"The biggest adventure you can ever take, is to live the life of your dreams." ~ Oprah Winfrey
March is Women’s History Month. More than any other time of year, now is the time that events take place honoring women who have influenced the nation and the world while paving the way for future generations of women. Their list of professions cover a diverse range including activist, astronaut, doctor, humanitarian, musician, poet, politician, and scientist. Another group of trailblazing women is the unstoppable, incomparable group of women winemakers.
Although women winemakers represent only 10% of the winemakers working for wineries in California, 23% of their wines are regarded as being of the highest quality compared to 14.1% of wines from California wineries with male winemakers.
If you’ll be visiting Napa Valley or Sonoma County this month, make sure to stop by some of these wineries to taste exquisite wines created by the skills and talents of women winemakers.
Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery
Director of Winemaking, Lisa Bishop Forbes, and her incredible team create award-winning wines on the beautiful Chalk Hill estate in Russian River Valley. With a variety of tastings and tours to choose from, visitors can select the perfect experience.
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery
Having two winemakers at Ferrari-Carano allows Winemaker Sarah Quider the ability to focus on creating her critically acclaimed white wines and Pinot Noirs. Visit the winery in Dry Creek Valley to taste Current Releases, or Limited Releases and Reserve Wines, and make an appointment to join the free tour offered Monday through Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
After a list of impressive accomplishments, Winemaker Theresa Heredia was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as a “Winemaker to Watch.” Visit the winery and make sure to take home the critically acclaimed, award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel wines, some of which are only available at the winery. This time of year, we recommend the Terrace Tasting with a panoramic view of the surrounding Russian River Valley featuring tastings of limited release Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
At another winery with two winemakers, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards Winemaker, Katie Madigan, concentrates on the creation of Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and other white wines. Visit the winery located in Sonoma Valley for a tasting of highly acclaimed, popular wines, or, make an appointment for their critically acclaimed wine and food pairing.
Named after Winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix, this boutique winery in Russian River Valley specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Beautifully landscaped, with tables to enjoy the view, VML Winery is a must-see.
Part of an incredible team of three winemakers, Winemaker Domenica Totty is dedicated to the wines in Beaulieu’s Maestro Collection (single vineyard wines only available at the winery), as well as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Zinfandel. Tasting options include Current Releases, Reserve and Library wines, and private tours combined with a private tasting.
In 1986, Chief Winemaker Laurie Hook began her career at Beringer as an enologist. In 1997 she became Assistant Winemaker to Winemaster Ed Sbragia and was named Chief Winemaker in 2000. Her determination, passion, and excellence has lead Beringer to continued critical success. The selection of adventures to be had at the winery include public and private tastings at different historical locations on the estate, tours of the property and wine tunnels, and wine tastings paired with chocolate.
Chimney Rock Winery
In 2002, Elizabeth Vianna started working as Assistant Winemaker at Chimney Rock. In 2005 she was promoted to Winemaker. In 2009 she was invited by University of California, Davis School of Graduate Studies (where she received her Master’s degree in Enology) to deliver the commencement speech. In 2011 she was again promoted, this time to General Manager while still maintaining her role as Winemaker. She has also served as the Stags Leap Winegrowers Association President. The choices for experiences at the winery include tastings, barrel tastings, tours, and more.
Keever Vineyards & Winery
Winemaker Celia Welch has been named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food and Wine Magazine. She also received the “Rising Star Award” from the Southern California Chapter of Women for Winesense and was admitted to the “Winemakers Hall of Fame” by United States national chapter of Women for Winesense. Private tastings and tours at this family-owned and operated winery are by appointment only.
Peju has been making wine for over 30 years. For the past 8 years, Winemaker Sara Fowler has not only created stunning wines, but also led Peju’s endeavors for organic certification and sustainable farming. Peju is a beautifully unique winery to visit with special experiences to choose from as well as being able to enjoy a walk-in tasting in their tasting room.
Contact Pure Luxury for your wine tour in Napa Valley or Sonoma County and allow us to create the perfect wine tour customized just for you.