A women’s place…is in the vineyard, cellar and everyplace besides
With International Women’s Day upon us, we want to make a point of giving a proper shout-out to name but a few of the women winemakers that abound in The Wine Company portfolio. Our hope is that you explore these and raise your glasses to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world.
There are so many but who are the best women winemakers? It is a good question but really a personal one as each of our love for wine is subjective. Our apologies for leaving out other immensely talented women winemakers that we are proud to represent -these mentioned below are but some who are fresh on our minds from recent tastings whose wines struck us as especially moving.
From Caroline Latrive behind the great Champagne Ayala, Marion Javillier of Patrick Javillier in Meursault, and Patrizia Felluga embottling the Collio Cru of Friuli at Zuani, to Gabrielle Shaffer rocking the Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc at Gamling & McDuck in Napa Valley, Heidi Schröck of her eponymous weinbauerin in Austria, and of course Véronique Drouhin-Boss of Joseph Drouhin in Beaune, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Domaine Vaudon in Chablis, and Rose Rock in the Eola-Amity Hills, each of these women make a compelling case that women could very well make better winemakers -just as one might deduce that women make better wine tasters and better sommeliers as they have proven to possess superior organoleptic abilities.
Just think of Jancis Robinson -for whom many of us wine connoisseurs have an open crush. I mean: if not for her palate, for her gift at measured prose! This wine writing doyenne is not only the author of the Oxford Companion to Wine but coauthor of the World Atlas of Wine and many other essentials for any respectable wine library. Jancis has been the wine columnist for the Financial Times and, ahem, wine adviser to none other than HRH Queen Elizabeth II no less! For this and her service to the United Kingdom and the world at large, Jancis was appointed an OBE -an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
This most powerful woman in our trade was the very first outside the commercial wine business to become an MW, or Master of Wine, widely held to be the most difficult qualification in the wine world. This was immensely challenging in every regard no least for its academic rigor. We’ve heard stories that before she shattered the wine glass ceiling, one journalist even had the gall to compare her to a Beaujolais, both “flighty and evanescent.” Can you believe that? Surely this just spurred her on to excel in fine form because it is reported that when they sat that year’s exams for the Master of Wine, hers turned out to be the highest scoring -achieved while pregnant no less!
Our point of all this is to simply assert: women are superheroes and on this day of all days and all days forward, let’s make a vocal effort to give credit where credit is due, to marvel where marveling is due, and to revere as revering is due. We are fortunate to live in an age when women thrive in every role of the wine business and for which we are better.
Please join us in raising a glass to these leaders in their field, among these our very own Robbin Hilgert (President of The Wine Company) and all the wondrous women among us -without which we would be lost. À toutes les femmes qui sont audacieuses pour le changement!