Theme: Wine from Women Wine Producers
The Wine industry has often been dominated by male producers, but the times are changing, and we are starting to see more and more female wine producers putting their names on the map, even in old world areas! Although we aren't meeting exactly on National Wine Day (May 25th), let's honor our Women Wine Producers this month at TWITs. You might be surprised what you learn. I learned about Arianna Occhipinti (pictured above) for example. We've had her wine many times but who knew the story behind it? This may mean you have to ask your local wine shop owner for some help in picking out the wine, but that's okay, that's what they are there for!
(and for the record my husband came up with this theme, not me - isn't he great?)
13 Badass Female Winemakers
12 Outstanding Wines from Women Winemakers
What we bring: TWITs brought a bottle of a wine made from a woman wine producer - within our usual price range (Up to $20/bottle for Single Attendee, between $20 - $40/bottle for Couples, couples only expected to bring 1 bottle per couple)
Welcome Wine: 2014 Domaine Galevan "Libre Expression" Cotes du Rhone - $19.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
80% Clairette, 10% Rousanne, 10% Marsanne - 13.5% alcohol
Coralie Goumarre is the winemaker. Libre Expression means “Free Expression”
A wine that claims its originality between freshness and roundness. Its pale young and shimmering color, its nose of white fruits and scrubland, slightly mineral, and its generous, lively and powerful mouth, underline all the vigneron's know-how and the expression so peculiar to the terroir. AOP Côtes du Rhône -- Free Expression Grape varieties: Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne
Coralie Goumarre is the first woman to take the reigns of the family domain for 9 generations.
Coralie Goumarre is also a member of Femmes Vignes Rhone –
Created in April 2004, the Vignes Rhône women's association was created at the initiative of Anne Hugues, vine grower in the Luberon at the Domaine de La Royère, and INTER-RHÔNE, interprofession of the Rhone Valley who assures us of its support From the beginning.
The members are all wine professionals from the Rhone Valley and perform various functions in the sector, such as: winegrowers, oenologists, sommeliers, merchants, sales and marketing managers, communication officers, specialized journalists.
Les Vignes Rhône Women are committed to promoting the profession of winegrower in a traditionally masculine environment.
Present at many events, professional or general public, in France and abroad, they intend to develop communication and dissemination of the appellations of the Rhone Valley by cultivating a simple and friendly approach to wine.
With about 30 members, the association represents the Côtes du Rhône appellations, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Visan, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Beaumes de Venise, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas, Coteaux du Tricastin Ventoux, Côtes du Lubéron and Costières de Nîmes ....
1) NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, Russian River Valley Carneros - $18 @ Citi Wine & Spirits
100% Pinot Noir, 12.5% alcohol
light pink color, tasty, green apple and pear, herbacious, reminds me of gin, vinho verde
Gloria Ferrer built the first sparkling wine house in Carneros, the first to plant champagne clones, and the first to plant in Carneros. Her family is also connected to Freixenet Cava.
2) 2015 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley - $40 @ Total Wine
100% Sauvignon Blanc, 14.1% alcohol
peach, pineapple, olive note, peaches, calvedos, pithy, pear, nectarine, tropical fruit, citrus, smooth & creamy, loreal shampoo,
Merry Edwards was the first female winemaker in California. Starting in the 1970s, she fought gender discrimination and persevered in her career. She helped change the wine industry by doing a large scale study on lead in wine, ultimately causing the industry to stop producing and using lead capsules. She was a pioneer in recognizing clonal variations of Pinot Noir long before anyone in CA was paying attention. She has her own clone of Pinot Noir called Merry's Clone UCD 37, and is building her vineyard from the ground up. They are nearly 100% estate-based now. In 2013, Merry’s 40th year as a winemaker, she was not only inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame, she also won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional in the United States, just the fourth woman to be so honored.
3) 2016 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand - $19.99 @ The Juice Box
100% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% alcohol
kiwi nose, fresh cut grass, passion fruit, citrus, stone fruits, st germain, champers, elderflower,
Erica Crawford and her husband Kim are the winemakers and founders of Kim Crawford Wines. They did sell the company, but are still involved with some of the winemaking there. Read about their fascinating history here.
4) 2015 Jean Medeville et Fils, Bordeaux Blanc - $19.99 @ PH Wine Merchant
40% Sémillon, 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle, 13% Alcohol
gravel, stone, fruit is green flesh, french, reminds me of a muscadet, jasmine, white flowers, unoaked Chardonnay, just a little green, oyster bed, grass
Jean Medeville is owned by 2 sisters now.
5) 2015 Mirassou Pinot Noir - $7.99 @ Minx
buttery nose, popcorn, old socks, caramel, butterscotch, raspberry, flimsy finish, flaccid, too sweet, too tart, not balanced, creamy texture, vanilla undertones.
The Mirassou's were the first to introduce Pinot Noir to California, and the first to realize the potential of the Central Coast. The Mirassou family also led the way on several important innovations such as permanent vineyard irrigation and field pressing. Their contributions to the California wine industry are as much of a legacy as their wines! Henrietta Mirassou was left to run the company when her husband died at a young age. She was imperative to keeping the company going and passing along to her sons. Today Victoria Ferguson
is the head winemaker and continues their legacy.
6) 2013 HandCraft by Cheryl Indelicato - $13 @ Decatur Package Store
Pinot Noir with a touch of Sangiovese, 13.5% alcohol
more mature nose, black cherries, leather finish, it flogs the senses, mature pinot noir, bitter note on the finish, fruity start then evens out, a bit acidic, would pair well with pork chop, whipped neoprene, wet neoprene on a hot Caribbean dock,
Cheryl Indelicato is the Proprieter of Handcraft Artisan Collection Wines. She is a health professional and vintner, so she makes wellness a top priority. As part of her passion to make a positive difference, she created the program "HandCraft Cares" to support important causes with financial and in-kind donations. Since 2012, HandCraft has contributed $220,000 to support breast cancer research, prevention, and awareness.
