Women of the Vine
It’s National Women’s History Month and we are sharing some fun facts and bios about women in the wine industry. Women make up over 57% of the country’s wine drinkers and purchasers and more and more are making their place in what used to bea male dominated industry. These women are more than just role models. They are networking, mentoring and taking initiative to empower other women in wine to be successful. Here are some pioneering and notable “OGs,” with their accomplishments in the wine world.
BARBE-NICOLE PONSARDIN (WIDOW CLICQUOT)
The tale of the Widow Clicquot is one of the oldest known examples of successful women in wine. When her husband passed away in 1805, 27 year old Barbe-Nicole was left to salvage her husband’s struggling wine company on her own. With her shrewd knowledge of both business and winemaking, she managed to turn the business into the now infamous Champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. In addition to pioneering a refined method for the production of sparkling wine, she also created the iconic yellow label now inextricably linked to the luxury brand. We will be featuring an article dedicated fully to this iconic lady.
JOSEPHINA MARLIN TYCHSON
Tychson became the first woman in to build & operate a winery in Napa by building what is now Freemark Abbey.
DR. ANN NOBLE
Anyone who wants to become a more skilled taster should immediately familiarize themselves with Ms. Noble’s body of work. Her research as a sensory scientist on aroma and flavor led to the development of the Aroma Wheel, which is a great tool for writing tasting notes when you want to be a little bit more specific than “notes of red fruit.”
If you have seen the movie SOMM, then you’re familiar with the incredibly intense preparation that goes into this prestigious exam. Only 147 people have succeeded in America since the program’s inception, and of the 23 of those who have been women, Madeline Triffon was the very first, in 1987. Since then, she has been putting her discerning palate to great use creating wine lists and guiding guests’ selections at top restaurants.
SARAH MORPHEW STEPHEN
The first female to successfully complete the rigorous Masters of Wine examination in 1970, despite having been told by a prestigious producer in Portugal that the wine industry was not “a place for women” after inquiring about employment.
The first woman chairman of Wine Institute in 1998.
Wine writers like Karen McNeil, Andrea Immer-Robinson, Leslie Sbrocco and Natalie McLean have also transformed the industry with their innovative writing and winning personalities! We celebrate our women in wine this month. Which women in wine have inspired you?