Honouring Fierce Winemakers this International Women’s Day
Showcasing Winemakers ( and what to drink ) this International Women’s Day.
Every March 8th, on International Women’s Day, people around the world celebrate women, their achievements, and raise awareness to take action for equality. In an attempt to make a small contribution to applaud women globally, I thought I would honour a few winemakers who have risen to the top of their game and of course, yield some beautiful wines.
However, before I sing the praises of some the coolest winemakers wine professionals in the biz, here’s why I think it is so important to celebrate women in the world of wine.
To begin, the wine industry is dominated by men. Any advancement or success of women in this sphere is a fantastic achievement. Because here’s the thing: There are more male winemakers than female, more male sommeliers than female, and out of 396 MW’s, 138 are female. What’s happening here? Is it harder for women to find time to study? Maybe it’s because they’re juggling roles of being a wife, mother, friend, and savvy wine professional?
Or is it because that in a male dominated fields, people sometimes unknowingly have a problem with women being in power and taking on leadership roles, so the advancement for women is not as slick?
Let me ask you another question: What is the last time you heard someone say, “He is a male winemaker. He is a male MW. He is a male sommelier”. My guess is never.
Now…..How many times have you heard someone say, “She is a female winemaker. She is a female MW. She is a female Master Sommelier.” See my point? I hear it and read it constantly. How is gender relevant? Well, some will argue it’s due to the fact there are too few women, and anytime anyone ‘makes it’, we sing her praises and shout it from the rooftops to inspire and motivate other women to do the same.
There are too few females in the industry and when they succeed at the highest level, it’s a huge accomplishment and it sets as an example for other women to be motivated to do the same. I think we can drop the belittling pronoun and instead simply give women credit for the title they so well deserve. ‘Each for equal’, right?
Women are fierce creatures and soon enough that gender gap n in the professional world will slowly close. There is a sea of strong, determined and incredibly successful women out there who have worked their way to the top in this male dominated industry and it’s inspiring! The winemakers mentioned below are only a few making extraordinary wines that are available in shops here at the SAQ.
Fierce Wine to celebrate this International Women’s Day
Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas : Winemakers at Parés Baltà , Penedès Spain.
Chemical engineer turned oenologist, Marta met her husband Joan Cusiné (part owner and manager of Parés Baltà) during her work as a consultant and it was at this time her love and curiosity for wine started. She began studying at the University of Tarragona and after extensive experiences in Bordeaux, Australia, and Napa Valley, she returned to the Penedès and started making wine for Parés Baltà with her partner Elena Jiménez.
Elena was also bitten by the wine bug after meeting her husband Josep Cusiné (other owner and manager of Parés Blatà), and changed her career from Pharmacist to Oenologist after studying at the University of Tarragona. Together, Marta and Elena are more than just work partners; they are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters. They have taken on leadership roles and make major decisions when it comes to the wine they present to the world, and do so with passion, grace, and incredible amount of grit and determination. The winery is working sustainably and organically, keeping in mind the future generations of Parés Baltà.
Top wines at the SAQ:
Parés Baltà Pink Cava
SAQ: 12888043 $17.85
Parés Baltà Calcari Xarel-lo 2018
SAQ : 11377225 $20.55
Parés Balta Mas Petit Penedes 2018
SAQ : 13557828 $16.50
*All photos taken from Parés Balta
Laura Brennan Bisell and Meghan Zobeck
Laura and Meghan are winemakers and partners of Inconnu Wines, from Napa Valley California. Both ladies did not come from a wine background, but somehow along the way their paths met and today produce some of the purest and pristine wines from different vineyards in Sonoma, Clarksburg, and Contra Costa county to name a few. They make wines with minimal intervention, low sulpher and spontaneous yeasts. Independent, passionate, they are a force of nature and there are 2 current releases available at the SAQ and one more to come soon. Their wines are delicious, refreshing and lively, every release where the words ‘vins de soif’ come to mind after the first sip.
Inconnu Chardonnay Lalalu 2018
Inconnu Lalalu Rosé 2018
SAQ: 13839796 $32.75
Inconnu Lalalu Red 2018*
SAQ: 14307871 $34.75
* Al photos taken from SAQ.com and Innconu Wines
Sisters Isabelle and Celine Meyer are what I consider to be the rock stars of Alsace, and today own and run Domaine Josmeyer.
Today, they run the estate biodynamically, but this wasn’t always the case. It was only after Isabelle’s stage with Noël Pinguet at Domaine Huet in Vouvray that she was inspired to convert her family’s winery from conventional to biodynamic methods.
The goal is not create biodynamic wines, but rather to express their terroir using biodynamic methods. For Celine and Isabelle, it is more than a philosophy, it is a lifestyle. Together they produce some of the most beautifully terroir -driven wines coming out of Alsace.
Pinot Blanc La Mise du Printemps Josmeyer Alsace 2018
SAQ : 12604063 $21.30
Josmeyer Pinot Gris Fromenteau 2015
SAQ : 13200600 $34.50
Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Hengst 2011
SAQ : 14191047 $68.50
Let’s raise a glass, and cheers to all the amazing women of tour past, our present, and our future. #eachforequal
*All photos taken from Josmeyer and SAQ.com