc is a fresh and vibrant sauvignon blanc, reflective of the winery’s energetic CEO, Emma Swain. This superstar finance executive turned wine maven, has led several Napa wineries to success in addition to running several half-marathons.


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Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Sauvignon is a favorite of winery owner, Molly Chappellet. She and her husband Donn, co-founded Chappellet Winery in 1967, and have since passed it on to their children, including daughter Carissa Chappellet. Molly is a known artist, entertainer and James Beard Award winner for her book, “A Vineyard Garden.”


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We have also included a couple of wines from these up-and-coming women in wine.  Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir is produced by third-generation winemaker, Barrie Sterling, who is a true Iron Horse Child – it was the first thing she ever tasted when her parents put some on her lips just moments after birth. Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made by Sally Johnson, a young winemaker who got her start at St. Francis winery and is now making internationally acclaimed wines with Pride.

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Over the past few decades, women have become a veritable force in wine, not only in winemaking, but across all aspects of the industry, thanks to trailblazers like Masters of Wine, Jancis Robinson, Mary Ewing Mulligan and Dilek Caner, who are leaders in wine education, the 18 female Master Sommeliers, including the Laura Maneic, the youngest Master Sommelier in history, and all the women working in wine production, education, journalism, entrepreneurship, sales and service.


Who has inspired you? Share your props to the ladies in wine with us.