Today is the day to toast all the wonderful women in your life because let’s face it….you wouldn’t be here without them. Today is International Women’s Day. While I wish we didn’t have to draw attention to the fact that there are amazing women doing the work so often associated with men, it continues to happen, like in the wine industry. Still, strong, independent women have been thriving in the industry for generations, crafting expressive, elegant, delicious wine. Here are a few to enjoy this day. And, while you are imbibing, hug the wonderful women in your life. Cheers!
Pauline Lhote sparkles as much as her Napa Valley bubbles. The Champagne native has been the director of Chandon for the past fifteen years, crafting lively, refreshing traditional method sparkling and still wines from the rolling hills of Carneros. Chandon By The Bay Reserve Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine is predominantly Chardonnay with a touch of Pinot Blanc, adding freshness and balance, with the Chardonnay lending creamy richness and sophistication. Fresh pie crust and allspice meld with crisp gala apple, ripe pear, and lemon curd, producing a delicious, well-balanced palate.
Easy and approachable, with complexity and structure describes not only the wines of the Stoller Family Estate but also the dynamic woman behind those wines. Melissa Burr has been the head winemaker for the Willamette Valley winery since its beginnings. What started as a small mom-and-pop winery has grown into one of the most dynamic producers in the region, ushered forward under the watchful eye of Buff. Today she is the vice president of winemaking, leading a team of women with Stoller Winery and sister-property Chehalem. Zesty and crisp, a glass of Stoller Rose of Pinot Noir will always make me smile. Vibrant with layers of watermelon and wild strawberry, golden peach, and apricot. It is the perfect wine to welcome spring, sip all summer, and pair with holiday favorites throughout the year.
With a love for the outdoors and the water, MacRostie Winery Estate’s Heidi Bridenhagen does everything with immense respect for the land and Mother Earth. At the young age of 29 she took the helm of the historic Sonoma winery in 2013, ushering in a new era for the property and its wines. Today, almost ten years later, the wines show her dedication to her craft, displaying the terroir in each expression. MacRostie Day Ranch Pinot Noir showcases this dedication, revealing the rustic, rugged nature of the northern California region of Anderson Valley through each expressive drop. Bold and complex, the wine reveals robust black cherry, boysenberry, and wild blackberry layers. The fruit notes are wrapped in an earthiness of wet leaves, woody herbs, and truffle, with a hint of crushed stone.
Sonoma native and Cal Poly graduate, Dana Epperson, leads the team of Migration Winery, showcasing cool-climate wines primarily from the Sonoma Coast. With a hands-off attitude and a light touch to her winemaking style, she crafts Migration’s wines to be luscious, lively, and consistently delicious. Migration Sonoma Coast Chardonnay enjoys the influence of Pacific breezes and morning fog to create wines with vibrant freshness and acidity. This freshness is balanced with a creamy, spiciness from ten months of aging in partially new French oak. The resulting wine is balanced and rich, with stone fruit, white flower, and citrus, perfect for pairing with roasted chicken or pork.
Molly Chappellet is a busy woman. In addition to raising a family and building a winery, she is also a James Beard award-winning author, garden designer, landscape gardener, cook, and so much more. She and her husband, Donn, began Napa’s Chappellet winery on Pritchard Hill over 50 years ago when Napa was in its early years of modern-day development. Over the years, much has changed in the region, but the wines of Chappellet Winery have not. They continue to express the character of the land that she and Donn fell in love with. Chappellet Grower Collection Apple Lane Pinot Noir highlights the elegance and refinement of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. Just nine miles from the Pacific, the region enjoys a maritime climate with afternoon fog keeping the vines cool, locking in acidity and freshness. Warm summer days ensure even ripening throughout the growing season. The result is a juicy Pinot Noir filled with layers of ripe raspberry, pomegranate, and cranberry with notes of soft herbs, cola, and spice.
Let’s all raise a glass to Hayley. Without her, who would know of these great wines and the flavors you enjoy. Thank you Hayley.
About a month ago I featured CHÂTEAU BEAUSÉJOUR FRONSAC 2018, from a winery run by women. Celebrate our wives, mothers, sisters…with a special glass!