free run juice

international women (wine) day!

Today is International Women’s Day, so wanted to share a few of my favorite wines made by women. Winemaking has traditionally been a male-dominated art, and in California only 10% of the lead winemakers at wineries are women (this website is great for stats and education resources). I’ve travelled all over the world and have met so many women who are now making great wine. Here are just a few.


1 Eileen Crane makes great domestic sparkling wine at Domaine Carneros. My favorite is the blanc de noir, and my mom’s favorite is Le Rêve, but the regular brut is also great and a fantatisc value at $27 here.

2 Lagrein is usually super heavy and inky, but Elena Walch‘s is delicate, balanced, and the best one I’ve had (around $16). The guy winemakers in Alto Adige couldn’t believe she got Lagrein to taste like this.

3 Rias Baixas is the rare wine region where women winemakers actually outnumber the men! It was said that the tradition started because the men would all leave home to go fishing for their livelihood, and the women tended the grapes back at home. Marisol Bueno owns Pazo Señorans and oversees the vineyard management policy there, and is also the former president of the Rias Baixas Regulatory Board. Their Albariños were some of my faves ($22 here) when I visited the region – crisp, fresh, but a touch of complexity that many Albariños lack.

4 Laura Catena isn’t just a woman, she’s a force of nature. Her family makes a ton of wine in Mendoza, Argentina, and Laura started a research facility to study the unique terroir of Mendoza that creates such great Malbec. She makes her own line of wine (this Luca Malbec is great, $34 here) – and she’s also an ER doctor in San Francisco.

5 Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of rosé. Kathleen Inman makes Chardonnay that’s the exact opposite of the usual overly-oaky Sonoma fare, and her rosé ($25, here) is one of my all-time faves.

More to come tomorrow, when we rundown some of the best women-made bubbly in Champagne!


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