Back in the day it was rare to have a female winemaker. Luckily that’s all changed now, and today on International Women’s Day you have a ton of women-made wines to choose from. Here are a few I’ve enjoyed all over the world, often with the winemakers themselves.
Caroline Diel at Schlossgut Diel in Nahe, Germany
Last year I traveled to Germany to meet the new generation of female winemakers. Caroline worked at the esteemed Domaine de la Romanée Conti among many other wineries around the world until coming back home and taking over winemaking duties from her father. We toured the family’s castle (you know, everyone has one…) and tasted through many of their fantastic Rieslings. So many people think they won’t like Rieslings if they’re sweet but it’s all about the balance, and Caroline has actually reduced the amount of residual sugar in the prädikat wines while still keeping the classic sweet-acid tension.
Helen Masters at Ata Rangi in Martinborough, NZ
Helen walked us through the vineyards, telling us all about the nets they had to canopy over the vines to keep the birds from eating their grapes. Smart birds. I love Ata Rangi’s Pinot Noirs and shared them at a Middlebury Alumni Women in Wine event last fall. They have great fruit but also good tannic structure and texture.
Luisa Ponzi at Ponzi in Willamette Valley, OR
One of America’s first women to be formally educated in Burgundy, Luisa uses gentle handling techniques for their Pinots and Chardonnays. Celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, they were one of the first to plant vines in Oregon.
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