Celebrating Women in Wine – Celebrating Female Winemakers and Entrepreneurs
Female winemakers are making their mark in an industry long dominated by men. They bring their unique perspectives to the business, encourage others, and raise the bar for future female leaders. Select the Celebrating Women in Wine.
Until recently, women made up just 20 percent of leadership positions in the wine industry. That’s a significant statistic, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. In truth, more than half of all winemakers are now women, and the number is rapidly growing. In the United States alone, women now hold over a quarter of all winemaking positions, and in France and Australia, that number jumps to more than 38 percent.
Women are becoming more prominent in the wine industry and forging their own paths as entrepreneurs, creating their own brands and vineyards. Some are even pioneering ways to reach consumers, packaging wines in cans that make them more portable and accessible for people who don’t always have access to glasses.
One of those innovators is Rebekah Penner-Ash, who runs a namesake winery in the heart of California Pinot Noir country. Her SHE CAN line, which features a California rose and a tropical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc aims to boost the visibility of female winemakers and bring more diversity into the industry.
Another trailblazer is Tonya Pitts, who’s been in the business for 30 years and has risen to become wine director of One Market in San Francisco. Pitts is a fierce advocate for female and BIPOC winemakers and is passionate about helping to create opportunities for these underrepresented winemakers through her entrepreneurial endeavors, social media platforms, and activism.
Historically, many women entered the wine business through inheritance from family vineyards. Others went through formal education at schools such as UC Davis to learn the skills of the trade. Still, others found their way into winemaking through mentorships or entrepreneurship.
The lessons of these tenacious winemakers are still applicable today. We can take inspiration from their stories to continue pushing for equity and inclusion in the wine industry, not only for women but all of us.
In the video below, see how some of our favorite women are transforming the world of Wine—one glass at a time.
Women in Wine is proud to support female winemakers through our annual National Women in Wine Symposium, regional networking groups, and educational workshops. Women in Wine also gathers statistics about the wine industry and uses them to set goals for change and measure progress. To learn more about how you can help advance women in Wine, please contact [email protected]. Click here to join our mailing list and receive our newsletter.
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