Women in Wine

by Abi

‘[My father] thought [with me] being a girl, I would not keep the estate going for the next generation’
- Anne Gros

Women in the world of wine are fierce. They work hard night and day to produce wines that will blow your socks off, yet, they still face unnecessary judgement due to them being off the “lesser sex”. Being a feminist myself, I could ramble on and on about why women need to be seen as equals in any aspect of today’s world, but, today we will show you why they deserve more respect than is given.

Winemaking is not an easy feat. It is agriculture, and agriculture takes time, it takes patience and it takes elbow grease. It isn’t all about trying wine, they need to tend to the vines, figure out what needs to be done to create their wine, execute that, age it if need be, fix any problems that may come along, and then pray to whichever entity that consumers will buy your wine. Not only that but women winemakers also have to go against the herd (especially in very traditional areas in Europe) and prove to men that they know what they are doing. This is an evening of celebrating a few of these fierce individuals that have made sure they get their respect.

Marie Courtin Resonance Extra Brut 2013
Dominique Moreau of Marie Courtin is as fierce as it gets in Champagne. Located in the Cote de Bar, she already has to face the insufferable ramblings of the North, and how “the south shouldn’t make champagne”, but add in the fact she’s a female too, she has a lot to deal with. But don’t worry, since she founded Marie Courtin in the early 2000’s, she’s allowed her hard work, dedication and love for Champagne come through in her wines. Her wines are considered the quintessential artisanal champagne, where terroir is the main focus, along with minimal intervention practices. The Resonance Extra Brut is 100% Pinot Noir, with zero dosage, and pays a beautiful ode to the terroir of her vineyards. It’s crisp, clean, with delicate bubbles, notes of lemon, lime, mineral and a touch of yeasty characteristics. For the price point, we would argue you can’t find a better champagne. $72.99

Sybille Kuntz Riesling Trocken 2015
Sybille Kuntz grew up learning the ways of German Riesling. Raised in a family of wine markers, she at first thought it wasn’t the career she wanted and moved north to study Business. After graduating, she came to realise that she was in fact missing the wine world, and opened up her own store. The challenge she faced was that she knew she had to sell a range of wines, but all she wanted to sell was her parents high end Mosel Riesling, and once realising that, she knew what she had to do. She started her own project, named after herself, to produce the finest of Mosel Rieslings, showing the range of wines that can be produced from the beautiful landscape. Her Riesling Trocken is one of her top sellers, with a bright and zingy acidity, but a touch of residual sugar to calm the palate. It crisp, fresh and mouth-wateringly delicious. Notes of apple,blossom, wet rock, petrol, citrus and maybe even a touch of chalk, this wine shows the beauty of the Mosel. $42.99

Joie A Noble Blend 2015
Heidi Noble, Owner of Joie Farms, is a sommelier/chef from Vancouver BC. She started out her career as a chef but started to realize that wine was her true passion. In 2004, she purchased 4 hectares in Naramata and started to produce European inspired wines. This Noble Blend is Heidi’s ode to the wines of Alsace. This wine is a blend of Gewürztraminer 49% Riesling 32% Pinot Auxerrois 9% Pinot Blanc 6 % Muscat 4% and is beautifully aromatic. With notes of lychee, apple, blossom, grape and a touch of spice, this is the perfect summer wine. $35.99

Domaine Anne Gros Bourgogne Haute Côte de Nuits Cuvee Marine 2015
Anne Gros was born into the winemaking business, with her father making inexpensive wine in Burgundy. He was ill, and Anne was determined to make wine, but her father believed with her being female, there would be no estate left for the future generations. Forward to 2018, Anne Gros is making waves in Burgundy with her small-scale production. Her Haute Cote de Nuits Cuvee Marine is 100% Chardonnay and is a wine that is delicate and elegant, as much as it is powerful and robust. Named after her daughter, Marine (named for the fact that she was pregnant with Marine when she was planting the vineyard), this wine shows great complexity, with notes of yellow apple, white peaches, preserved lemons, blossom, brioche and oak spice, it is a wine to savour and enjoy. $70.99

Donatella Cinelli Colombini Rosso di Montalcino 2012
Donatella Colombini has worked on her family’s vineyards since she could walk. Working with the vines is her passion, but once the family vineyard was passed down to her brother, who wasn’t involved in the winery previous, Donatella secured a few acres in Montalcino. Since she was affected by the sexist ideals of the wine industry, she made a plan to only hire women. She went around the country and asked from the top students in oenology/viticulture classes, which one person told her “They told me that I’d need to wait months to have a good student. But when I said I wanted a female student, they said that there were lots, because no winery wanted them,”. The first woman-operated winery in Italy was born, and their wines have been moving up the ranks ever since. This Rosso di Montalcino is full of life, with notes of summer berries, earth and oak. $40.99

Bench 1775 Syrah 2014
Bench 1775 is located on Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley. Val Tait is the head winemaker, and is one of the leading ladies in the BC Wine scene. He approach to viticulture is organic, biodynamic and sustainable, and to show the terroir of the Okanagan in her wines. This Syrah is a beautiful expression of the grape and the region, with notes of violet, dark berries, earth and a touch of vanilla. $29.99

Venus La Universal Dido 2015
Venus is a small production coming from Montsant, Spain. Sara Perez, head winemaker, has been making wine for years, but in the early 2000’s, she saw her vineyard dying. Unsure of what to do, she decided to switch her production to organic and sustainable. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with notes of ripe berries, cedar, tobacco, earth and some oak spices. $37.99

Special thank you to the lovely people at Peasant Cheese for the amazing cheese and charcuterie boards! And thank you to everyone who attended the event!

- Abigail Pavka

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