Women who Wine: A Celebration of Female Winemakers
As a female owned wine store, we here at The Wine Shop are excited to celebrate International Women’s Month by showcasing female winemakers, producers and winery owners!
So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to some very talented ladies who’s hard work and artistry we are proud to display on our shelves and pass their stories on to you.
Sisters, Stephanie Meneux de Nonacourt and Alexandra Pereyre de Nonacourt of Champagne Laurent Perrier. These two daughters of Bernard de Nonacourt, who was the initiator of the Laurent-Perrier style and range, now own and operate the largest family and female owned champagne house. At the Shop we have their Brut and Rosé Champagnes as well as magnums.
After the first World War, Alsatian native Armand-Raphaël Graser relocated to the village of Damery in Champagne. There he started his family’s Champagne House, AR Lenoble, which just celebrated it’s Centennial in 2020. In 1993, Armand-Raphaël’s granddaughter, Anne Malassagne, took over what is rare in Champagne in that the winery has been in the family and 100% family-owned since it’s foundation! Stop in and savor their Terroir Rosé, savor the Brut Intense or go bold and enjoy their Brut Nature Zero Dosage.
East of Tuscany, on the Adriatic Sea, lies Le Marche where winemaker and owner Donatella Sartarelli makes her Verdicchio, a light-bodied and dry white wine with a sleek texture and peaches on the nose. Working closely with her daughter, Caterina, who’s in charge of the export market, make Verdicchio solely. Their Balciana, which they make to be age-worthy, is not only stunning, but we have the back vintage 2011, which is drinking gorgeous right now!
The Ben Ryé from Donnafugata is without question one of our absolute favorite dessert wines. CEO, singer and winemaker, José Rallo, makes this exquisite dessert wine that pairs with foie gras, blue cheese and/or chocolate! The name Donnafugata refers to the novel Il Gattapardo (The Leopard) by Tomasi Di Lampedusa. Literally translated, “Donna in Fuga” means Woman in Flight and refers to the story of a queen who found refuge in the part of Sicily where the company’s vineyards are located today.
Once upon a time, Kendall-Jackson purchased a beautiful piece of property in Mendoza, Argentina, and there they built a state of the art facility. But because they did not employ any local laborers to build the winery, nor did they source any of the building materials locally, they were denied water access and therefore ultimately had to sell.
Patricia Ortiz now owns the winery, but she and her husband live an hour and a half away from the winery, so they are often apart for long stretches at a time. On the label is a depiction of a lone man, which is a representation of Patricia’s husband being alone. They decided to call the wine ‘Solo’ but when it went into production, there was a typo and it came out as Zolo. They liked it anyway and decided to keep the new name. We have their Reserve Malbec or Estate Cabernet Sauvignon to choose from.
Setting the standard for what everything Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina should be, comes Susana Balbo. After nearly two years as a wine consultant, Susana opened her own winery and started making her own wine. With a focus on food safety, environmental sustainability and corporate responsibility, this definitive Malbec is the textbook example of Malbec, hitting every point and checking every box. Hers is the benchmark to which all others should be measured against.
Since the early 1970’s, we’ve all enjoyed the wines from Cakebread out of Napa Valley. Known primarily for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, both of which we carry, they have in Stephanie Jacobs their first female winemaker in their nearly five decade history. Continuing Cakebread’s legacy of making world class wine, Stephanie is also only the forth winemaker since the winery’s inception.
Because every winemaking year provides a new and unscripted tale to tell, writer, designer and winemaker Emily Towe Brix found her perfect calling by telling the stories of her land throughout California’s Central Coast and bottling them. At the J Brix winery, she and her husband have only two rules that they love by. One – tell the story of the true expressions of their land. And Two – spread Only Love. Open a bottle of their Chenin Blanc or Carignan and love life!
After studying for an undergraduate degree in traditional agriculture and Italian, all the while working in the vineyards of Tuscany, Martha Stoumen came back to California and opened her own winery. Contrary to most Californian winemakers, Martha spends more time working in her vineyards, as she did in the Tuscan fields, rather than in the winery itself. She take a very hands-off approach in her winemaking practices, letting the land speak for itself and cultivates and harvests half of her vineyard herself. The Post Flirtation blend of Carignan with Zinfandel is easily one of our favorites.
Having moved to Willamette Valley at 16, Brianne Day fell in love with the vineyards of Oregon. In her early twenties, she traveled the world to see and explore even more vineyards. Having worked in France, New Zealand and Argentina before coming back to Oregon in 2008 to start making her own wines, she easily makes one of the best Pinot Noirs in the Willamette Valley. And as a special treat, she just this year released her very first orange wine, L’Orange, an unoxidized expression of Riesling, Muller Thurgau and Pinot Gris.
March is International Women’s Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day. So come down to the marina, enjoy the view of the harbor from the Shop and help us celebrate the extraordinary talents of these women who wine.
The Wine Shop Team