Wednesday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. What better way to celebrate than to pay tribute to the talented, innovative and courageous women that we have the honour of representing in our portfolio. Winemakers, proprietors and all-around superstars, these women are continuously breaking down barriers in the wine industry and proving that it’s definitely not just an old boys club.
We asked our own league of women on the Trialto team to share what will be in their glass for International Women’s Day:
Erin Quinn – Sales Representative, North Shore & Whistler, BC
Wine pick: Catena Alta Historic Rows Malbec
When you think “women in wine,” Laura Catena undoubtedly comes to mind. As a fourth generation vintner, General Director of two wineries (Catena Zapata and Luca), Founder of Catena Institute of Wine, author, emergency medicine physician, and mother of three, it’s fair to say she is a legend. Often referred to as “the face of Argentine wine,” Laura has really driven the concept of a scientific approach to wine as opposed to strictly sticking to traditional methods. Not only has this elevated her own family’s wines, it has led Adrianna Vineyard to be one of the most, if not the most studied vineyard in the world. If you want to talk about a powerful female, she’s it.
Chrissy Allan – Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist, Western Canada
Chiara Boschis is hands down one of the most badass women in wine. It is challenging not to fall in love with her wines, and her story. For starters, she was the youngest member and the only female member of the infamous Barolo Boys—a group that revolutionized winemaking in Barolo back in the 80’s. She bought the little estate of E. Pira in 1980 and since then has continuously turned out incredible wines that stand against the top producers in the region. Female winemakers are far from the norm in Barolo but that has never stopped Chiara. As a young winemaker, she would harvest at night to fly under her father’s radar and do as she pleased in the vineyards. With a little defiance and a lot of grit, she has proven something that has driven a lot of females since childhood: not only can she keep up with the boys, she can surpass them.
Leslie Escobar – Inside Sales Coordinator, Western Canada
Wine pick: Gianni Brunelli Rosso di Montalcino
Making wine together for more than twenty years, Laura and her late husband Gianni Brunelli built a strong foundation and world renowned reputation. After the passing of Gianni in 2008, Laura Brunelli presses on and continues to produce utterly superb Montalcino wines. Her skills in winemaking are only matched by her infectious personality, generosity and big heart. On top of that, two of her most endearing qualities are her deep appreciation for nature and her insistence on stopping to admire all the beautiful things Mother Nature shows us.
Mary Truong – Supply Chain Coordinator, Western Canada
Wine pick: La Posta Tinto Red Blend
Estela Perinetti, Chief Winemaker for Luca and La Posta wines, has grown up in the vineyards. When she needs to refuel, she often finds peace by going back to where it all started for her, in La Posta’s Estela Armando’s vineyard. This is where she learned to care for the vines planted by her mother and grandfather. With winemaking in her blood—her family immigrated to Argentina from Piedmont, Italy to make wine in the late 1800s—she was destined to carry on the tradition of her prestigious lineage. And now, working hand-in-hand with Laura Catena, Perinetti can certainly hold her own with the Argentine wine society.
With visions of Perinetti frolicking as a child in the same vineyards she now oversees, it is hard not to develop a particular affection for the La Posta brand. And with Tinto, it’s fair to say we have a soft spot in our hearts for this wine.
Stacey MacBride – Inside Sales Coordinator, BC
Wine pick: M&C Lapierre Morgon
Previously operating under the domaine Marcel Lapierre, the estate has since been passed down to the hands of brother-sister duo Mathieu and Camille Lapierre. After the sad passing of their father Marcel in 2010, a “true hero of Beaujolais,” Camille stepped in to help her brother continue the tradition of creating the beautiful, natural wines her family is known for. Whether it was a path she wanted to take or not, Camille’s dedication to carrying on the legacy of her father is a true testament to the deep rooted sense of family that exists within the wine industry; the fundamental reason we choose to represent Wines of People, Place and Time.
Michelle Morris – Portfolio Coordinator, Western Canada
Wine pick: Parés Baltà Cava Brut (organic Brut pictured)
A celebration of women in wine would not be complete without mention of Parés Baltà. The Spanish producer has not one but two women at the helm. The talented Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas are the skilled oenologists who take care of the winemaking at Parés Baltà. Leading the charge as winemakers, and sisters in law (they are married to Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol, who manage the winery), they have worked together to create distinct personalities for each of their wines while respecting varietal character to preserve typicity. While the masses have surged towards modern winemaking, Jimenez and Casas have returned to more traditional methods, showing they aren’t afraid to break away from the pack. They are an impressive duo.
Esther Lee – Supply Chain Manager, Western Canada
Wine pick: Yealands Estate Land Made Sauvignon Blanc
Yealands Family Wines is a brand just coming into the BC market, although it is not new to us here at Trialto. True to their Kiwi character, the Yealands crew are a delightful group of people with an incredible dedication to sustainable winemaking. Leading that charge is Chief Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington, an ultra-talented New Zealand native who grew up in Marlborough during its winemaking boom. After working in various countries, she was happy to come back to NZ during Yealands start up days. She now oversees winemaking for Peter Yealands, Crossroads and The Crossings—and where she finds the energy to fit in a 5am spin class, we’ll never know.
Washington truly believes that wine is an incredible industry for women. It’s dynamic and promotes continuous learning, and that’s what makes gender parity in wine a lesser issue. It’s about knowledge, passion, curiosity and one’s contributions to the betterment of the industry—whether that comes from a man or woman, who cares.
Last but certainly not least, our very own la grand femme...
Lesia Knowlton - Marketing and Portfolio Manager, Western Canada
Wine pick: Marc Morey Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru
Domaine Marc Morey is one of the most well known families in the Côte de Beaune. Taking over for her father, the previous winemaker Bernard Mollard, Sabine Mollard consistently proves that she shares the same exceptional talent for creating remarkable wines that stand the test of time. Given her talent, it's hard to believe that wine was not even in Sabine's plans for the future. While working as a Geography teacher, her younger brother, the heir to the winery, tragically passed away. Given the option of inheriting the family estate or selling it, Sabine decided to give it a go. She went through wine school and took on two internships in Hungary before returning to her home estate to put her learnings into practice. She hasn't looked back since. Evidently, Sabine is not afraid of a good challenge. When presented with a weighty task, she willingly jumped in with both feet proving her fearless attitude. A fitting wine selection for Ms. Knowlton :)
What will be in your glass to celebrate International Women's Day? Share your wine picks with #WomenWhoWine!
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For more information on International Women’s Day, check out the organization’s site here: internationalwomensday.com.
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