Some people imagine the universe of wine as a very masculine place. Vineyard owners, wine makers, sommeliers, oenologists, cellar chiefs…More and more women are exercising and claiming their passion for wine. In all the wine regions, many houses are managed and run by women. Here are 5 seasoned professionals in wine that you should know about
The world of wine; Women are in the business too
Women are no longer “spectators”, in France and everywhere else, women are investing more and more in all of the professional vinicultural sectors. The world of wine is slowly but surely becoming more diverse. Today 1/3 of oenologists and ¼ of sommeliers are women. According to the Union of Oenologists, women account for 50% of oenology students (2014).
The diversification of the wine and oenological sectors has encouraged a transmission of knowledge which isn’t restricted to gender. The emergence of communication, marketing, and wine tourism has made it possible to expand the wine world’s career opportunities to suit everyone’s diverse career experience. In 1988, 13.5% of vineyard heads were women and in 2010, 28%. This increase, although slow, is a sign that shows promise.
5 Unforgettable Ambassadors that you should know about
Caroline Frey – Maison Paul Jaboulet Aine and Chateau La Lagune
Dynamic 30-something, Caroline Frey conducts the vineyards belonging to her family: Chateau La Lagune (3rd Grand Crue Classé Haut-Medoc), in the Rhone Valley and Chateau Corton Andre in Burgundy. Her passion for wine and her job come from father who put her right into the world of wine at a young age. With a diploma from the Oenology Institute of Bordeaux, she took the reins of La Lagune at the age of 24. Her desire to include her wines among the best of their respective appellations is her driving motivation. Caroline Frey revolutionises with finesse, in her field.
Using traditional wine-making techniques, she makes the innovative choices to impose change. She also is steering towards organic viticulture. On a search for excellence, she hopes to respond to an ethical question by discussing with all the vineyards and converting them to bio-dynamics. After 10 years of experience in organic farming, she produced a 2016 Organic certified vintage for Chateau La Lagune.
Carol Duval-Leroy – Champagne Duval-Leroy
An Eco-science graduate, Carol Duval-Leroy, is the head of a Champagne house: Maison Duval-Leroy. She is one of the most influential women in Champagne, and has transformed the DNA for the family business. Always striving for permanent perfection; Carl Duval-Leroy has modernised her production tools, diversified her range and met the challenge of creating quality wines. The brand is the result of positive and passionate work, to offer authentic Champagnes. The Champagne is a result of the harmonious work carried out by cellar manager Sandrine Logette-Jardin.
A woman of conviction, she had the idea to create the prize “Woman of Champagne” which annually rewards “a woman who is daring, innovative, maturity, refinement, and through personal investment tends to modify the existing standards to propose new ones”.
Corinne Mentzelopoulos – Chateau Margaux
Named “The Lady of Margaux”, Corinne Mentzelopoulos runs Chateau Margaux. She did not inherit anything, she earned it. A graduate from the Political Studies Institute in Paris, she started as a product manager at the Havas agency. When her father passed, in 1980, she took over the management of Chateau Margaux. Surrounded by the famous oenologist Emile Peynaud and the estate team, Corinne Mentzelopoulos makes every effort to continue the momentum that her father had started. She has been managing the property for 30 years keeping the desire for excellence.
Elisabetta Geppetti – Fattoria Le Pupille
Elisabetta Geppetti is the owner of the house Fattoria Le Pupille. With the nickname “The Lady of Morellino” due to her goals of bringing the production area into D.O.C.G. to its highest distinction. At the age of 20 Elisabetta developed her passion for wine and the creation of new vintages. In 1985, she produced her first vintage, in Morellino di Scansano. She very quickly became the ambassador of Maremma and the first woman president of the Consortium of Morellino Di Scansano in 1992. The wines produced by Elisabetta Geppetti are true wines of character and ambassadors of the land that they are from. The cult wine of the estate is the “Saffredi”, an homage to the father and mentor of Elisabetta.
Margareth Henriquez – Champagne Krug
Born in Venezuela, Margareth Henriquez, is a Harvard graduate. Former President of Moet Hennessy in Argentina, she took over the mythic Maison Krug in 2009. She is passionate about the sharing and exchange of cultural differences. She listens to winemakers and works in a similar way to the founder of Krug: Joseph Krug. Margareth is inspired by the personal notebook of Krug where his philosophy is explained in detail. This is what influenced her to produce the Grand Cuvée. It draws heavily from the history, the roots, and even the visionary spirit that the founder had to take on new territories. She gave Krug a new impetus with the help of her team: Olivier Krug (son of Henri), the cellar chief Eric Lebel, and Julie Cavil the oenologist.