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5 Women Winemakers Share Their Signature Wines

Time:2017-03-03 09:11wine - Red wine life health Click:

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March is Women's History Month and March 8th is International Women's Day, a worldwide celebration of women's social, economic and political achievements. Now, more than ever, it's important to toast the progress that women have made -- and why not do that with afemale-produced wine?


According to the Wine Institute, 57% of wine purchases made in the U.S. are made by women. Only an estimated 10 percent of California's winemakers are female, as reported in a study from Santa Clara University- and as for the rest of the world, that figure may be even lower. As any woman who has tried to progress in a male-dominated industry knows, closing the gender gap is no small challenge and we applaud the women who are at the forefront of winemaking today. We asked 5 of our favorites to tell us the wine that is most expressive of their winemaking philosophy and style. These wines are beautifully crafted and full of elegance and finesse ... and tasting them leaves no doubt that the future (of wine) is female.


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Melissa Burr Melissa Burr, Stoller Family Estate

Melissa was raised in Oregon's Willamette Valley, one of the best growing regions in the world for high quality Pinot Noir. After studying winemaking and fermentation science at OSU, she worked as a harvest hand at several local wineries and as production winemaker at Cooper Mountain before landing at Stoller in 2003, where she has been helming the cellar ever since. She considers her signature wine to be Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2015:

"It's our mosaic wine: you get a really good representation of our site including all of our clones and elevations because it is a blend of our entire property. It's a great, balanced snapshot of Stoller and our winemaking style." Elegant and approachable, this wine -- entirely made from estate fruit -- beams with bright cherry fruit and beautiful floral aromas.

(TRY: these five lesser-known red wines)

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Alie Shaper Alie Shaper, As If Wines

Alie Shaper has a comprehensive background in wine- after a stint as a beverage director for a restaurant group and working wine retail, she wanted to more fully immerse herself in the world of wine-- so she took a harvest job in Long Island's North Fork and essentially never looked back. The veteran of many projects as a consulting winemaker, sheis the founder of Brooklyn Oenology, whose wines have won numerous awards, and her newest project is her own label telling the story of her own creative journey, As If Wines. Alie shared with us the story of her As If Wines "Courage" Rosé:

"The As If Wines 'Courage' Rosé I think is the heart of the overall range of the wines. Not only do I most enjoy producing rosés, I absolutely love blending several varietals together, as I do with each of the As If wines. It represents me as both a person and a winemaker; it's about discovery, play, experimentation, and creativity - thinking outside the box, just trying things out, allowing for a wine blend to organically reveal itself to me, but all the while with a sense of direction of where I want a wine to go and trusting the process. To me, that's very much about how life unfolds; while success (in whatever form we believe defines it) is certainly delicious and what we all hope for, life is really all about the try. It's about mustering up the courage to take a thoughtful risk, embracing it, and enjoying the forging of a path just as much as its outcome."

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Kathleen Inman Kathleen Inman, Inman Family Wines

A Napa native, Kathleen started her eponymous winery in 2000, planting the Olivet Grange Vineyard in Sonoma's Russian River Valley. One one of things that defines Kathleen's winemaking is her dedication to environmental issues and 'natural' winemaking: sensitive farming combined with non-interventionist winemaking practices. The result is subtle and nuanced wines, a far cry from the overripe, rich, and -- dare we say it -- more masculine style prevalent in the Russian River. A lovely example of her elegant style is her OGV Estate Pinot Noir 2013.

"The Olivet Grange Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir is the a baby that I give birth to every year. I labor over this wine in the vineyard and in the cellar and I believe it is the epitome of my winemaking style and philosophy." Kathleen crafts all of her wines without any additions of water, acid, enzymes or tannins and ferments with the native yeast on the grapes and the naturally available bacteria -- and the results are indeed spectacular. With only 390 cases of this signature wine produced, get some while you can!

(LEARN: more about organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wine)

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