7) 2015 Cakebread Cellars, Anderson Valley, Napa California $60 @ The Juice Box
Pinot Noir, 14.7% alcohol
intense nose, vanilla currants, spice-pepper, black cherries, peppery finish, fresh cracked pepper, chocolatey,
Dolores Cakebread co-founded the winery in 1973 with Jack Cakebread. Among her many accomplishments at the winery, including gardening flowers and veggies, she created The Cakebread Cellears Napa Valley Cookbook: Wine and Recipes to Celebrate Every Season's Harvest. Each recipe is paired with a Cakebread Cellars wine making it possible to recreate the delicious and idyllic Napa Valley lifestyle at home.
8) 2013 Cambria Estate Benchbreak Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley - "minus $5" @ City Wine & Spirits (because he bought the T-shirt)
Pinot Noir, 13.5% alcohol
plum mouth, prune nose, the de-aging wine, the Benjamin Button wine, thin, flimsy finish,
Barbara Banke & Jess Jackson's Daughters: Julie & Katie grew up among these vines. These women have shaped Cambria into who they are today. Cambria Winery stands not only for quality, but community. As a female-owned and operated winery, they know that when strong women work together, they can change the world! Seeds of Empowerment Program is a $100,000 annual grantmaking program that celebrates remarkable women leaders and charitable organizations. From supporting the winery’s Santa Maria Valley community, to honoring women making a difference on the other side of the world, Cambria created Seeds of Empowerment to recognize and inspire leadership in women across the USA and around the globe
9) 2014 Domaine Galevan "Paroles de Femme" Cotes du Rhone - $17.99 @ Le Caveau Fine Wines
60% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, 10% Carignan - 14% alcohol
Paroles de Femme means "Words of woman"
chalky, bubble gum, cinnamon, big red on the palate, flower, lilacs on the nose, goldschlagger, black licorice, tobacco, fireball, cough drops, halls, leathers, ash, a Monday wine, hyacinth, cloves
Coralie Goumarre is the winemaker - we wrote about her for the welcome wine, see above.
10) 2013 Susana Balbo Malbec, Valle de Uco, Argentina - $25 @ Hintons Wine
94% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot - 14.5% alcohol
chocolate, red fruits, earthy, artichokes on the palate, inky, dense, smooth, its good, I'd bring this on a date, tobacco leaf, certainly quaffable, intense, better than the wine I brought, ageable, fresh cut grass, "a big boy"
Known as the "Queen of Torrontes", Susana Balbo was the first female in Argentina to get her degree in enology. She was in charge of developing and stylizing the Torrontes varietal. In 2012 she was recognized as one of the "Most Influential women Wine-makers" by the Drink Business Magazine, and in 2015 she was awarded by the same magazine as "Woman of the year". She is the first Argentinean woman hired as a consultant to wineries worldwide. She now has her own winery and is creating her own wines.
11) 2011 Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal Bordeaux Pauillac, France - $42 @ Total Wine
Bordeaux Blend, 13% alcohol
perfume nose, sexy nose, raspberry, flavored cigarillos, rose, tobacco, cherry cavendish, wonderful nose, cloves,
One of the 18 5th growth (crus) vineyards of 1855 in Bordeaux.
Claire Villars Lurton (winemaker) was born into a family of winemakers. She was a doctorate student in Physics and chemistry applied to archeology in Paris. When her parents died in an accident, she returned to Bordeaux to help manage the family estates. While juggling this, she studied viticulture and oenology at the Faculty of Oenology in Bordeaux, and was trained by her grandfather Jacques Merlaut. At the young age of 25 she took over management of Chateaux Ferriere, Haut-Bages Liberal, and La Gurgue. Read more about this amazing woman here: http://www.hautbagesliberal.com/en/wineyard-a-winery/the-estate/82-la-proprietaire.html
12) 2015 Katherine Goldschmidt, Crazy Creek, Alexander Valley - $20 @ The Juice Box
100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% alcohol
sexy wine, smooth, higher alcohol content, Syrah perhaps, its a big bold red, how about that? nose black tea, cherry, mocha, dark spices.
Katherine Goldschmidt is the daughter of Nick Goldschmidt, owner/vintner and winemaker. His expertise is being passed down to his 5 children as evidenced by the wines released under their names (Chelsea, Hilary, and Katherine).
*We also tasted a 2014 of this same wine. Delicious!
13) 2014 Cambria Tepusquet Vineyard Syrah - $30 for Club Members
100% Syrah, 14.5% alcohol
chocolate, cranberry, black currants, earthiness if you stick your nose in it really far, burnt tar, pavement, toasted toffee, smores, caramel taste, grip!
This wine was made by Denise Shurtleff, who joined Cambria Winery in 1999. Read more about Cambria above.
14) Gallo Pinot Noir Magnum - $7.99 @ Minx
Pinot Noir, 12.5% alcohol
Early pine sol vintage, we're not snobs it's just awful, toothpaste & grape jelly, glue paste, juicy juice, juicy juice is better than this wine, all the grapes in welches together, Methodist communion wine.
Gina Gallo is heiress to the Gallo estate.
15) Myx Fusions Moscato - 6-pack is $
Moscato wine & Peach flavoring, 5.5% alcohol
Nicki Minaj's product.
Overall we learned that Women Winemakers appear to care more about sustainability in winemaking, and about helping other women in the wine industry.