Raising a glass to women in wine this International Women's Day

Raising a glass to women in wine this International Women's Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) we are shining a spotlight on some inspiring women who have pivotal roles in the drinks industry.

To champion women in wine is more important than ever as highlighted by a recent UK survey of 726 participants by Proof Insight and Queena Wong at Curious Vines. Some of the more alarming takeaways illustrate there is still a long way to go for gender equality in the industry:  

  • “78% of women feel that sexism and gender bias is an issue in the UK wine industry”
  • “92 per cent of respondents feel that wine culture is still male-dominated”

However, there are positives to focus on such as how far the industry has come with women making up nearly half of new Masters of Wine and a large increase in women choosing to study wine. Surveys like this can also be used to shake up and kickstart conversations in the industry which should result in action. 

Here we have selected six women who are making waves in the wine industry worldwide alongside one of their wines. 

Jane Hunter – Hunter’s MiruMiru NV, Marlborough New Zealand

Jane Hunter, a highly qualified viticulturalist, took over the running of Hunter’s in 1987 after the tragic death of her husband Ernie and has built Hunter’s Wines into a world-renowned establishment. For her services to New Zealand viticulture she has received numerous awards notably, an OBE, CNZM and the first woman to be inducted into the NZ Wine Hall of Fame. In 2018 Jane was inducted as Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers – an award recognising her service and dedication and for her outstanding contribution to the field.

MiruMiru Non-Vintage was first launched in 1997. Made with the champagne grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier this Methode Traditionelle spends 12-18 months on lees. Light yeasty characters with peach and citrus aromas mingling with light red fruit on the palate. A rival for Brut Champagne...

Susana Balbo –  Crios Torrontés, Mendoza Argentina

Susana Balbo, a pioneer of female winemaking in Argentina. First female enologist of Argentina, President of Wines of Argentina three times. An influential figure in the exportation of Argentinian wine and a lifetime ambassador of Malbec.

Susana known as the “Queen of Torrontés” for transforming Torrentés into Argentina’s star white varietal. Crios Torrontés is crisp, refreshing and aromatic with notes of citrus and passion fruit. Lively acidity and mineral finish add depth and balance to the palate.

Myriam Ambuzer – Lyrarakis Mandilari PGI Rosé, Crete Greece

Myriam Ambuzer is head winemaker at Lyrarakis and has been vital in Lyrarakis being recognised as one of the elite wineries in Greece. Her philosophy emphasises precision, purity and supple texture of the fruit. She argues it is all about expressing authenticity and achieving harmony. 

Mandilari Rosé is a pale strawberry colour, with red fruit aromas, dark berry and unripe cherry flavours, finishing completely dry.

Jane and Julie Campbell – Bobbie Burns Shiraz Campbells, Rutherglen Australia  

Campbells is now owned by 5th generation sisters Jane (Managing Director) and Julie Campbell (Winemaker). With a shared vision to champion the region by leading the way with outstanding wines, innovative and progressive practices “Wine is in our blood; we’ve grown up with it. We live it, breathe it and love it”.

Full bodied wine full of dark berry and ripe plum fruit flavours. Well balanced with firm tannins, notes of liquorice and spice.

Catherine Marshall – Pinot Noir Clay Soils, Elgin Valley South Africa

Catherine Marshall Wines was the first true micro-winery in the Western Cape with Pinot Noir the focus. Establishing a groundbreaking, alternative approach to winemaking, low-tech but hands-on methods she set the trend for the garagiste (wine making on a small scale, not owning wineries) movement in South Africa.

This wine is layered and textured with truffle savouriness and earthy forest floor interwoven with black cherry fruit flavours with balanced tannin structure.

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