A celebration of women who’ve made an impact on the industry throughout our wine portfolio. Whether they are the winemaker, the director of marketing, the founder of an estate or the umpteenth generation to carry the mantle of a historic winery – this International Women’s Day, March 8th, we celebrate pioneering women who have built and championed great wine houses from around the world. Browse the portfolio below to learn more about these inspiring ladies.
Winemaker & Owner – Bodegas Castro Martin
Angela’s first love is Biology, and received her biology degree at Madrid University during the 1980s. This was immediately followed by a Masters in Viticulture and Winemaking at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Following her studies Angela eventually took over management of the family bodega in 1993, where she assumed the role of winemaker and general manager, becoming the second generation of the family to run the estate.
In addition to being one of only a handful of female estate owners in the region, she was the first woman to become a member of the tasting panel at the Rias Baixas D.O., controlling the quality of all wine produced in the region. Angela won the Acio de Ouro in 2000 for making the best Albariño in the region, awarded by other winemakers from the denomination. Angela’s contributions were also recognized in the same year when she was installed as Dama de Albariño.
Cyrielle Rousseau joined her father at the domaine in 2014. After obtaining degrees in Geology and Viticulture and a degree in winemaking and oenology in Dijon, she left Europe to learn about winemaking abroad. She assisted with harvests and vinifications in Oregon, Australia and New Zealand, and gained experience on the commercial side by working with wine merchants and importers. Today, she manages the domaine alongside her father, who hands down his knowledge of the work and the vineyards, ensuring that the philosophy of the domain and the values of the family are passed down to yet another generation. For four generations, the Rousseau family has worked tirelessly and passionately on some of the finest terroirs of the Côte de Nuits. From the moment the domain was established, the family developed an enduring ritual: the elders teach the ways of the vine to the next generation. Thus, they maintain the strong bond between man and vine, upholding the family values and strong work ethic through the years. In the Rousseau family, the heartfelt love of the vines is renewed with each generation; a profound respect of the terroir is anchored in the family values.
Winemaker at Domaine Jacques Prieur (Meursault, Burgundy)
& Domaine Labruyere (Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais)
Being well known as the first woman to receive the “Winemaker of the Year” Award by the Revue des Vins de France in 1998, Nadine Gublin is Domaine Jacques Prieur’s winemaker since 1990.
Nadine is not the kind of woman to spend her time in her lab. She clearly shares her day between the vineyard, the cellar, the lab and the tasting room. She likes to feel the health of the vines, to taste each barrel, to make sure the ageing is going well.
If you spend a day with Nadine, you will see how passionate she is about her job, and how great her care for any part of her relationship is with the grapes and the wines. Nadine is convinced that being organic is better for the vines and the wines and that being biodynamic is the next step to achieve her supreme goal: finding the best expression of the Burgundian treasury: the terroir.
Winemaker at Pascal Jolivet (Sancerre, Loire Valley, France)
Valentina is a young and talented winemaker. She joined Pascal Jolivet in 2013. She has gained experience in Italy, California, Chile, New Zealand and many other countries before joining Sancerre.
She is very close to nature and is following Pascal Jolivet’s philosophy consisting in applying a kind of passive way of winemaking. A philosophy applied at the estate since the start in 1990. The main objective is to “passively” develop the natural potential of the fruits, avoiding any chemical product to clarify the juices and any cultured yeast to activate the fermentation process.
Valentina is a perfectionist, she is focusing on the quality of the juices coming from the organic grapes of Pascal Jolivet’s vineyards. As a result, the wines are focused on the fruit which is perfectly integrated with the natural acidity, giving immediate pleasure. This is the “magic” of nature that Valentina is trying to grab when making the wines.
Owner, Le Chiuse
The daughter of Fiorella Biondi Santi, Simonetta grew up surrounded by some of Tuscany’s finest wines. Her childhood summers at Greppo Biondi Santi with her grandfather would foster a love for this special plot of land in Montalcino and Brunello. She studied law at university before starting the long process of restoring the property she inherited from her mother. In 1986, Simonetta began the renovation of the original farmhouse, the vineyards and the construction of a new winery that would make up Le Chiuse. After three years of study, she received her AIS diploma and, today, runs the property with her son, Lorenzo.
Anna & Valentina Abbona
Owners, Marchesi di Barolo
Anna began her career at the winery by overseeing the important project of creating a cellar/restaurant where professional tastings could be held. From there, she joined the ‘Movimento del Turismo del Vino’ (The Wine Tourism Movement), where she was able to improve her skills and put them to work by creating the ‘Guida del Movimento del Turismo del Vino’—a tourism guide dedicated to visiting the wine regions.
While the presence of women in the wine business was still in its developmental stages, Anna involved herself in all aspects of the wine world and was inducted into the ‘Associazione delle Donne del Vino’ or ‘Women in Wine Association’. Starting in 2004, she took on management of Marchesi di Barolo’s export market and its agents throughout the world.
Valentina became involved in the family business even before she finished her studies, heralding in the sixth generation of the Abbona family involved in the estate management. During university, she accompanied her mother on business trips when she wasn’t studying or completing internships in England, India and China. Following her graduation in 2012, Valentina dedicated herself to Marchesi di Barolo full-time. In addition to assisting with winery hospitality, Valentina oversees markets throughout the Western Hemisphere, dedicating her time to being the face of Marchesi in the American market.
Winemaker at Odfjell Vineyards (Padre Hurtado, Maipo Valley)
Born in the heart of Santiago, Francisca Palacios did not always know she was destined to be a winemaker; quite the opposite as no one in her family came from wine. Yet as she was earning her degree in Agronomy at the Universidad de Chile, she discovered winemaking in an elective course and it was love at first sight.
During her studies she also completed harvests in Chilean wineries De Martino, Morandé and Odfjell and it was after fnishing her thesis and degree in both Agronomy and Oenology that Arnaud Hereu, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at Odfjell Vineyards, offered her a permanent position.
“My intent is to make wines without make-up; to show their natural beauty rather than hide behind a facade. My goal is authentic, fresh and vibrant wines”.
Heading now into her ninth harvest, she is a full believer in organic and biodynamic practices not as an end goal but as a tool to make better, authentic wines. She believes that biodynamic practices teaches us to observe at a higher consciousness; to see aspects we would have previously missed in our vines and grapes.
Now fully in charge of winemaking since 2019, Francisca wants to continue making wines that strive for harmony and balance.
Chief Winemaker at Carta Vieja
Rosario pursued her passion for wine after studying Agronomy at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, specializing in winemaking as a member of the Agronomy and Winemaking Engineers Association. With a focus on producing and exporting wines, Rosario quickly made a name for herself. Her dedication and skill led her to assume the role of leading the winemaking team at Vina del Pedregal S.A., where she has excelled in creating wines that embody modernity, elegance and concentration. Her careful approach allows her to maximize the aromas and unique qualities of each grape variety. Rosario’s passion for her craft shines through in every aspect of her work. Her attention to detail and commitment to excellence ensure that each wine she creates is a true reflection of her dedication.
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