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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Women in Wine

I was just watching a recent episode of Samantha Bee's new cable show, Full Frontal, where she was sarcastically celebrating the fact that five percent of small business loans now go to women-owned businesses when only fifty percent of the population is female.

Then I saw this online article titled "The Women Who Rule Napa." For someone who knows Napa wine they've probably heard of Heidi Barrett and Helen Turley. The article also talks about a couple other women heading up wineries.

In Sonoma County we have Zelma Long as a pioneer. A few current well-known "women in wine" are Merry Edwards, Kathy Inman, Susie Selby, and Carol Shelton. There are others in Napa and Sonoma, but out of the 450 wineries in Napa, another 450 in Sonoma and over 4,000 in California not very many have women in charge.

Sally Johnson, winemaker,
Pride Mountain Vineyards

Maybe ten percent are owned by women or have female winemakers so it's still kind of a boys' club. The club is also almost totally Caucasian, but that's a topic for later. I'm not sure why there are so few women wine makers and vintners. Maybe it's because it involves farming and chemistry which aren't fields women traditionally enter? Too bad because I think we're missing out by not having more women in wine.